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How to make a holiday romance work

Siski Green / 29 September 2016

Holiday flings can become lasting relationships if you know what to look out for. Find out how to give a holiday romance the best chance of working.

Couple on holiday
Holiday romances are often doomed to fail, but there are things you can do to increase the chance of it working out

Just 7% of holiday romances continue to become full-blown longer-term relationships, according to research from TripAdvisor, so if you’re one of the 58% of Brits who like the idea of a holiday romance, you might want to know how to avoid becoming one of the 93% of couples who can’t make the distance. Here’s how.

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Take your time

A whirlwind romance can work perfectly as long as you take some time to really get to know each other. That means talking about life at home – not just what you do for a living or where you live, but also how you live your life. If your daily habits are wildly different from each others you may find it more difficult to make the relationship work. So, for example, if you like to spend your weekends browsing old bookshops and market fairs, and you can’t stand the idea of staying in to watch TV or lounge around in bed, it’s useful to know if your new romance feels the same.

Find out how to know if they are The One

Be your true self

The reason holiday romances stand less of a chance than normal romances is because we tend to be so different when we’re on holiday. “It’s easier to be a relaxed fun-loving person when you haven’t got the usual worries on your plate,” says therapist Dr Ian Kerner. “But that can be misleading to someone who falls for you on that basis.” So while it might be impossible to show them the overworked stressed and slightly grumpy person you might be at home, you can tone down the ‘holiday persona’ you may have adopted. If you can’t bear to give up the ‘holiday you’ then at least be honest with them about what you’re usually like (see below).

Be honest

It’s easy to get carried away when you feel free and easy (maybe with one too many drinks inside you!) and the sun is doing a spectacular show of setting over the horizon, but you must try to be honest with yourself and demand honesty from the person you’re with. “Find out what their life goals are, where they seem themselves in a few years time,” suggests Kerner. “This can be a useful way to asses whether they are genuinely serious and also whether your future goals align.”

Assess the practicalities

If one of you lives in Australia and the other in the UK, it’s going to be tougher than if you both live in Europe. But either scenario can be impossible if you don’t have the money to visit each other as you get to know each other more. Think about what you have and whether you’re willing, potentially, to give that up for this person. It may be that you decide you’d like to see each other once a year on holiday rather than trying to make long-term relationship work at home; or you may decide that you’d like to try living somewhere new together. These are all options but you’ll also need to consider your finances, work situation, health and family ties, before you make a decision.

Read our tips for making a long-distance relationship work

Be positive

While the majority of holiday romances don’t work out, nor do normal every-day romances either. “If you take the time to get to know each other and try to think about how life will be once you go home, you have a better chance of staying the distance,” says Kerner. “If you feel strongly about this other person and know that it will take patience and hard work from both of you to make it work, then go for it!”

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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