Holidays are a great way for families and friendship groups to spend quality time together away from the busyness of day-to-day life. Enjoying a getaway in a tranquil setting is especially beneficial for couples in need of a romantic change of scenery!
If you’re in a relationship, you’ll know that being in and out of lockdown made it nearly impossible to keep romance alive, whether you were forced to spend every waking moment with your partner or only communicate through awkward Zoom calls.
Following the strain that lockdown had on relationships, Burton Constable Holiday Park researched why romance can fizzle and whether holidays could help couples reignite it now that life has returned to a form of normality.
In a recent survey, we discovered that over a fifth of respondents’ relationships had lost their spark, with the top cause being a lack of physical affection. Others blamed not going on enough dates, a shortage of communication, and not having much one-on-one time.
It’s normal to face lulls of romance in a long-term relationship, once the mystery and excitement from the honeymoon period ends, but you can reignite the spark with time and effort, even if you haven’t experienced it for a long time.
We spoke to relationship expert Hayley Quinn to find out how couples can revive the romance, and one key suggestion was with a trip. Hayley advised couples to take quarterly holidays together and discussed the benefits breaks can have on relationships.
Whether you and your loved one prefer staying active in nature or relaxing in the autumn sunshine, continue reading to find out how to get your spark back with a holiday.
How can a holiday reignite romance?
If you’ve spent the last year and a half confined to your home with your partner, a couples holiday may be the last thing on your mind! However, even if you’ve been physically around each other, it doesn’t mean you’ve been emotionally present. Lounging on the sofa watching Netflix is significantly different to spending ‘quality time’ together.
Relationship expert Hayley Quinn said: “In an ideal world, it would be fantastic for couples to have a quarterly top-up of romance with a holiday. It gives you something to look forward to and enhances motivation in relationships. If this isn’t realistic because of time, budget, or child care, an annual or bi-annual trip is still beneficial.”
The survey found that struggling to have enough alone time together was the biggest problem among 35-44-year-olds, who may be balancing busy schedules of parenting and working.
Hayley Quinn added: “Doing something one-on-one is really important. If you’ve been together for a long time or have a family, you may have orientated your holidays around your children or visiting relatives in recent years.
“Many people work really long hours too and have mobile phone devices which allow us to stay connected to our jobs even when we aren’t in the office.
“Having time away, a break from routine, and the ability to make new memories together, particularly if it’s in a tranquil and relaxing setting where you aren’t tied to technology, is a great way to reset the relationship.”
What type of holiday is most beneficial?
To get the most out of your romantic getaway, look for holidays that encourage you and your partner to relax and engage in meaningful conversations. Wining and dining in exotic locations may sound appealing but it might take the focus away from reconnecting.
Jack Straker, the grandson of the Burton Constable Holiday Park founder, said: “A couple of years ago, we asked holidaymakers what they valued most, and the answer was simple: the peace and quiet of a rural retreat. It provides the genuine downtime that can be missing from an activity-packed city break or adventure holiday.
“After spending most of last year cooped up in the same place with a never-ending stream of video calls and messages, many of us could benefit from an escape to the country for a digital detox and distraction from day-to-day life.
“Not having to worry about Covid travel restrictions with a staycation and having the beauty and space of the countryside at your disposal allows you to destress and relax.
“Whether your poison is long cycle rides along the coast or ambling woodland walks, you can bring yourself and your loved ones ‘back to nature’ at your own pace.”
Although summer might be the more obvious time of year to jet off with your significant other, there are plenty of opportunities for romance in the colder months as the leaves change colour.
Hayley Quinn added: “Autumn is a romantic time of year for a couple’s holiday. The seasons are changing, and kids are back in school, making this time ideal for a minibreak. Think of nice long walks in the autumn leaves, curling up next to a fire and finally having the time and space to connect.”
How to defuse arguments on holiday
One of the biggest benefits of getting away is that you can leave any stress behind, and focus on your favourite things to do together! Most couples often have a sore point that agitates one person and leads to an argument, whether it’s about chores, relatives, or differing views. A romantic trip gives you the chance to communicate positively, without dwelling on these topics.
Hayley Quinn said: “Long-term couples start to operate like a small business, especially if you have children, so a ban on administrative topics of conversation allows you to focus on having fun together.
“Money can be one of the biggest points of tension in long-term relationships, so try to get on the same page for the budget before you leave.
“Try to establish an open-minded attitude too. For example, if one partner is really into outdoor activities and the other is more of a house cat, it’s about saying yes and trying something new.
Putting pressure on the holiday to be a romantic fantasy will likely lead to disappointment and arguments. In contrast, don’t start the trip assuming it’ll be a disaster either and try to approach it without any expectations.
Hayley Quinn continued: “Focus on being present and paying attention to your partner, without the expectation that the holiday has to be a certain way. Just think of it as a great chance for you to spend some time together.”
Why does romance fade, and what does it mean?
The honeymoon period can’t last forever but losing it simply means you’re moving to the next stage of your relationship. It’s a natural part of evolving into a healthy and dependable partnership.
While it’s normal for romance to ebb and flow in long-term relationships, you have to keep working at it to avoid it disappearing altogether.
Hayley concludes: “We associate romance with the early stages of dating someone, but courtship isn’t just for forming those early memories. It’s something you have to keep returning to throughout the relationship.
“I don’t think many couples put the time and effort into reigniting romance, which isn’t a criticism; it’s difficult when you have to deal with life admin. Spending time to create romance easily falls to the bottom of the pile.
“If you become so used to having your partner around, especially after lockdown, you may stop seeing them in the same way you did when you first started dating them.”
Lockdown disrupted most couples, but you can reinvest in your relationship now that restrictions have been lifted and have fun together.
Taking a break from your day-to-day life to spend quality time with your partner in a relaxing environment can remind you of the attraction you have for each other. It can also give you the chance to discuss your relationship openly so you can continue to rebuild the romance when you return home.