New This Month

How Vacationing Can Make or Break Your Relationship

A fun getaway can actually be a test of compatibility.

Contributing Writer
couple walking on beach
Photography by: Tim McKenna

You and your partner have planned a relaxing, well-deserved vacation. All that's left to do is pack your bags and get the show on the road, right? Not so fast. While taking a vacation together is always an exciting adventure, it is just that—an adventure. It's a chance for the two of you to get a true taste for how you behave when you're not following your regular routine. "Taking a vacation together is a crucial step in a relationship," explains Bonnie Winston, celebrity matchmaker and relationship expert. "If you're only used to 'Netflix and chilling' with your partner, traveling can be a big wake up call, for better or worse."

 

Oftentimes, as she points out, it can even make or break a couple. So, before the two of you step out of your comfort zones and step into vacation mode, read on to learn the ways you can expect your relationship to change while traveling.

 

Related: Romantic Getaway Ideas for Every Couple

 

You may see parts of your partner's personality you wouldn't ordinarily see.

"Seeing how someone reacts under pressure, or in unforeseen events, and how they treat people who are not in your ordinary social circle, is a mark of a person's true character," explains Winston. For example, if your flight gets delayed and you have to camp out at the airport for a few extra hours, will your partner throw a hissy fit or make light of the situation and grab a few cocktails with you at the bar? 

 

You may handle arguments better.

When you're on vacation with your partner and sharing a 150-square-foot hotel room, disagreements and bickering are likely to happen. But how you handle those arguments on vacation might actually be an improvement over how you fight at home. "If an argument happens, you can't exactly deal with it the same way you would at home," says Winston. "Being on vacation together forces you to make up quickly, because you don't ruin the entire trip. It also can enhance your 'negotiating tactics,' meaning, if you have different traveling styles (she wants to do touristy stuff and he's more of a local experience guy) you have to deal with things on a daily basis and work it out."

 

You two may be more romantic.

Who knew? But, hey, it makes sense—if you're tucked away in a waterfront bungalow as opposed to being cooped up in your city apartment, you'll more likely be in the mood for romance. "Somehow, being away from the stresses and strains of everyday life frees couples to enjoy each other's company more," says Fran Walfish, Psy.D., psychotherapist in in Beverly Hills, California.

 

You may head home with a deepened trust level in a relationship.

Throughout the experiences you've had in your relationship, the new ones you make on vacation may forge an even stronger bond between the two of you. "Traveling together also allows for the opportunity to do something awe-inspiring that can bond you through the experience," says Winston. "Even the planning stages of the trip—discussing what you want to do and see can also draw you close."