We’ve all been there… you’re both running on empty, looking forward to your summer break, just the two of you in the Tuscan countryside, no distractions, just you.
But then you argue when you can’t find the villa. He keeps falling asleep, while you want to stay up and chat. And you want to just lounge by the pool while he’s urging you to go hiking and explore. Suddenly, the prospect of spending uninterrupted days – and nights – together begins to make you feel uncomfortable, and you start to envy the new couple at the table opposite over dinner, who seem so happy.
You're not wholeheartedly enjoying your well-deserved time together. So, what can you do to make sure you enjoy your romantic holiday? Dr Annie Kaszina, author of Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband? (Powerhouse Publishing, £14.99), gives her tips on making sure your holiday is a success…
Don't make such a big deal of it. The fact that you're together now means you have a shared experience of enjoying time spent together in the past. This means you actually do know how to do it. It's just a question of getting back to the things that work for you as a couple.
Turn off the technology. Smartphones, tablets and laptops are great tools for avoiding intimacy and connection. Take a holiday from them as much as possible. "I wish I'd spent more time on social media and less on my partner" is a regret you will never have!
Stop taking your partner for granted. You've changed, grown and evolved over time. So have they. Get curious about them. Ask them the kind of questions you might like them to ask about you, the ones that suggest you really want to hear what they have to say. Open your ears – and your mind and heart – too.
Smile more. Be sure to smile when you look at your partner and talk to them. This is a powerful way of creating connection, and one that can easily get lost when familiarity, stress and busyness kick in.
Get playful. Busy lives tend to be serious, 'grown-up' lives. The fact is adults, as much as children, thrive on fun and playfulness. Find ways of interacting playfully. Before you leave the country, visualise yourself leaving your cares and worries when you drop off your luggage. Play at communicating with your partner non-verbally, using only grunts and gestures. It may sound silly, but it will open new pathways of connection.
Play the appreciation game. Play a game with yourself for a couple of hours a day: only say good, positive, supportive things. Actively look for the things about your partner that you genuinely appreciate and be sure to share them. Don't worry if this sounds odd to you at first. If your partner looks at you in surprise, that's not a reason to stop. It's actually a reason to continue.
Try communicating affection differently. Make a point of holding hands, or cuddling when you talk to your partner. That physical connection helps create more emotional intimacy.
Make love. Remember sex is a great tool for creating intimacy, but don't use it as a substitute for intimacy. Think of it as a celebration – a physical, emotional and spiritual celebration – of your partner, yourself, and life.
Dr Annie Kaszina teaches women the simple steps to more loving, harmonious relationships with a partner. To download a free chapter of Annie's book, 'Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?' go to www.ChooseYourMan.com/chap