We’ve never taken a vacation together

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My boyfriend and I are both late 20s and have been together for three years. We have such a lovely relationship and he's a great man. I am so in love with him and he makes me feel loved and safe. The one thing I find myself nagging him about is the lack of effort he puts into planning dates. We have been on three dates this year, all planned by me. When I bring it up, he will always plan the next date, which is usually just a drink in the pub, but then he won't plan anything again until I nag again. I'm only asking for a date every couple of months, just something to look forward to. We both have money so that's not an issue. He books one, I book one – fair, surely? He has plenty of things booked with his friends next year including three trips to different cities around the UK – and the trip that has prompted me to write this letter. A specific skiing trip.

In the three years we have been together, we have never been on holiday. I have mentioned multiple times how I would love to go abroad and have told him he needs to do the research, then I will plan it 50/50. But no effort has been made by him to start looking for where we should go. His skiing trip is with new friends he met at Glastonbury Festival and an old friend who I've met a few times. He told me it was just the lads. He posted a picture on Instagram with just the lads, however his friend posted one that showed their girlfriends were there too. I feel so rejected. I am the only one not there. Plus, he has lied to me by saying it was just the lads going. But what logical reason can he give me for not inviting me? We don't live together and only spend about three days a week together. I can't see him needing time away from me. I haven't been out with him and his friends since New Year's, so it's not like he hasn't had time alone with his friends.

It's only making me think the worst. Does he think I'm boring and would ruin his holiday? Is he embarrassed by me? If the other girlfriends have been invited, why haven’t I? To make it worse, I have always told him my dream holiday is skiing! I have a skiing certificate from a ski center here in the UK so would love to try out my skills, which he knows. Please help me, Meredith.

– Holiday


There are two issues here. Let's not conflate them.

The first is the planning thing. Some people are just bad at planning and don't like doing it. Sure, your boyfriend has a bunch of plans with friends, but it's possible those pals told him where they'd be going and what they'd be doing, and all he did was nod approvingly and hand them money. Maybe he's good at showing up if someone else organizes the details.

Can you live with that? Can you stay in this relationship if you have to plan everything? If he's thrilled to engage when you come up with an itinerary, that makes things a little easier. Sometimes one person in a couple is better at ideas and logistics, while the other brings a different set of skills to the table (being fun, staying cool under pressure, navigation, etc.).

The second issue is this ski trip and why you weren't included. Maybe he didn't realize the other girlfriends would be there. Perhaps, despite loving you, he wanted time to travel with these new friends on his own.

Talk to him about this – and what it felt like to see the other picture. Tell him you'd rather hear honesty than excuses meant to make the conversation go away. If you get the sense he doesn't want to take vacations with you at all, it's possible this is a deal-breaker. But hear him out. Only he knows what happened with the ski trip.

Try to see things as they are and keep the issues separate as you make decisions about the relationship. He's never going become an expert date planner, but if he wants to do great things with you, that's something. Find out if he does – and how he sees it.

– Meredith

Readers? Are they incompatible? What questions should the LW be asking?