My Partner Likes to Camp, and I Like Hotels. What Should We Do?

by Jon Spayde

In any relationship, says a couples’ mediator, it’s important to celebrate differences and find common ground.

First, celebrate your differences, says Laurie Puhn, JD, a couples’ mediator and authority on conflict resolution. “It’s your differences that make life interesting,” she points out. “Who wants to be partnered with him or herself?”

Then explore how much your vacation styles really differ. Ask each other what you love about your favorite vacation modes and examine what you learn: What are the interests you have in common? Which ones are most significant? Which are optional, more or less, and which ones can you share?

“Maybe, for your partner, the biggest element in camping is being outdoors, or stargazing, and sleeping in a tent isn’t the No. 1 attraction,” she suggests. If that’s the case, “you can stay at a motel near a park, and go kayaking, and hike at dusk.”

If it really is overnight camping that’s important and you would sooner sleep in an actively haunted house than in a tent, get curious. Ask your partner about his or her passion for tent sleeping — he or she might just share some precious vacation memories, allowing you to discover new aspects of the person you love.

“You might be moved by what you learn,” Puhn says. You could then decide that sleeping in a tent means so much to your partner that you can offer it “as a gift.”

What if, after deep discussion, you agree that separate vacations sound the most relaxing? Puhn is supportive, so long as it’s not a matter of escaping your relationship.

“Four days in a nice hotel with a couple of your friends is great, as long as you are also having important alone time with your partner,” she says. “You should find an opportunity to look each other in the eye and say, ‘OK, how can we truly and deeply connect with each other if we can’t go away together?’”

This originally appeared in the June 2018 print issue of Experience Life.

Related at Care2

Image via Thinkstock.


Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thank you for sharing.

Sonia M

Compromise or take turns.Interesting post,thanks for sharing

David C
David C6 months ago

take turns, or find somewhere with hotels (or could you do a nice cabin?) and camping close together????.

Marija M
Marija M6 months ago

Take turns...or allow him to camp and you choose a hotel nearby...

silja s
silja s6 months ago

marriage is about compromise... switch up yearly

hELEN h6 months ago


Clare O
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

Go with your budget and what is environmentally friendly,.

Clare O
Clare O'Beara6 months ago

Compromise or take turns.

Camilla V
Camilla Vaga6 months ago


JoAnn Paris
JoAnn Paris6 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.