4 Things To Remember When Taking Your Partner On A Family Vacation For The First Time
There are several milestones you and your partner will face throughout your relationship. You'll have your first date, your first kiss, your first ~time~, first sleepover, and the first time you meet each other's parents, just to name a few. Each of the milestones you and your partner experience can be exhilarating, nerve-wracking, and butterfly-inducing all at once, but taking your partner on a family vacation for the first time is probably all of the above. You're probably excited to be taking that big of a step with your bae, but also nervous because family vacations can get extremely personal. So, while the butterflies flutter in your stomach with lots of eagerness, nerves, and excitement, there are a few things to remember about the first family vacation.
It's important to stress that you and your partner are 100 percent allowed to do everything in your own time. Whether you go on vacation with your family one month or one year after you make it official, there's no such thing as "too soon," when it comes to deciding what feels right. And that goes for every aspect of your relationship, too. There are no set timelines! When you and your partner have decided to take your first family vacation together, these four things can be important to remember.
1. Your partner doesn't know your family routine.
You and your family have probably been going on family trips for awhile, so you're used to the dynamics. But your partner isn't! When you and bae decide to go on your first family vacation together, they're going to have to learn the day-to-day. To facilitate this, Susan Winter, bestselling author and relationship expert, suggests briefing them on all the little things about your family members and how they like to spend their vacations.
"For example, don't even try to talk to your father before he's had his first cup of coffee, [or] your sister is moody (don't take it personally)," Winter tells Elite Daily. And "when they say dinner's at 7:00, it really means 8:30. So, grab a snack late afternoon." All the things that are so normal to you can be foreign to your partner, so it's important to fill them in in order for the trip go as smoothly as possible.
2. Make sure you have pre-planned alone time.
Alone time is always important, but especially so on family vacations. Of course, you love your family, but having some time to yourself on vacation can be incredibly refreshing. The same goes for when you and your partner are going on a family vacation together. Spending time with your family is probably a big part of the vacation, but consider carving out some time to spend one-on-one with your partner.
"It's important to have some separate time away from your family to keep the connection with your partner and maintain balance as a couple," Winter says. "The two of you flow beautifully when you're alone and in your own environment. To replicate that same ease while with your family is done by capturing segments of private time with your mate."
3. Know that it's going to be hard to please everyone.
Your family is probably used to doing things a certain way on their vacations, and your partner might have a way of doing things differently, so trying to find a middle point for everyone can be tricky. "In an effort to 'be nice,' your partner may agree to an agenda not to their liking," she says. "Though they want to be a team player, they may secretly resent doing something they don't want to do. Keep in mind that your partner is occasionally on edge, as being polite throughout an entire family trip can feel like a job." AKA: Don't be surprised if your partner gets moody. Like Winter says, being your very best, most polite self for a week can be exhausting.
4. You may get stressed out.
Family vacations can be stressful on their own. Add a boyfriend or girlfriend to the mix for the first time, and that "can add another layer of stress to both you and your partner," Winter says. "You're busy trying to make sure your partner has a good time, while making sure your family enjoys your partner." And that can be a lot for one person to handle, so don't be surprised if you find yourself feeling moody, too. Stress is normal, but it's not the point of a vacation. Try your hardest to relax and accept that not everyone is going to be happy all the time.
Chances are, if you've decided to take your partner on a family vacation, they've probably spent some time with your family already. But it's important to remember that spending some time with them is not the same as going on vacation with them, when you're together 24/7 and everyone wants to do different things. "Expect your family and your partner to be figuring out how to best relate to each other," Winter says. "They'll be learning each other's communication patterns, preferences, opinions, and habits."
In order to prep your partner for their first vacation with your family, Winter recommends giving bae a solid rundown on what they have to know about each one of your family members, not just on vacation, but their general, overall habits and personality traits. "This prepares your partner for the unanticipated," she says. "Give your partner a rundown of each person's personality and how to best handle their disposition." Ultimately, remember vacations are supposed to be fun. So, try to enjoy it!