Pinings — Advice by Sherry Hughes

Vacation, Not!

Dear Pinings,

When my boyfriend and I go on vacation, we always end up fighting. I like to sit by the pool, have some drinks and read a good book. I like exploring a little bit, and I like shopping, but mostly I like to decompress from my very hectic life. He seems to want to carry on with the hectic pace. We just returned from a trip to the ocean and I feel worse than I did before we left.

He sets the alarm to get up early to watch the sunrise and get in a walk on the beach. Heís fine if I want to just sleep, but then he insists that I meet him for breakfast. He sees this as a compromise. The perfect morning for me is to sleep until I wake up and then grab a coffee and bagel on my way to the pool.  He nags me about sightseeing or going hiking or renting scooters to go exploring. I feel so guilty if I say no. He behaves like I am ruining his entire week. He said things last week like ďSo what are you going to do, just sit around all week?Ē Actually, that was what I was hoping to do.

I swear he makes me want to go on vacation alone or with a friend. Iím not a lazy person, and I know what my body and mind need when. If we went to a place like Europe or South America or something, Iíd totally want to explore. But on this vacation, I told him that I just needed some down time.

How do we get through this before we travel again?

- Krista

Dear Krista,

I believe I dated your boyfriend before. Only kidding. Iíve been in relationships where we couldnít seem to get on the same page about activity or lack thereof. Iíve gone so far as spelling the word out and asking what exactly VACATION means. I am content to spend time on the beach, find a good restaurant or two and sleep in. Iím like you, if I went to Europe, Iíd want to soak up all the scenery, culture and tourist hotspots that I could. But Iíd still need to get some rest during that time and to do some reading and relaxing.

What your boyfriend needs to understand is that just because you want to do things differently it doesnít mean you are a bad person or a slug. And you need to be sure that you arenít making him feel badly about his choices of activity either.

You can go every other day if you wantóyou plan the activity one day, he plans it the next. Or you can agree that you want to do different things on vacation and spend your days apart and your evenings together. Find a resort that will cater to both of you; say a spa in the mountains. He can go hiking and you can get massages and facials. Or find a place in the Caribbean with lots of water sports (Club Med is famous for this)óyou can be busy all day or comfy on a lounge chair by the water.

Another consideration is to bring along another couple with similar views. You and a friend can lounge by the pool and your partner and the other friend can go kayaking, exploring or whatever.

The key is to understand that you arenít the same people and of course you have varied interests. It isnít about being right or wrong, itís just about being different. Itís important that everyone feels satisfied at the end of the vacation.

Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Reach her at


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