Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend, Milestone Edition

Dear Ellyn,

In just two days Bryan and I are leaving on our first couples vacation ever. I mean, we’ve gone away together before, but it’s always with family, so not really romantic and also not really far away. Oh, and not for ten full days. What if I wake up one morning in a panic sick of Bryan and stuck in a foreign country where I don’t speak the language? Any words of wisdom?

Not actually anticipating any problems just trying to be prepared,

Dear Miriam,

My boyfriend’s youngest sister is getting married this weekend. I’m really excited, but a little overwhelmed. I’ve met most of his family separately, but not all together in one room. He’s in the wedding, which means I’ll be fending for myself at least sometimes. I’m just hoping to avoid any awkward questions, such as “So when is the big brother getting hitched? Don’t you guys live together?” And don’t get me started on the “Hava Nagila” portion.

The awkward girlfriend,

Dear Ellyn,

HA! You have to Jew dance! No really I get to make that joke because one, I grew up Orthodox Jewish, and two, I almost dropped my mom hoisting her up on a chair at her wedding.

In all seriousness, are you sure we don’t have some weird karmic umbilical cord secretly tying us together? Because I dealt with this exact same situation last summer. I went with Bryan to his younger brother’s wedding, which was a weekend destination wedding at Lake Tahoe, and I had never met ANY of his family before. Here’s the first thing his mom said to me: “Bryan’s told us so little about you, I have so many questions I want to ask.” Here’s the first thing his brother said to me: “You’re a brave woman.”

But it wound up being a fantastic weekend (we only fought once) because I just decided that you know what, this was great, I was there to have fun with Bryan, and spending time with the family then was actually perfect because the focus wasn’t really on me.

So my advice to you is threefold. First, relax and decide to have a blast, because then you actually will. Remember that the pressure is off, because who are we kidding, you will not be the one wearing white (yet). Two, make nice with the rowdy cousins. They are going to be your saviors when Shaun is off taking wedding photos or you get stuck at the random extra wedding party dates table. Besides, rowdy cousins? They think it’s hot you live together. Nothing more, nothing less. And finally, when she throws the bouquet, get way far out of the way. Wisest decision I ever made.


Dear Miriam,

Funny, because I went on vacation for the first time with Shaun last July, in California. We were with my sister and her boyfriend most of the time so not totally alone or in a foreign country. However, we actually fought way less than normal, because neither of us had anything to stress about in our work lives or with our families. We also didn’t have dishes or a dusty house or laundry, so I didn’t have to nag him constantly. We drove up the California coast, which could’ve been a nightmare since we always fight in the car. But in fact we only got in one squabble, when he wanted to wait two hours to see Hearst Castle, and I wanted to get to Carmel in time for dinner. In reality, that’s a pretty stupid fight, and either of those things would’ve been great (he enjoyed dinner in Carmel, for the record.)

The point is, you’re on vacation. You have nothing to do except have fun. If you feel like you need alone time, or you can’t agree on what to do, it’s okay to split up for an hour. If you find yourself feeling impatient or irritated, remember to enjoy the rare time you actually have together. We all know that even cohabiters have to plan dates so they don’t live around each other and forget to hang out.

Extremely jealous by the way,

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1 Response to Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend, Milestone Edition

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