#1 LEAVE ALONE, THREE’S A CROWD: We understand you love your kids, your friends and your pets… HOWEVER… take some much needed “Alone Time!” This means Aunt Norma should not be part of the itinerary either! It doesn’t matter how long you take, but we think it should be at least a 3 to 4-nighter.
#2 STATE RULES & OBJECTIVES: Transparency is key here. Why are you taking this time alone together? What do you want to accomplish? Reconnect? Feel important again? Say it!!! And while you’re at it, establish common unbreakable rules for your time off together. (e.g. no phone calls to mom, work emails are prohibited, etc.) Respect each other’s choices, and yes, make compromises.
#3 PLAN IT TOGETHER: Vacation planning is a balancing act because frequently we see one of the two in the couple as the “Lead Organizer” while the other typically enjoys “Being Organized.” This time we recommend you try to soften or strengthen the role you usually take in the exercise. Furthermore, when both are involved in the vacation planning, there’s no room for blame in case something goes wrong with the accommodations, flight or activities. And it’s more fun!
#4 SPEND TIME IN NATURE: The beach is good, but, one without a Volleyball State Championship Tournament is not so good. Get the picture? Quiet time in nature has a way to reconnect a couple’s soul like nothing else.
#5 STAY UNPLUGGED: We know this one’s gonna hurt… But hey, you can’t comply to Idea #1 if you carry your entourage in the Cloud… If this is too hard for you, keep it to a minimum or for emergencies. Besides, you may want to establish that as a specific rule…
#6 JOURNAL IT: You heard it before, if it’s worth living, it’s worth recording. Take time to reflect each day on the positive stuff you are “re-discovering” about your partner. And YES, you can use your smart phone if you’d rather keep a digital record. HOWEVER… airplane mode is mandatory here.
#7 MAKE SOMETHING NEW OF WHAT YOU BOTH LOVE: Okay this will require a bit of creativity. Let’s say you both love cycling. Why not rent a tandem for a change? You love trying new dishes when you eat out? Why not elaborating an exotic feast by yourselves? You guys love to read the latest thrillers? Why not outlining a genuine story of your own and let your imagination go wild? The possibilities are endless… and fun!
#8 TREAT YOUR MATE: You know what he/she loves. At least we hope you do… But the point is not to blow up the bank in order to spoil your lover. After all, she may love diamonds but if he has a weak spots for Porsches… this “treat” thing could really put you under… No, the intention here is to display your love with small attentions. Like inviting her to a diamond hunting expedition in flee markets? Who knows what you’ll find!
#9 DON’T FORGET TO REMEMBER: Remember how you guys met? Do you ever talk about that? What was it like when you realized you were in love? The feelings, what were they? What did you like the most about the other? This is your foundation as a couple so it is certainly worth reminiscing and talking about it.
#10 SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT TIME OFF TOGETHER: We understand you have other important responsibilities and that time is scarce. Nonetheless, your alone time should not be limited to summer vacations. We’re not talking “date nights” here, although those are very important as well. We’re talking about other 3 to 4-nighter getaways. Make sure you schedule at least another one within the next 6 months. In fact, one every 3 to 4 months would work wonders in your relationship.
#11 WHAT’S YOUR VISION: Did you establish a vision as a couple? No? Do one now! What do you want to accomplish together? In your church, your family, your health, your work, your finances, etc. Whatever it is, you two need to agree on everything. It’s your vision! Then, write it down and revisit it at least twice a year. If you have one, well dust it off and make sure to review it together before you get back to civilization…
#12 READ YOUR JOURNAL TO EACH OTHER: Conclude your get away by sharing your journal notes with the love of your life. This seemingly simple gesture, along with your couple’s vision, could continue to fuel you for weeks to come.