Q: “I heard someone say you have not passed the relationship strength test unless you have traveled together. Is there any truth to this? What can you learn about your relationship when you travel together as a couple?”

A: Interesting point of view.

I do not think I could whole heartedly agree that traveling together is the predetermining relationship strength test. Certainly it is one of the important ones, but this is such a subjective area and one that is determined by our individuality. For example, some would argue surviving unemployment, traumatic medical conditions, grief, and chronic pain are tougher than traveling together.

I am not trying to dismiss, or minimize the perceived challenges of traveling together, as I recognize travel can be a ‘make or break’ factor for many couples. This is why booking a vacation with your significant other is an important decision, particularly when we are reminded of disastrous stories of idyllic locations, but realizing you are with the wrong person.

Talking about your past vacations, places, and experiences will help you, not only to gain insight into each other’s preferences, but also the attributes you each can bring to the trip. For example, one person may be good at the planning and details, while the other may be the fun spontaneous traveler.

As with all aspects of a relationship, the more you can communicate clearly and absorb the details, the more successful you will be; instead of being blindsided by a differing vision of the vacation.

Relationship differences, no matter in which areas, always require a great deal of acknowledgement, negotiation, compassion and compromise. This means learning how to pivot your needs quickly, to establish a willingness to accommodate each other’s desires. After all this is a partnership and not a one-sided union.

Now, you may be thinking this applies to life, at home, and not just for times away. This is very true. However, travel does have a way of reminding us that we are meant to have fun and enjoy ourselves. So this means we need to step up our game, due to the concentrated time spent together, and do our part to create happy lasting memories.

This is particularly true for those who have been entrenched in day-to-day worries, which have affected the loving feelings for each other. Catching these emotions in time, and recognizing that time away can recharge your love batteries, can work wonders for the relationship. It can in fact have the power to change the tempo, and add a new perspective to the whole of your life.

Just as Covid Lockdown brought relationship issues to the forefront, so can traveling together. It can highlight the good, the bad, and perhaps even some ugly. Alternatively, depending on your temperament, it has the ability to top-up your glass to overflowing.

That is of course, once you decide… Is my glass half empty or half full?

Relationship and intimacy specialist Maggie Bain– also known as the Bare Naked Coach– has returned to the Bahamas to help local couples repair their relationships. She will be answering questions which she has received for Tribune Woman in the hopes of helping individuals with similar romantic problems. The column comes out the 2nd & last Tuesday of each month.

Maggie Bain is a relationship and intimacy specialist with Family Medicine Center on Blake Road. Book a consultation at 702-9310 ext. 130 or click here to book an appointment.

Publish Date: August 29, 2023, The Tribune