Living in an RV – What does it mean to negotiate?

How to Negotiate With Your Partner

We thoroughly enjoy living in an RV, but we seem to be on a button called repeat. I’m head strong, and Stephen has always been agreeable. Due to our desire to increase our level of joy, in recent years I‘ve encouraged him to be more participatory in our decision making.

So, this video is just another episode in how that’s going! There are so many ways that I have to change as he changes. We are still dancing, but the tune is different. We are both better for it, but many times we are groping in the dark figuring out what the steps to this dance are.

What does negotiation mean? “When two people want different things and wish to reach an agreement.”

Watch as I admit to demanding we do it my way. Honestly, I didn’t even hear myself do it until Stephen called my attention to my words.  I was acting from my fear and, of course, that never goes well!

In this video, we share our negotiation after the confrontation so we may heal the rift created. We also share several fun moments of our adventures in Nova Scotia!



Because we wish to reach an agreement, each of us struggles to remain flexible in our stance. We must know ourselves well enough to have a point of view and be able to express it. That’s the easy part.

After editing this video, I did some noodling around to see what others say about negotiating with our partners. Here I am shamelessly borrowing from another blogger, and I strongly urge you to click through and read their whole post.

I was pleased we’d stumbled on a lot of these points ourselves. I’m enamored with their way of expressing them. Read more about their striving for harmony through negotiation here.

How to Negotiate In Our Intimate Relationships

Listen – First of all, don’t wait for your turn to talk or think about what you’re going to say when your partner shuts up. Listening means being with him or her with your whole self – taking in their body language, the tone of voice as well as their words. AND deliberately stretching to empathize with their point of view. Feeling what it’s like to be them. Very tall order and such an important element in a successful negotiation.

Remember you are on the same team – It’s automatic in negotiation to slip into an adversarial position. That’s why it’s so hard! But since we enjoy living in an RV, it’s never been clearer since going full-time, how much of my happiness is dependent on the degree to which Stephen is happy.

Use a number scale – Remember Stephen’s idea of giving our vote a number? Negotiations are perfect times for utilizing this technique. How strongly one of us feels about an outcome is enormously helpful! Read and watch this post again where Stephen explains the system he came up with in the video.

Be a big girl and a big boy – Stand up for yourself but don’t trample on your partner. Gotta say though, this is my Achilles heel. As a result, it seems like I’m always stretching for that middle ground. How about you?

First be an island then be a peninsula – I love this visual! First talk about what you would want if you were an island. Then, say what you hear your partner wanting and how it affects your preferences. Doesn’t this sound easy enough?

It’s so easy for some people (namely my husband) to get lost in wanting to please their partner. A beautiful idea but it doesn’t lead to more intimacy. The boundaries are out too far. They don’t know how to be an island unto themselves. Fortunately, we are all always learning, and that is exactly why we negotiate.

What Are You Choosing?

In conclusion, there is much wisdom in these points. And, I can attest to their power when applied in intense moments (or sometimes after the fact. ) Out of nowhere, some small thing can cause a collision of egos while RV living. Those moments and how we negotiate them truly make the difference between a harmonious shared day of discovery and adventure as we travel down the road. Or, the flip side, a day full of tension and strife. The choice is always ours.

What kind of day are you choosing? I’d love to hear how you and your partnership navigate the potholes in your road.

Here’s a map of where we are now.


We’ve already had many adventures here in Nova Scotia. We are currently boondocking with a couple who live off the grid, and I can’t wait to share the next video showing some of their life here on the coast of Nova Scotia!

Be sure and subscribe to my blog and my youtube channel if you haven’t already to learn along with us how to make life on the road even better than you imagined it could be.

Full-time RV Living – Disharmony creates Harmony!

Full-time RV Living Creates Disharmony!

Stephen recently said to me, after looking back at my blog posts, “you’re always writing about our disagreements.” Heck yeah!  When you are full-time RV living a lot is going on.

I want my partner and me to reveal ourselves so that we can tune-up. That’s the way to harmony. I’m curious. Do you fight? Do you allow disharmony to bring you and your partner together?

We must tell the truth to each other to find each other. Full-time RV living is an excellent opportunity to not settle for the status quo of your relationship. Here you are, the two of you, having the adventure of your life with very little distracting you from the emotional intimacy achieved by encountering each other. Is the relationship you have the one that you desire?

Roughly half of all marriages fail altogether, and of those marriages left standing, how many are fulfilling?

How many great relationships do you see around you?

I have never understood why fighting/friction in an intimate relationship is considered a bad thing. When we were raising children, I remember them getting very uncomfortable when we would be openly working out our differences. We were never disrespectful or mean, but we did handle whatever came up at the time. We were always willing to go through the disharmony to get back to harmony. I remember thinking when the children were small that we were modeling good relationship skills. That’s not quite the way they remember things!

Chaos is, quite frankly, the natural order of things.

I’m not good at pretending everything is okay. I want to search for that place of authenticity when the connection breaks. Many people will turn themselves into a pretzel of people pleasing behaviors to maintain a semblance of harmony. Because we have such a strong need for harmony, this is understandable. But, there is another way.

Recently I noticed how the numerous decision-making points that come up with life on the road were beginning to exhaust me. Furthermore, I realized that our life pattern of Stephen deferring to my preferences was a burden I wanted to put down. In this video, we discover a new way to be on this issue.

Full-time RV Living – disharmony to harmony


Couples get stuck in disharmony and tolerate a low-grade intimacy – afraid to recognize the state of their relationship. They cover up their feelings so things “look good” on the outside. Relationships are living, breathing things that are supposed to evolve and grow. How do we do this except to engage with each other?

The universe is in constant battle with the forces of harmony and disharmony.  I explored another aspect of this force in a post called Resetting your Relationship.  Go here to read more.

So now, in conclusion, we arrive at the crux of the matter. The tension between these two forces is where creativity is born. Something new comes out of our willingness to engage. Read more here.

In addition, as I describe this experience of being uncomfortable and letting harmony organically happen through the process, I realize this is the same process I use as an artist! Think about it. Harmony interacting with disharmony is there in all our music and the visual arts. Ah, the great cacophony of life!  I’d love to hear how you are changing your relationship with you partner now that you are Full-time RVers.

Our Journey Continues

This is how far we’ve come since July 6.  Unfortunately, we already feel fall in the air here in Canada so we’ve stepped up our pace through the small towns and forests leading to more driving days.  We expect to be in Nova Scotia by the middle of August and stay about a month.  LOVE Canada!  To be continued…