If a loved one is about to celebrate a special birthday this year (or you’re hoping to surprise your significant other for Valentines Day), you may have been surfing the web or visiting your local stores, keen to find the perfect item. What if, instead of giving a physical thing, you gave them an experience? A University of Toronto study found that an experience – such as a trip – can build stronger relationships than material items because they are more socially connecting and tend to be more emotive, said lead researcher, Cindy Chan.
Will Your Partner Actually Enjoy a Holiday?
While film and TV portray a surprise lunch in Paris for the day or a gondola ride in Venice as the ultimate dream date, they aren’t necessarily for everyone. The best-selling book Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman highlights the important fact that everyone has their own way of giving and receiving love. Chapman states that these five ‘languages’ are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. For someone who prefers quality time or receiving gifts, an experiential holiday may just hit the spot. For those who are not quite as much into adventure or leaving the comforts of home, however, something closer to home might do the trick.
Not All Holidays are Alike
If you have decided that a holiday is a perfect gift for the apple of your eye, bear in mind that not all holidays will have the same effect. If passion is the quality you are looking to fuel in your relationship, make sure to take part in new, adventurous activities. One study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that “engaging in novel activities with a long-term romantic partner can reignite feelings of passion felt in the early stages of a relationship.” Doing something a bit out of the ordinary with your loved one while on vacation, state scientists, will not only ignite our passion but also increase satisfaction!
Novel Activities You Can Take Part In
There is no single definition of a ‘new and adventurous’ activity but it can involve everything from parasailing right through to canyoning, climbing, or even riding a speedboat. If you have kids, don’t feel like you have to leave them at home. The experience will go more smoothly if you prepare beforehand. To reduce the chance of motion sickness, for instance, make sure the sea isn’t choppy if you are taking a boat ride. Reduce extraneous sensory inputs during travel by air or car. Finally, if your children are scared of boat rides or have strong motion sickness, consider heading for a spot with dedicated, supervised activities for children as well as adults!
Set the Mood During Your Holiday
Making a holiday romantic involves setting the right mood – as per a study in The Journal of Sex Research. You might order breakfast in bed, set up a romantic dinner on your hotel terrace, or wear something extra special at night time. The researchers said that while it is true that passion and sexual satisfaction can diminish in longer-term relationships, this does not have to be the case.
Partners who communicate and take part in new and adventurous activities during their holiday are likely to enjoy a more passionate one. If you are giving your spouse a holiday as a gift, make sure the experience has all the elements you need to make it unforgettable. Plan exciting things but also ensure that when you get back to the resort, the mood is just right for a fun and passionate night.