She says: “I don’t like going there.”
“When you and your partner disagree on where to go for a holiday, think about the bigger picture: What’s really important to the both of you? Is it about getting to A or B, or the quality of time spent together?” says Tammy Fontana, relationship counsellor at All In The Family. She adds that it’s normal for couples to disagree; the onus is to arrive at a consensus. Thanks to technology, undecided couples can turn to Google Street View to ogle major cities and landmarks before deciding where to go.
She says: “I know you don’t like this, but I want to go there anyway.”
She likes museums, but you don’t? “Me-time benefits the relationship in this case,” says Tammy. It is unrealistic for couples to plan a happy vacation where every minute is spent together, as no two sets of interests totally overlap. “There might be things we would like that our partners don’t. Discuss with her how to balance time spent together and me-time,” Tammy adds. While spending time alone, get her a gift and let her know she’s on your mind even when not at your side.
She says: “I don’t want to try this. It’s way too scary!”
If your partner doesn’t want to try that fried grasshopper at the roadside stall, respect her decision. “Convincing your partner is code for nagging, blaming and using guilt,” says Tammy. “These are all relationship killers,” she adds. If the activity takes two to tango, say rock climbing, and she’s iffy about it, Tammy says: “Decide if your pursuit for an individual need for adventure is worth making your partner feel bad.” Our take? It most certainly is not.
She says: “No, it’s this way!”
Lost? Asking locals for directions is the easiest solution, but when no one’s in sight and you’re convinced your girl is wrong with her take, ask her questions that point to the problem instead of her inability to differentiate a hospital from a petrol station. Steer clear of condescension and she’ll realise her mistake soon enough. When she admits it’s her bad, don’t chastise. “Focus on working out a solution,” says Tammy. Otherwise, routes are not the only thing you’ll have to backtrack.
She says: “It’s not really worth the money.”
If she’s blaming you for putting money on a dodgy hotel room, and the decision had been solely yours, understand that travelling as a couple means making decisions together. “So when things go wrong, move forward as a couple,” says Tammy. Even if your partner excuses herself from making certain decisions, tell her that her opinion matters a great deal and run, for example, your final shortlist of hotels by her. Better still, surf a hotel booking website, such as booking.com, with her – the extensive user reviews will help you make a better decision that you can both take responsibility for.
She says: “You lost what?”
In this scenario, you’ll probably be as frustrated as her. Apologise and refrain from false assurances like: “We’ll get your phone back, don’t worry.” In general, the rule is: The more time you spend looking for what you’ve lost, the more miserable you’ll become. “We have no control over life’s curveballs,” says Tammy. “What we do have control over is how we react to the situation.” So, go for a drink together instead, if for no better reason than to remind yourselves that what you can buy with money really doesn’t matter all that much anyway.