Monday, March 28, 2011.....
When I have traveled with people, other than family or significant others, I've noticed I take on a somewhat polite demeanor when arriving at a final destination about what I want to do. I think it's because I want to go with the flow while on vacation and also don't want to be the alpha dog always making the decisions for all parties concerned. I can tell you from personal experience this happened to me and was annoying because I was always second guessing if this person was really having a good time or not. In this case, the person was unhappy due to circumstances having nothing to do with me prior to stepping on our airplane, making them unavailable to make any type of travel decision.
From this experience, I adopted the cardinal rule of traveling: each person traveling has to pick 3 things they want to do prior to the destination. It's agreed that all traveling parties recognize and respect the desire of the other party(ies) and, if able, all parties partake in the entire 'must-do' list. Sometimes, lists overlap one another, sometimes it doesn't. My cardinal rule of traveling also allows for alone time so people aren't on top of one another 24/7. This allows for an independent visit to a museum or additional time on the beach, but it is critical to have this built in to the schedule.
This past weekend I applied this to my marriage. On Thursday, I asked hubby what 3 things would he like to do with me over the weekend. At first, this stumped him, but when I shared my list with him (cleaning front yard, walking at a local state park and cooking one of his meals together this week) he understood the question better and agreed with all my suggestions. However, I could see he was just being agreeable and told him to think of 3 things he wanted us to do and because I had already selected 3 things, he could have 3 independent things. He thought about it and chose 2 of my selections and added making granola bars together. As the planner in our family, I explained to him that whatever he wanted to do required him to ensure we had everything needed to do the project together (in this case, the ingredients).
I'm a big believer in doing things together, but I also believe one shouldn't be attached at the hip 24/7. This gives us a way to come together and enjoy the company of one another, but also allows time to read or meditate (okay, that's what I like to do).
Do you believe in spending 24/7 of your free time with your significant other or do you need some breathing room? Just curious.