My boyfriend and I have have been long-distance for most of our three-year relationship. My job is in a pretty remote area so we tend to go at least six weeks between weekend visits. In a few months, I will be starting a graduate program close to home (though not close enough for us to share an apartment) and it feels like a much-needed fresh start. I have a few weeks off between ending my job and starting the program and hoped that we could take a vacation together, just the two of us, to enjoy each other's company and celebrate the transition from a long-distance relationship to a "short-distance" one. The problem is that just before I come home, he's taking a 10-day trip with his friend and won't have any vacation time left to spend with me once I get there. He's even asked that we drive my car home in as few days as possible so he won't have to take extra time off work to help me move.
I have two problems with this that I can't shake: (1) that him taking this trip so close to my return home means he'll have no free time for the two of us to get away and (2) that he's choosing to have an amazing new experience (in a place neither of us have been) with his friend instead of me. He recently took his parents to Europe and invited me along; it was a lot of fun but didn't feature the one-on-one time that his friend is getting and I'm craving. I know he loves traveling and I appreciate that, but he goes on a major trip with his friend every year and I'm feeling left out. I find it hard to relate because there's no one in the world I would want to spend 10-days with one-on-one besides him. When I tried to voice my concerns, he responded with a question: "Is my traveling with friends going to be a problem?" The answer at large is no, but the timing is all wrong in this case. How can I talk to him about this without sounding like I want to shut down his travels all together? And, perhaps more importantly, am I overreacting?
I just returned from a seven-day trip with a friend. We went to Scotland and Ireland and saw old castles and donkeys. We managed to walk nine miles to get to Lisdoonvarna, a small Irish town known for its matchmaking festival. It was an incredible trip.
My friend could have taken that journey with her husband. He would have made an excellent traveling companion. But this friend is the kind of person who likes to have some experience alone or with friends. Lots of people feel this way. It's OK if you don't, but you must get used to the fact that you're with the kind of partner who might share some of his most important moments with people who are not you. If you can't accept this about him, it isn't a good match. He asked the right question; please give him an honest answer.
The timing of all of this is something else. It would have been nice for him to take a last-minute trip with you, for sure. But one of the great things about you coming home is that it will be easier to see you more often. It will make things seem far less urgent, and maybe that's why he felt good about going away – because you'll no longer have to plan your lives around one precious weekend.
I don't know what you win by continuing to fight about this specific trip. It might be better to talk about how you'll celebrate this move after you arrive. Maybe plan one romantic night and build from there.