Do you know how often I see on facebook a declaration of love as an RVing couple celebrates an anniversary? It’s not unusual for RV couples to share how happy they are in their relationship with each other and their lifestyle. These declarations seem honest and sincere. Not just a quick Hallmark Card given on the appropriate occasion. Then there are other times when people post about their concerns about being together all the time. My response is: “RVing can be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship!” I believe it’s one of the most significant opportunities you will ever have to create the relationship of your dreams.
It doesn’t seem like people get it, though. Mostly they comment, “You’d better have a good relationship before embarking on a life on the road.”
Previous to living full-time in an RV, we all lived in homes with plenty of space to avoid a lot of our relationship issues. Space kept us from addressing what kept us from real intimacy with our partner and made it easy for relationship problems to become habits that were never resolved. Couples usually recognize issues but are not sure how to fix them, so little issues grow and become cancerous to the intimacy that caused them to commit to each other in the first place.
Over the last year on my blog, I’ve tried to cover every aspect of the process of creating a robust and satisfying experience with your partner while enjoying travel. I also condensed my best relationship wisdom into a book: RV Harmony – Living and Loving on the Road You thought of everything but your relationship! Everything I’ve ever written has been from the point of view of my own relationship story and the growth Stephen, and I have experienced as a couple because we have used the RVing experience as an opportunity to deepen our bond.
But I still wanted to simplify even more the opportunities that RVing supplies for having a quality relationship. In a nutshell, why do I think RVing can be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship?
Four significant steps come to mind how RVing allows you to put your relationship first:
POSITIVE ISOLATION – Once you’re launched on the road, you notice there are fewer distractions from your primary relationship. You interact with other people on a more limited basis. This isolation is a perfect opportunity to start sharing yourself in new ways with the only person who is available to you for expression and exploration. Often, couples have shared more with their friends or other family members then they have with each other, and this dilutes the intimacy that’s necessary to a vibrant, exciting relationship.
TIME TO PAY ATTENTION – The next step involves having the time to notice how things are right now in your relationship. How much blame and criticism arise in your daily life? Most likely, your initial bond was created upon mutual admiration.
Interestingly, my most read blog post was “Are You Guilty of Pecking?” It’s an easy trap to fall into but is fixable. Begin by asking yourself, “What was it that brought us together in the first place?” Paying attention to the balance of negative and positive actions that arise guides and motivates us to act more deliberately in relationship to our partner.
SHARING LAUGHTER – Once you have taken the first two steps, you begin to notice a change in the atmosphere inside your RV. We lighten our hearts when we relieve ourselves of the heaviness of our emotions. Shared laughter becomes a common occurrence as you and your partner sink into this new experience of the RV lifestyle. Relationships are supposed to be fun and playing and laughing together is a natural extension of your happiness with each other
MOMENTS OF AWE – We’re so lucky as RVers that our chosen lifestyle is filled with new experiences! Nothing is more bonding than sharing a moment of awe with your partner. Sometimes Stephen and I will enjoy a moment like this by just holding hands and staring at a sunset together. We know we’re sharing the same internal experience in silence. Other times we enjoy describing the colors of the shifting patterns of light and how we are responding to them. Either in silence or with thoughtful attempts to describe our feelings, we share ourselves and deepen our intimacy.
I think I’ve finally defined for myself why I believe RVing can be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship. Do you agree? How has RVing changed your relationship for the better?