In the past, (international) travel wasn't nearly as accessible as it is today. For many couples, the idea of taking separate vacations, or even traveling at all (at least far from home), may not have even been an issue, because it simply never came up.
And if no one else around you is doing it, you're probably not going to register it as an option in the first place.
Perhaps this is why today, at least partly, married couples and those in committed relationships have such a hard time with this idea of separate vacations. To many, this seems like the opposite of what couples “should” be doing.
Sometimes this tension comes from within the relationship (for example, if one wants to travel and the other wants their partner to stay at home) (and I want to talk about this more at a later date), but there is equally a factor (often an even greater one) relating to the social pressure or judgement that comes from others outside the relationship.
So, should couples take holidays alone?
There is no reason why taking trips separately should be stigmatized.
Many people feel varying levels of uncertainty or anxiety when they do something by themselves (especially for the first time), but it's often the amplification of these fears and the stigma created by others that makes this a difficult topic to share.
And the latter is not an unfounded concern. Social pressure is real and gossip all pervasive. And, oh, how the rumor mill goes into action when someone learns you are doing something that doesn't align with their limited view of the world.
The unfortunate reality is that society hasn't caught up with modern relationships, and rather than celebrating the independence that many people are finding in truly supportive partnerships, others are more likely to gossip and judge and question. To those who decide to travel solo without their partners, these questions can feel tiresome and relentless.
There are many couples who are happy taking separate vacations. Whether it's because they each have different destinations in mind, one likes to travel far and the other near (or not at all), they can't get holidays at the same time, or they simply just like their solo adventures. The reason really doesn't matter. All that matters is that you are happy in your relationship and you've found what works for you.
This is really not a matter of “should” or “shouldn't.” It's about two people deciding what is right for them.
There are lots of benefits to solo travel for couples
I believe it is completely natural and healthy to have your own interests that are yours irrespective of whether you're in a relationship or not. In the right relationship, there shouldn't be any need to change who you are or give up your dreams, and your partner wouldn't want you to.
Many solo traveling couples find that traveling alone (at least some of the time) allows them to:
- Completely immerse themselves in a travel experience.
- Experience things in a destination that might not appeal to their partner.
- Develop a sense of independence and self-esteem that makes them a stronger, more confident individual and partner.
- Connect even more strongly with their partner through the opportunity to miss one another and having almost endless topics to share and talk about.
Here I outline the reasons why I love solo travel while married.
You never know until you try it
Ultimately, if you want to travel solo but you're not sure if it is right for you and your relationship, the only way to know is if you try it for yourself.
You don't necessarily have to start with a long trip far from home. There are lots of ways (and happy mediums) to try things on your own, to develop your own interests and independence, and create a lifestyle that allows for personal as well as relationship growth.
When you subscribe to my newsletter, I'll send you a list of 30 amazingly simple ideas for solo adventures that you can use on a daily basis. It's much easier to adopt this kind of mindset and lifestyle than you think! Get your free download by subscribing here!
As for the naysayers who can't seem to be supportive, I'll be writing some posts about how to deal with them soon!
Tell me, what has been your experience with solo trips while in a relationship? Let me know in the comments.