Alison Taylor on relationships: My boyfriend has views about holidaying with a partner

"There's no excuses when you are on holiday unless you've got an embarrassing digestive problem," he says. And in a funny way, he's right.

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The Independent Online

I'm writing this week's column from an apartment in Corsica. I have a pool at my toes, a palm tree to my left, the sea directly ahead flanked by green mountains, and a constant surround-sound choir of squawking birds and buzzing insects. I'm in heaven. Which is exactly the boyfriend's point – if you can't get on in paradise, then what hope have you got as a couple?

At home, and especially in a city as hectic as London, life can consist of stress, ever more work, and ever more everything else. Going on holiday – providing you luck out with the destination and the weather – strips away all of those things. Or it should, if you're a reasonable person who manages to avoid conforming to the Idiot Abroad stereotype, which, thankfully, I don't think we have, so far.

I've learned during our pool-side chats that my boyfriend and his mate keep a jokey list of typical tourist gripes that he was secretly hoping wouldn't be part of my own holiday repertoire. Think: "It's too hot"; "I hate the insects"; "I don't like the food".

Before you go away with somebody, you really don't know what they'll be like in this stripped-bare form. We've been laughing about the notion of "make or break", that weather-worn phrase used at some point by lots of couples, and indeed by the people around them. It's something we've had levelled at us – and levelled is the correct word. In our case, "make or break" meant a test of the future viability of our relationship. Either way, it's a bit sinister. Or at the very least a somewhat negative send-off. Why can't people just say, "Have a nice time"?

I think I knew even before we set off that it was going to be a good holiday; that he was going to be a good holiday companion. The deal was sealed when I got an excited text from him the week before: "I've just bought you a mask and snorkel". That's a "make" for me.

@lovefoolforever

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