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He Won’t Travel with Me: What’s the Deal?

A couple cuddling while traveling together.

Dear Joan Actually,

Every time I want to go on vacation with my boyfriend, he comes up with some excuse not to go. We’ve been dating for a couple months so it’s not like this should be a big deal. Anyways, last time I planned something he said he couldn’t take any more time off since he was going with his friends on some fishing trip. I’m getting annoyed because this seems weird, and I don’t think I can do anything about it. I’ve told him that it will be relaxing and I’ll handle the planning, but he seems meh about it. I can’t decide if it’s a money thing or if he’s just not into me. Saying he doesn’t have time off from work seems like a cop out.

-Bowie, MD

I can think of a few reasons why your boyfriend might not be feeling gung ho about going on vacation. Firstly, consider the timing. Taking an extended vacation two months into a relationship is moving fast—about three times faster than the average couple.  I wouldn’t take his slower pace personally; spending all day, every day with someone—even your special someone—for a week or more in the beginning of a relationship can put a lot of pressure on a new couple.

Additionally, the general logistics surrounding an extended vacation make it difficult to give the go ahead. Most work places offer two weeks’ paid vacation. If he needs to travel home for the holidays, he’s going to burn through a lot of it. Other obligations that predated you, such as the fishing trip, will take over the rest. Lastly, vacations are expensive; flights, hotels, and food can add up quickly. He might be on a budget or saving up for something else. Either way, the vacation talk could force a conversation about financials before they’re appropriate to discuss.

To avoid the aforementioned issues, I suggest starting small and removing the pressure.

Here’s what that looks like:

  • I would love to visit [enter destination] with you over the three-day weekend. If you don’t think you can make it, I’ll schedule a ladies’ trip instead.
  • If you’re interested in a mini-road trip, we could leave Saturday morning, see the concert Saturday night, and return Sunday. You’re my first choice, but I can take a friend if you’re not up for it.

Once you’ve extended the invite, stop bringing it up; no one likes to be pushed into things. Having to convince your bf to do fun things with you isn’t going to do much for your self-esteem, and you’ll end up building resentment.

If you’re still hearing excuses after scaling back, you should consider whether or not your boyfriend shares your desire to skip town. He may just be more of a homebody, in which case, you should think about whether or not that personality suits you.

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