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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Planning Your First Weekend Break: A Relationship Milestone

So you’ve been seeing someone for a while now. You really like her—you think you could be falling in love—and you want to do something special. Something like sweep her off her feet to a romantic getaway far away from work, family, and all other distractions.

A weekend break might be just the thing you need. A short vacation in a new place is sure to add some extra romance and excitement into your relationship. If you’re looking to plan a first weekend break with your sweetheart, here’s some advice on how to do it.

Be spontaneous. The weekend break is all about romance—and let’s face it, spontaneity is romantic. If you sit down with her months beforehand and plan out every step of your vacation, it might be fun when you get there, but it will hardly give her that secret thrill of being swept off her feet. Instead, look over at her on a Friday and say something like “Let’s go to Paris this weekend.” The idea is to make her feel that when she’s with you, anything might happen.

Plan ahead. Of course, you can’t really be that spontaneous; you’ll probably want to book the room in advance. The key is to make her think you’re being spontaneous. In reality, pick a weekend where you know she doesn’t have any other plans—maybe even make plans to be together all weekend. If there are kids involved, arrange for a babysitter ahead of time. If you’ve taken care of all the details, she’ll have less reason to say no.

Keep it simple. Remember that this break is all about romance—and nothing kills romance like a round of frenzied activity. When planning your weekend getaway, make sure you don’t book yourself solid with activities. Instead, keep a few simple things in mind that you think she’ll like to do—sightseeing, cycling, a picnic lunch—and keep things open. If the two of you opt to stay in your room for most of the weekend, that’s just fine.

Keep her likes and dislikes in mind. If she’s a five-star hotel type, she may not be impressed with the rustic little inn you’ve chosen. But if she loves the countryside, that might be the perfect thing. If she loves the lights of the big city, there’s always London or Paris. But if she loves crumbling castles and romantic, windswept moors, you may want to choose a break that’s far away from the city. Keep her interests, likes, and dislikes in mind when you plan your first break, and pick a place you know she’ll love.

Arrange for a little something extra. Why not tell the hotel staff you’re planning a romantic getaway? They may be able to arrange something special for you: rose petals on the bed, or a complimentary bottle of champagne. If not, bring a few things to set the mood when you get there: a mix of your favorite love songs, a romantic movie to watch, or anything else that will give her a nice surprise.

Foot the bill. Your first weekend break is almost like a long, intimate date. And nothing kills the romance of the date like asking her to split the bill. Instead, take care of everything, and let your first vacation together be a gift from you. She’s sure to feel pampered, loved, and impressed.

Leave work (and kids) at home. Last, it’s very important to pay attention to her on this trip—and not to anything else. So leave your beeper and your BlackBerry at home. If you or she has kids, leave them with a capable sitter and instruct them not to call you unless it’s a dire emergency. Two days isn’t a lot of time to be away, and the world probably won’t fall apart without you. This break should be all about romance, and nothing is more romantic than being in the moment and focused only on your partner.

A weekend break is a great opportunity to forge a stronger bond, spend some romantic time alone together, and sweep your partner off her feet. So plan ahead—but don’t let on. Choose a location you know she’ll love, and don’t overschedule once you get there. And most importantly, leave all distractions at home. Do it right, and your first weekend break may be a memory the two of you will treasure for a long time to come.

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