What Vacation Is Like In A Healthy Vs Unhealthy Relationship

March 27, 2017  |  
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Bigstockphoto.com/African American couple ride their beach cruiser along the shore in the Caribbean

Going on a vacation when you’re in an unhealthy relationship is really just a waste of time and money. When you’re with the right person, then life already feels like a mini vacation; you feel relaxed and happy around each other, and you help one another forget about your troubles for a little while. So going on vacation with the right person is the best thing ever. Meanwhile, when you’re in an unhealthy relationship, a vacation is just a time when you’re shoved together with a person you already don’t get along with, without distractions like work and friends to give you some delusion that this relationship is working out. Truly, vacations just emphasize dynamics that were already there. Here is how taking a vacation in a healthy relationship differs from taking one in an unhealthy relationship.



Unhealthy: You’re irritable at the airport

If your partner lags for two seconds when the line moves at checkout, you lose it on him as if he just caused a car accident. It seems like he makes each tedious part of the airport—from waiting in lines to sitting in tiny, gross chairs—even worse. You think he’s just clueless.




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Healthy: You laugh in the TSA line

When you’re in a healthy relationship, you both forget to keep the line moving at check in because you’re busy snuggling. When waiting in line to go through TSA, you lovingly laugh at the weird socks your partner is wearing when he takes off his shoes, and he pretends to carry you through the scanning machine the way a husband carries his new bride over the threshold.


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Unhealthy: You stick to your magazine

You pass the time waiting for the airplane reading your book, answering emails, calling your friends to catch up or getting some work done. You go to separate corners and meet up again when it’s time to board. Oh, and if you can’t sit together on the plane, you don’t care.


Healthy: You riff/play a game together

In a healthy relationship, you’re so glad you have each other during long layovers. You play games, take naps on each other’s laps and just catch up because you always want to know what’s happening in one another’s lives. If you can’t sit together on the airplane, you try to get someone to switch seats with you.


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Unhealthy: You get angry at the other’s beauty routine

In an unhealthy relationship, if your partner takes a long time in the morning to leave for the tour or the kayaking outing, you take it as a personal offense. You see their habits as vain and silly, and you want to scream at them every extra second that hair straightener stays on.


Shutterstock.com/Couple in a bathroom

Healthy: You lovingly ask them to wrap it up

In a healthy relationship, you hang out in the bathroom with your boo while they get ready, partially so you can keep chatting and partially to tease them for taking so long, and lovingly remind them that the turtles on the snorkeling tour won’t care what bathing suit they wear.




Unhealthy: You drink tons and fight

Most couples do a bit of drinking on vacation. It’s time for mimosas at breakfast and special cocktails at dinner. In unhealthy relationships, this drinking makes everyone say what they want to say—and it isn’t pretty. Nights end in a drunken rage.




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Healthy: You drink tons and have sex

In a healthy relationship, you go on vacation and drink a lot, but it just leads to you either having lots of sex, or napping, or ordering room service and watching a movie.





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Unhealthy: You fight for your activity

Unhealthy relationships are always about me versus you, and never about the us. So you wind up only thinking about things you’d like to do, and arguing with your partner, keeping score of times you did what they wanted, and using that as ammunition.



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Healthy: You look for an activity you’ll both love

In a healthy relationship, there is an unspoken agreement that you’ll both try to think of activities that you would both enjoy doing. If one of you has something they really want to do, they can say so, and the other will take one for the team and come along. Why? Because they love the other person.


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Unhealthy: You fight over sleep

Getting sleep on vacation can be hard. Between the early airport wake ups, the loud kids at the pool who start splashing at 7 am and the uncomfortable hotel pillows, it’s tough to get good R&R. In an unhealthy relationship, you become enemies in this situation, pointing at each other as the cause for your sleep deprivation.


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Healthy: You commiserate over sleep

In a healthy relationship, you give the person the comfortable pillow, and you step outside the room and ask the kids to keep it down so your partner can take a nap. You’re both tired, but your presence calms one another, rather than irritates.



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Unhealthy: You take photos alone

You end up taking a lot of solo photos when you’re on vacation in an unhealthy relationship. You spend a lot of the time away from your partner (he’s in the pool, so you’re in the Jacuzzi) so it just naturally happens.





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Healthy: You take photos together!

You go out of your way to make sure your boo is in your photos! You wait as long as it takes for someone to pass by on the beach to take a photo of the both of you. You grab your partner any time you find a good photo background.





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Unhealthy: You find ways to be apart

You book spa treatments (that you know he’ll have no interest in) all day, and you get him tickets to do something you have no interest in. For the most part, you meet up for dinner because that’s when you can tolerate each other (it’s when the cocktails show up.)

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Healthy: You find ways to be together

You’ll only go to the spa with co-ed relaxation rooms so you can hang out between your treatments, and you’ll only take scuba lessons from someone willing to teach two people at once so you can stay together.





Unhealthy: You nitpick if one thing goes wrong

If you don’t get the hotel room you wanted, if the tour is all booked up, or if the magician you wanted to see gets sick and sends in his sub-par substitute, you both get grumpy and claim the trip is ruined.





Corbis Images

Healthy: You find the humor in everything

When you’re happy together, the mere fact that you get to spend time together, away from work and obligations, is a blessing. If the magician sends in his amateur substitute, you both just see it as a funny story to tell your friends.




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Unhealthy: Distractions cause a huge fight

In an unhealthy relationship, every phone call or email your partner responds to causes a fight. You know, deep down, that he isn’t fully invested in the relationship so you blow his small distractions out of proportion.




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Healthy: You understand phone calls have to happen

You always feel so fully embraced by your partner, whether or not on vacation, that you aren’t upset if he has to take a few work phone calls on your trip.

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