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4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing

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Expat in Germany: 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing

Monday, January 10, 2011

4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing

Exploring the Galapagos together and meeting some interesting characters like this 600 lb tortoise!
What do you think of when you think of a holiday romance?  I conjure up visions of walking hand in hand along a sandy beach while watching the most brilliant pink sunset I've ever seen with a hot guy with a sexy accent and winning smile.  If you are so inclined to imbibe in a holiday romance (and 58% of Brits are), enjoy the moment since ultimately 93% of holiday romances break up and 75% are over by the time the plane has landed back in your home country.  (all stats from TripAdvisor)

But what about the 7% that do make it?  I am happy to report that I am one of the 7%.  I met J.P. on a shark diving trip in Costa Rica.  The odds were against us, with 8000 km separating us - I'm Canadian, and he is German, both living in our respective countries,  but 2 1/2 years later, we're engaged and now happily living in Germany together.
Cocos Island - 300km from mainland Costa Rica, where hundreds of hammerhead sharks are found, not to mention  the start of a holiday romance turned real romance

Here are 4 Reasons to Turn a Holiday Romance Into the Real Thing:
1.  You've Spent Time Together During Your Holiday Romance:  In order to create a foundation for a real romance, you're going to need to spend time quality time together getting to know each other.  Whooping it up intoxicated on the dance floor, may be fun, but it doesn't count as spending quality time together, since you're not really getting to know each other.  Similarly if you meet someone on your last day of vacation, it will be more difficult to turn it into a lasting romance, since you just haven't had the time to get to know each other. On the other hand, if you meet someone near the beginning of your vacation, you will have time to get to know them, see if you share the same sense of humor, and see if you click, all while making for an even more memorable holiday.   I met J.P. on a dive boat in Cocos, an island 300km from mainland Costa Rica.  We dove 4 times a day, but had lots of free time in between.  It was during these times, that we talked and got to know each other.  After dinner we would go up to the upper deck of the boat and star watch for hours.  After doing this for 7 days on the boat, we got to know each other fairly well and then after enjoying each others company so much, decided to spent the last few days of our vacation exploring Costa Rica together.  I firmly believe that this time together provided us with a strong foundation to weather the currents of a long distance romance, plus it was fun and made for my most memorable vacation ever!

2.  You've Talked About Your Real Lives At Home:  People are often much different people on vacation than they are at home.  Someone in their regular life may be a workaholic who doesn't go out much, but becomes the life of the party on vacation.   It's important to ask questions and find out what that person is like at home.  For example, how do they spend their free time?  What does a  typical weekend look like?  What type of hours do they work?  Listen carefully and see if their lifestyle is one that would gel with yours.  It doesn't have to be identical to yours, but it should sound appealing to you.
We spent an afternoon kayaking and snorkeling in this lagoon in Palau
3.  You Have Holidays And Some Cash for Traveling:  Unfortunately this is the harsh reality, one of you, preferably both of you, has to have the money to travel to see each other and you need to do so.  If you only have 2 weeks vacation a year, and you've used it up on this holiday, it will be impossible to sustain a long distance relationship (unless it's somewhere close where you can see each on weekends), when  you don't see each other.  On the other hand, if you do have some time and money for traveling, you can get creative and have a lot of fun exploring the world together or finding creative ways to travel on the cheap.  J.P. and I were very fortunate in this regard.  We both had 6 weeks of holiday and good jobs.  We met up in Canada and Germany of course, (where you can considerably reduce costs by staying and eating at home instead of a hotel and restaurant), and explored each others countries, but we also used this time to explore diving destinations together.  Over the course of our long distance relationship, we met in the Galapagos to dive with hammerhead sharks, and also went diving in  the Red Sea and Palau.  We saw each other four times a year for two years, until I made the move to Germany.  I found it difficult only seeing him four times a year, and that was still a considerable amount,considering the distance, but we made each other a priority and invested both time and money (for traveling) in the relationship all while hitting our diving hot spots and creating memories together!
4.  You're in Love and Have Never Met Anyone Like This:  After the buzz has worn off a few weeks after the vacation, if you still find yourself thinking about the other person, you may be on to something and it may be worth pursuing.  Yes, long distance relationships are tough.  There will likely be times where you don't see each other for months at a time, different time zones making it difficult to talk, celebrating birthdays alone, etc..... but all the hassles may be worth it.  J.P. and I both knew within a couple of months that we loved each other.  He actually knew while we were on vacation!  I've never met anyone like J.P.  We are different enough but similar in many ways and share many of the same hobbies - traveling, diving, hiking,  which we love doing together and it enriches our relationship by doing these things together.  As difficult as the two years of long distance were, I wouldn't have changed it for the world, even if I had known we only had a 7% chance of making it work!

What do you think about holiday romances?


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