My partner and I like to travel. We both traveled extensively before meeting each other and are always excited to do it together. My problem is this: He thinks the only legitimate way is to do research and book hotels/experiences. Usually, to avoid an argument, I go with the flow and let him do all the planning and arranging. To be fair, he listens to my opinion, however, if I suggest something else, he usually brushes it off.
We are struggling now because I am starting to feel left out and left out. He wants to be in charge, but complains that he “has to do all the planning.” How do you think we can work this out, plan and work together without getting mad at how the other person is doing the “research”?
Eleanor says: For some, knowing more than others is a way of proving superiority. This is an odd case, because whether you know more than others or whether you say what you know correctly is often a matter of luck. Likewise, for some, knowing the right way to do things can become a real source of pride. It may appear (to them) to show good things about them; They are delicious, intelligent and conscientious.
In fact they could be right – it can be a blessing to have someone at home who can make sure you don’t get ripped off by a tour company or book something better. There is a danger when knowing more becomes better knowledge; Knowledge isn’t something you’re excited to share and grow together, but something one of you has that the other doesn’t. Knowledge will begin to feel zero sum in the relationship, indicating that he has little chance of you having some.
I think the challenge is to get back to the idea that planning and organizing is something you can both share. How can this be co-opted again?
Whether it’s really a matter of him not wanting your “research” or just him not wanting to do what you want him to do is something that needs to be clarified. If you like group tours and he hates them, or one of you likes restaurants and other street food, there’s no need to pretend it’s a scheduling problem or that someone got it wrong. You can allocate time for different activities during your holidays. Expect two separate people to get together indefinitely: Some days it can be healthy (and fun!) to do separate things. That way you don’t always have to plan joint activities together, and it can be an inevitable proof that you can plan while you enjoy your own work.
Another strategy might be to tell lots of stories from your time traveling alone. How did you solve problems, anticipate problems, and have a good time even when things went wrong? It’s dangerous for people to project an image onto you and start seeing it as if it’s real: you can remind him that you had a lot planned on your own before he started thinking you couldn’t.
Worse is worse, if you want someone to know something, there’s always the option of telling him: You can say: “I’ve really traveled a lot, and it slows me down when you think I don’t know how to do things. Plan things. What you think I don’t quite understand.” Can you tell me?” If he’s a good enough sport, you can make fun of it—plan yourself a day and laugh at how wrong (by his standards) it can go.
It’s an exhilarating feeling to spend your limited vacation time and money in a disappointing way. But you know that too. If planning and knowing start to feel like skills that only one of you has, you’ll both resent it. Each of you must be determined to prove that thought wrong.
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