My boyfriend is a dairy farmer and we’ve been going out for a good number of years now. Things are in general very good between us and I feel that we’ve got a solid relationship.
However, there’s one issue that constantly crops up between us, and that’s his unwillingness to go on holidays!
To be fair, we see each other a good bit and he’s great to make time to do things at the weekend, but he never wants to go away with me.
At this stage I get that he’s just a total home bird
In all the years we’ve been going out we’ve only been on a handful of trips around Ireland and never abroad.
At this stage I get that he’s just a total home bird. I know he doesn’t like being away from home for too long and I understand the farm is a part of that, but still, I find it hard to take that we can’t go away like other couples.
Now the cows are nearly dried-off, he’s decided the COVID case numbers are too high
Obviously with COVID, going away wasn’t an option for a bit, but with travel back on the cards he promised me we’d go on a city break in Europe when the cows were dried-off. Now the cows are nearly dried-off, he’s decided the COVID case numbers are too high.
To be honest, I don’t buy this, Miriam. The COVID case numbers are never too high for going to the pub at the weekend!
He has help on the farm so he should be able to go away. I really want to have this out with him, but I feel like if I do I’ll come across as being insensitive, because COVID is actually really prevalent at the moment.
Have you got any advice?
Girlfriend Gone Mad
Dear Girlfriend Gone Mad,
Thank you very much for your email.
Firstly, it is great to hear you and your boyfriend have a good relationship. From a good base you can overcome anything. So try not to be too disparaging about this situation. A few simple steps can help.
The best way to avoid a row, I feel, is to bring it up at a time with you are both calm and collected
Again, and I know people may be sick to the teeth of hearing this from me, but you have to talk to each other about this. What you have outlined in your email to me, communicate that to your boyfriend.
The best way to avoid a row, I feel, is to bring it up at a time with you are both calm and collected. Start by saying that you are disappointed he has reneged on your trip. Then address the COVID-19 issue, but do not accuse him of anything. Stay non-confrontational.
Just say if COVID-19 is an issue, that is OK, maybe you could go for a break away in Ireland instead; but you both do need to be realistic and weigh up the risk of your behaviour at home versus that of going abroad. Pose the question: is there any more of risk than what you are already doing?
The final – and probably most important thing to discuss – is how you are going to manage these situations going forward. Tell him that you would like if you can get away together during his quite time of year and ask is this possible from his point of view. Say that you understand his workload on the farm, but with advance planning this would be achievable.
The most important thing to get across is how much this means to you
I know that all might sound very formal, so make your own of it. The most important thing to get across is how much this means to you. Then, be prepared to compromise. Can you settle for a staycation this year and plan a trip away next year? Meeting in the middle, after all, is what these things are all about.
Also, to finish, don’t be afraid to plan a few trips away yourself, if you so wish. There is nothing wrong with you heading away by yourself or with friends.
Wishing you all the best,