Going on a trip with your girlfriend sounds like plenty of fun. Well, perhaps not as exciting and wild as traveling with the boys but pretty good nevertheless. One thing about travel though is that it either strengthens relationship bonds or creates deep irreparable cracks.
Of course, some relationships may already be headed for collapse so the trip would just expose irreconcilable differences that already existed. What you don’t want though is to see the deterioration of a great relationship because of needless avoidable reasons. The following tips can help you protect your relationship without compromising the fun of travel.
Not Every Moment Will Be Romantic, So Manage Expectations
You are traveling with your wife, so it's ok to to enjoy some unplanned romantic interludes or even some planned ones. But that doesn’t mean each day will be filled with romance. There will be some good days and bad. Your back will hurt or hers will and you might even have a headache from sitting in the car so long.
On a more positive note, many romantic moments during your trip will come from the unexpected and likely won’t be captured in your photos. Like running out of toilet paper in the dead of night when one of you badly needs it. You’ll probably be laughing about it later and it could end up being the highlight of your trip. AND it will bring you closer.
Don’t Dictate How Much She Should Carry
Women almost always carry more luggage than men when traveling. It’s okay to joke about it but what you shouldn’t do is start to dictate to your partner what she should and should not carry. If you think her luggage could burgeon your travel costs, think about scaling down your baggage so you can make room for more of her stuff.
It’s a great way to show her that you are willing to make sacrifices to make her life a little more comfortable. Working together during packing also means you can share ideas on what to carry and what you can both do without. Just be careful not to fall down the mansplaining rabbit hole.
Don't Assume She Knows Nothing About Cars!
Some guys I know look at the women in their lives as being dumb about cars ... and there's often some truth to it. That being said, if you don't want her to talk down to you about taking care of the kids then respect her knowledge and interest in cars too. Our our friends at CHICMOTO.com do a great job at speaking to a female audience interested in car care and so maybe she's learned something that even you don't know. The rule here though is to NEVER assume that just because she's a woman that she doesn't enjoy cars or knows what she's talking about.
Share Responsibilities Based on Your Strengths
Just like in the home, certain responsibilities during the trip are expected to be handled by the man. However, you don’t have to follow a rigid formula when sharing responsibilities. Take a step back and think about your individual strengths then assign tasks based on what each of you does best.
Perhaps, contrary to societal expectation, your girlfriend is better at reading maps or fixing a broken down rental car (maybe they have learnt to ). You do not have to insist on doing the navigation or auto repair just because it’s what society expects you to. It’ll not only be an inefficient use of your travel time but could also signal a misogynistic bigotry that could mark the end of your relationship.
These tips are important but certainly do not cover all the possible deal-breakers that you’ll encounter during a trip with your partner. The overarching principle is to think about what’s good for her and the relationship before you do anything.