Can you turn your holiday romance into a lasting relationship?
Writes John Fenna of Tavistock Relationships
Love Island has returned to our screens, summer holidays are nearly upon us and for many the prospect of a holiday romance is in the air. Unfortunately, despite the intensity of these sun-kissed relationships, very few last.
Whether your holiday relationship takes place in an idyllic Mallorca villa full of body-perfect ‘contestants’, on a caravan park in Cornwall or in a stylish city hotel, the truth is, it is unlikely to endure. Perhaps for the same reason that it began; because you are geographically and mentally in a place far away from the existence of everyday life.
When couples return to reality and find themselves in their usual surroundings, back in touch with their friends and family and dealing with the humdrum details of everyday life, cracks often appear in their relationship.
At Tavistock Relationships, we have identified the vital ingredients which enable relationships to last and anyone considering a holiday romance might want to take note. If these elements aren’t in place, you could be on a hiding to nothing.
Decades of experience counselling thousands of couple tells us that similar attitudes to socialising and activities, household chores, money, work and sex are crucial if your relationship is going to thrive.
Major 5 relationship areas to get right.
So Love Islanders and holiday romancers, might want to check out our top five relationship must-haves.If one or more of these ingredients is missing from your relationship, things could soon start to feel strained.
1. Spend time together - While you’re away, you’ve done nothing but spend time together but now you’re home, do you have enough in common? Successful couples need to devote time to being together and enjoying activities together like sports, socialising with friends and family, nights out. Talking about what each partner wishes and needs for themselves, individually and as a couple, is likely to result in the best outcomes.
2. Money - We all have a different attitude to money on holiday, but do you have the same approach to finances now you’re back? While many people are comfortable spending beyond their means and taking on debt, others may want to ‘save for a rainy day’. While you will need to accept and tolerate each other’s differences, it’s important to feel safe and secure, so being attentive to the other’s needs, alongside one’s own, is an important part of relating to each other.
3. Share the chores - Housework doesn’t exist on holiday – or in Love Island – but how couples share household responsibilities between them can be a battleground. Resentment can quickly build when one partner feels they are taking on the lion’s-share of domestic chores, so team work is important to minimise blame and create more time to relax together.
4. Career satisfaction - The holiday’s over and it’s time to get back to work. Many of us define a significant part of ourselves through the work we do and it provides a social network, a framework for the day and a predictable rhythm to life. When things go wrong we can be left with feelings of inadequacy and resentment and this can spill over into our relationships so your partner will need to sympathetic and supportive if you working life takes a hit.
5. Sex - This is the currency that couples commonly use to assure themselves of their specialness to each other. In almost all relationships there will be a difference between how much sex each partner wants and needs to feel satisfied and secure so you’ll want to check in with your new partner now you are back in reality.
The key to managing all these areas is communication – something that can be easier to advocate than to do. Any relationship, but especially a holiday romance, is like a seedling – it needs daily attention to flourish and grow.
If you and your partner need help, why not talk to us? Our services offer affordable support here.