I’d love to travel more, but I can’t. I hear this all the time from people who are in relationships with homebodies.
So what? Hit the open road, regardless of whether your partner comes with you. And to those who wonder if that might have a negative affect on their relationships, I can say firsthand that it does not (at least until you have kids)! I’m happily married and I travel solo all the time—heck, I’m off to Europe for a three-week solo trip next month. I’d counter that leaving your boo behind can actually make your union stronger. Here’s why:
Longing is a powerful aphrodisiac. “You don’t know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone.” Joni Mitchell, you get it! Time and distance make me treasure my man way more than I do when we’re under the same roof—when we’re apart, I even miss the annoying stuff! If you’re in a healthy, loving relationship, this will happen to you as well. In my case, whenever I hear a German accent abroad I think of my Berlin-born husband. Panoramic views also make me miss him—he’s a sucker for a good rooftop vista. But it’s a good kind of missing that brings forth the warm and fuzzy feelings that are the cornerstone of a loving partnership. Oh, and the reunion after time gapart? Epic.
Your communication skills get a tune-up. Being miles and time zones away from my hubs actually compels me to keep in better touch with him. Because we have to make an effort to interact, we both make sure that our messages are meaningful. What works for us: I’ll Whatsapp notes, pictures, and videos, and then we schedule a Skype call every few days. We may not be in the same physical space, but this varied, frequent, and meaningful communication helps us to feel closer than ever.
You have whole new worlds to explore—literally! Being attached at the hip with your partner is not only boring, but can trigger a cycle of dependency and insecurity. But when you have your own solo interests, you become more self confident and self sufficient. Not only that, but talking about what makes you tick—why you couldn’t get enough of Egypt or how the coffee in Prague is superior to the coffee you’ve had anywhere else—allows your conversations to meander into uncharted waters where you both learn something about each other. Bottom line: Travel allows you to discover more of yourself, which you can then share with your love. Win-win!
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