Close your eyes and think of the word “vacation”. You may imagine a sandy beach, mountains as far as the eye can see or a sunset. Now keep your eyes closed and look to your right then to your left. Is there someone by your side? Your lover? A friend ? Person ? If your answer is the last and yet you are in a relationship, you are not a special case. Going away with your partner has long been obvious, but more and more couples are deciding to take advantage of their holidays alone.
“For half a century, we have been living in a society that is increasingly centered on the individual,” says sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann. We don’t want to sacrifice our personal autonomy on behalf of the couple. The number of meals taken alone or with others is constantly increasing, we are more frequently doing separate screens, separate bedrooms, even separate accommodations. So it only makes sense that the holidays are affected by this trend. »
Different schedules and desires
A trend that can be explained by multiple factors. First of all, practical questions can prevent the two members of the couple from enjoying their vacation together. Tiffany, 33, has two children with her partner. Apart from the summer, their holidays never fall at the same time. “The one who is on vacation at the same time as the children goes with them to the grandparents and the other takes the opportunity to rest at home without anyone. »
An incompatible schedule but also divergent desires. Pascale is 60 years old and does not share the same tastes as her spouse. “He’s more sea and beach, I’m mountains and adventures. Even if we have the same holiday dates, we sometimes go our separate ways. Catherine’s spouse, 53, does not like to go in July and August because of the influx of tourists. She therefore leaves alone with their 19-year-old daughter. “Now that she is a student, I see her less. So I can take advantage of her during these moments and we have a very good holiday. »
Some, like Carole, go even further. At 52, she has shared the life of a lazy man for more than twenty-five years. Twenty-five years that she leaves alone. “He is delighted to not have to leave the comfort of home, while I take full advantage of the discoveries of my travels, without anyone dragging their feet. »
Explain your need
A give-and-take solution… under certain conditions. “The first is that the relationship of mutual trust within the couple should be serene and total,” considers sociologist Jean-Claude Kaufmann. And to achieve this, nothing better than dialogue. “The important thing is to communicate, to explain your own need to leave alone, the interest for yourself but also for the couple, explains Stéphanie Almon, psychotherapist. The idea is also to make sure it suits the other. »
A discussion that is more or less easy to initiate depending on the type of relationship, especially when it presents a certain imbalance. “There are more or less secure forms of attachment,” analyzes the therapist. When a person is emotionally dependent, they may feel that the other is escaping them. This does not mean that you should not go alone, but it is less simple. »
Second condition for a serene solo vacation: “In the rest of your life, when you find yourself again with your partner, the commitment must be complete, the presence strong and the attention sustained, says Jean-Claude Kaufman. If after a sequence alone we become a kind of inexpressive ghost in the moments together, the gap risks widening inexorably and the solo vacation triggers a break. »
In the case of a couple who is just floundering, is going solo a good idea? This is the choice made by Sébastien, 51 years old. “After a catastrophic winter sports holiday during which my partner was in an extremely unpleasant mood throughout the stay, I decided to leave alone this summer. A week away from it all. It was very good. For the psychotherapist, this solo parenthesis can then allow her to take stock of her couple and come back with proposals.
Because when you meet these two conditions (and your couple is doing well), going away from your other half can have many benefits. David, 50, travels without his new partner because their respective children have different desires. If these moments far from each other are “frustrating”, he believes that “this distance can be beneficial because it makes it possible to generate the lack and to better [se] find “.
Feed the couple and take time for yourself
Sharing one’s adventures can also bond the couple. Pascale, who has traveled a lot and does not necessarily want to return to a place she already knows, encourages her partner to discover them alone. “On our return, we exchange our points of view on the country or region in question. According to the psychotherapist, this type of relationship works because “they will each have experienced things that correspond to them and by discussing them, this will nourish the couple. »
Feed the couple, but also feed yourself. Catherine regularly spends a few days alone in the thalassotherapy spa. “The first time it made me weird but now I love it. It became my moment. Stéphanie Almon confirms this: “Taking time just for yourself and breathing space can be very life-saving. Because feeling good about yourself helps you feel good about yourself as a couple.
A proof of love
“You have to love yourself enough to understand the other and offer him something that will be good for him or her,” considers the psychotherapist. If it’s also good for you of course. A vision shared by Carole. “Naturally enough I would prefer my husband to accompany me on vacation. But why force him on a trip he doesn’t want to do, when he agrees on his side to leave me free to go wherever I want? I am finally grateful to him for not blocking me in my desires elsewhere. “Like what, a vacation far from the other can be, despite popular belief, a beautiful proof of love.