Ask Wendy

My Boyfriend Doesn’t Want to Travel, Deal-Breaker?

Friday, November 22, 2019
Hey Wendy,

I love to travel, it’s sort of my thing. I’ve traveled to many places both solo and with friends. And I’ve been wanting to travel with a significant other for a long time. My boyfriend of two years is in a different place than I am financially. He promised me he’d get his passport but he never did. Finally, he confessed that traveling was not a priority because of his debt. I wouldn’t mind paying for a trip or two but with his debt I would have to pay for all the traveling for years. I almost feel like this is a deal-breaker for me because it makes me feel like our lifestyles are not compatible. What do you think?

Danna A.

Hey Danna,

Wow, tragic! Okay girlfriend, are you ready for my answer? You get to decide if this is a deal-breaker or not. It might be—or it might be that everything else he provides in the “boyfriend” package makes the tradeoff of not traveling with him worth it. You’re the only one who gets to make the call on this one.

When you’re considering what to do, consider this: A high percentage of people go through times in their lives where traveling isn’t a top priority. Whether it’s saving for a down payment on a house or investment property, an unexpected job loss, or—like your guy—working on paying off debt, these are times to tighten the travel belt. Even if you meet a sweet, adventurous travel hound who wants to jump on a plane with you every other month, chances are he’s going to have times in his life where he needs to stick closer to home. Even when you have compatible lifestyles, there’s one thing for sure in life and love: Things change.

If you decide to stay, I recommend you take that trip with him. Make it a short, sweet retreat. Maybe he would be willing to pony up if it’s a weekend getaway three hours from your house? And keep traveling! Is there a city you’re dying to explore on your own (again)? Feeling like saying “yes” to that that girls’ trip to Bali? Definitely take care of your travel needs. If you feel that all of the above isn’t going to cut it, then you’ve got a hard decision to make.

Now, let’s talk about the bait and switch. He said he’d get his passport, but he didn’t. You two need to work through what he is and is not willing to do with and for you as your partner. I’d get straight to the bottom of that if I were you. Make deals around what you both need from each other to feel safe and heard before talking about the hard stuff, and if you need more help figuring this out, grab Happy in Love here.

Good luck, and bon voyage!

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