In the spirit of Summer…
Making myself a priority is at the top of my list for ways to improve any relationship. When I’m happy and nourished I show up as my best self not just for my hubby but for everybody in my life. There are lot’s of great ways to infuse good juju into your love-life and one of my personal favorites is spending time apart, even taking separate vacations!
Stepping out of the couple dynamic and having your own adventures is an amazing way to breathe new, sexy life into your partnership. You’ll each come back from your time apart with exciting stories to share, and you’ll remember what it feels like to miss each other, which is totally a good thing.
So why do so many of my clients balk at the idea initially?
The same reason I did for so long!
I felt guilty for wanting to spend my free time away from him, I felt bad about spending the money on myself and I felt like there were things I should take care of at home (those pesky shoulds!) and those feelings clouded my judgment, I figured that if I felt bad about going on the trip or signing up for the retreat than I probably shouldn’t do it, which I’ve come to realize is wrong!
It doesn’t have to be either or, one or the other.
#1. Give yourself permission first.
Give yourself a chance to think it over, daydream a little. Get excited!
Now give yourself space to feel ALL your feelings.
The excitement for the adventure and the heartache at being away from the ones you love.
The delicious indulgence of treating yourself and the guilt that come with that.
Whatever you do don’t try to resist the difficult emotions. It’s ok if it feels a little edgy.
Give yourself full permission want what you want and get clear on what it looks like in the real world. Maybe you need a weekend away with your best friend, maybe you need a 7 day silent retreat to recharge or perhaps signing up for a language immersion is at the top of your list.
The key here is to give yourself permission to feel bad for leaving, a little guilty or even a lot AND to also be excited about your personal adventure. Holding both experiences as true and expressing them clearly to your partner is your best bet.
You could try something like this:
“I think it would be nice for each of us to have a vacation either with our friends or alone, and then we could also go on a trip together. I was thinking we could each choose a vacation that we know the other person wouldn’t be interested in. I don’t want you to think I never want to go on a trip with you, I know I’m going to miss you like crazy so it’s kinda hard for me to even share this with you and I also think it would be pretty fun to have some time with my girlfriends. What do you think?”
#2. Lay down some ground rules.
Each couple’s ground rules will be different, it’s important to make sure you’re both on the same page so as to avoid any grumpiness down the road. For example, you may say that the solo vacations can last no longer than a week or even a weekend, or solo vacations with friends are only okay if no one of the opposite sex is also going on the trip.
#3. Take vacations together as well.
We’re talking separate vacations here! Not separate lives! The former can enliven your relationship; the latter is not a good sign. Even if your schedule doesn’t permit you to take three long vacations throughout the year, plan weekend getaways together for sure! Get creative here. Excitement and novelty are key to keeping your relationship fresh.
#4. Revist the “agreement” often.
After your first vacation apart, revisit your agreement to make sure it’s working for you both. Be open to tweaking the agreement until you have something that works perfectly for your relationship.
Separate vacations can certainly breath new life into a humdrum existence as a couple. For this to work it’s important to focus not on what separate vacations will accomplish for your bond but rather what it can do for you as an individual!
I want to hear from you! Have you and your spouse ever taken a separate vacation? Would you? Share your thoughts / experiences in the comment box below!