I’d never been on a trip with a boyfriend and his family until a few weeks ago when I made my way down to Virginia Beach with Chris’s family. Virginia Beach is a great place. In many ways it reminds me of California. There’s a beach running right up to the boardwalk where people rollerblade and ride bikes. You’ve got lots of volleyball courts. But then there is also a Jersey Shore-esque feel to it because you’ve got plenty of bars and shops selling shirts that say “YOLO” and “Come at me, Bro.” In a way, everyone wins.
As I was packing for my trip (read: throwing my entire closet into a suitcase) I started to get nervous. My first vacation as The Girlfriend. How was I supposed to behave? I’d been to weddings and dinners with Chris’s family before. I’d stayed over at the house before. But a full week of “perfect girlfriend” behavior? I realized a few things during my trip (and the ten hour drive home). The most important thing is that you don’t need to be on perfect girlfriend behavior. Be respectful, polite, and clean, but also be a person. Here are a few other points to keep in mind if you’re hitting the beach or lake (or anywhere) with your guy and his family this summer:
1.) Don’t be afraid to do your own thing for a little bit: It’s important to spend time with his family, participate in activities, and generally be a social person. But that doesn’t mean you have to do every single thing all the time. Think about it: when you go on vacation with your own family, I bet there are times when you do your own thing. The same goes for a vacation with your boyfriend’s family. It’s okay to break off and go read while the guys play cards. You can relax on the beach if he and his sister want to wakeboard. Be friendly and social, but you don’t have to move as a unit for the entire vacation.
2.) Eat normally: At first it feels a little weird just going to the refrigerator and getting a snack when you’re not in your own house. But, again, this is your home for a week. You have to feel comfortable. Don’t eat all the strawberries or leave the milk out so it goes bad. But eat normally like you would at home.
3.) Be neat: I’m hyper-aware of how neat I am when I’m on vacation when my boyfriend’s family. Tables get an extra wipedown. Dishes get thoroughly rinsed. I don’t want anyone thinking, “Ew…this is how they live?” This is great, but you don’t need to go crazy and get up at 5 am to mop.
4.) Don’t hog the bathroom: When you’re sharing a bathroom with other members of your significant other’s family, it’s important not to take a hundred hours when you’re showering. This is especially important if other people also have to shower, get ready for dinner, pee, etc. Be considerate and use your bathroom time carefully. Take your shower, but then get ready in the bedroom. What’s fine at home is different when you’re sharing with people you’re not related to, people you’re not dating, etc.
5.) Be honest: It’s your vacation too, so don’t be afraid to speak up about what you do or don’t want to do. It’s a lot better than getting dragged along to golf or not getting to see that museum you’d been dying to check out. As long as you’re not preventing other people from doing what they want, there’s no shame in being honest. It can feel a little nervewracking to speak up. You feel bossy and you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. But if you’re polite, then it’s completely okay to express what you do/don’t want to do.
Photo found on http://lyckligheten.tumblr.com/post/24473051423