Girlfriend vs. Vacation

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Dear Hoopers,
I’ve been dating my girlfriend for a year now and we’ve been talking about going on a vacation. When I first presented the idea to her, she became excited by the thought of introducing me to her family and planning that time to see them. The introduction to family, didn’t go so well on my end, and I fear wasting a whole vacation on answering bull shit about our same sex relationship.  I love her and want to eventually get to  know her family, but my priorities for this vacation are to spend more time with her. I’m struggling with compromise and would like to know your thoughts on how to better communicate this with her.
-Girlfriend vs. Vacation

Dear Girlfriend vs. Vacation,
It sounds like your relationship is in a pretty good place. You have been dating for a year and she has met your family. Even if that visit didn’t go well, it reflects a level of commitment and dedication between you. And now here you are on the verge of getting away for a vacation together. Or so you thought. While you were expecting an intimate vacation for you two, she thought that it might be best to visit her family.

This sounds like a challenge for your priorities as a couple and for your communication. Unless you want to go on a vacation by yourself, you are almost certainly going to need to prioritize visiting her family soon. It sounds like her family isn’t close to you geographically; so if you two don’t have the vacation time and finances to support a vacation and a visit home, combining the two together might be the reasonable compromise.

Even if her family doesn’t live in a vacation destination, I’m sure you could add a few days on the front or back end of the vacation just for you two. That’s where the communication is important. Communication and compromise are the foundation for any relationship to work. I would let her know your feelings about this trip and that while you value visiting her family, you would also like to fit in some alone time if you can.


Unless you want to go on a vacation by yourself, you are almost certainly going to need to prioritize visiting her family soon.

-Dr. Ryan

Lastly, it sounds like the experience of introducing your girlfriend to your parents may also be influencing your feelings about this trip. Know that all families certainly aren’t the same and so I wouldn’t get up in arms before you even see their faces.

I think it is also important to communicate with your girlfriend about some of the fears you’re having about meeting her family. She can tell you more about them and how she thinks they will receive you. At the least, communicating your concerns can help strengthen your relationship, which is a priority you can both agree on.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear Girlfriend vs. Vacation,
Sorry to hear you were put through the ringer by your family. It seems like a pretty good reason to feel resistant to spending your vacation in possible repeat mode. If she’s tugging for time to introduce you to family, she must be pretty serious about the relationship. That has to feel good, right? The truth is family introduction is going to happen at some point.

Like you, I value vacation. While many of our holidays are split visiting family in Oregon and Louisiana, I also reserve time to travel with Ryan only. A big part of that is spending dedicated quality time together. Whether it’s visiting a new city, or country, or simply relaxing and disconnecting from the world, vacations are important. They are also defined differently for everyone. I hear you loud and clear, as it sounds like we define vacation time very similarly. But, your girlfriend may not. She may value her vacation time spent with family. I would clearly define what the expectations of the trip look like for each other.


Either way both of you are spending this vacation time together and should have equal votes in time allotment.

-Kate

It may work out that her family is absolutely lovely. Or, they could just be okay. Either way both of you are spending this vacation time together and should have equal votes in time allotment. I would clearly define what the expectations of the trip look like for each other because I guarantee if this relationship works out, this will be one of many conversations you have around this same subject. Keep your focus on vacation and allow a little detour to family.
-Kate

compromise