Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

My romance ended before we even got to fight on hols

Frances Burscough

So, that was a bit of a damp squib. Yes, I'm afraid so. The shiny new relationship that I proudly announced on these pages just a few weeks ago — believing that this was finally the one at last — has already come to an inglorious end.

In fact, the ink had hardly dried on the double-page spread about my new romance than it became yesterday's news.

Quicker than Kim Kardashian said “I do” (then, two weeks after the glossy wedding exclusive and a pay-cheque of gazillions, changed her mind and decided she didn't, actually) I discovered that I'd made a mistake. I suppose that'll teach me to tell Weekend Magazine all about my love-life and to share my hopes and fears with the province. It's like the curse of Hello! magazine ...

So, where did it all go wrong?

Well ... actually, it didn't. It was lovely.

We did all the usual romantic things couples do in their early days. We went for romantic candle-lit dinners and played footsie under the table, we toasted ourselves with sparkling Champagne with Frank Sinatra crooning in the background, we snuggled up in a Crown Bar snug and then painted the town red, we took in the theatre, the cinema, the opera, the lot.

We went on a romantic weekend break to the seaside and walked hand-in-hand along a rippling sunset shore, we unpacked a summer picnic at the edge of a glittering river, took a boat trip out to the open sea and even started, furtively, talking about escaping sometime for a holiday, somewhere exotic.

But then, over a drink one sunny Saturday afternoon, he happened to mention that he'd decided to go and live 5,000 miles away ... for the foreseeable future. And suddenly I couldn't foresee my future any more.

So once more unto the breach, dear friends.

I suppose it's for the best, though. At least we never fell out of love. We didn't even argue once, which almost certainly would not have been the case if we'd taken the plunge and gone away on holiday together.

Trying to take my mind off things and cheer myself up, I was reading a lighthearted survey about the very same subject that was published this week — namely, happy couples on holiday and what they argue about.

Apparently, no matter who they are and how crazy they might be about each other, every heterosexual couple is the same on holiday: they fight like cats and dogs from the moment they arrive at the airport check-in (outward) to the moment they arrive at the airport check-in (in-bound).

The poll, which was published by the travel site latedeals.co.uk, lists the top 10 reasons for our seasonal slagging matches and, although clearly written with a big pinch of salt, it certainly does sound feasible.

It seems the most frequent trigger is the man openly ogling scantily-clad women.

Er ... hello? Isn't that the precise reason why men agree to go on holiday to the sun in the first place? To drool at beach babes while chugging back cheap booze at a poolside bar and turning a lovely shade of lobster? Get real, sisters.

One male friend of mine was such a frequent offender of the above that his girlfriend actually banned him from wearing sunglasses when they went on their first (and last) holiday together. She complained that “he only wore them to hide his eyes, so she couldn't see when he was staring at topless women on the beach”.

The upshot of that particular story was that they'd split up by the second week, and he bought himself a pair of designer one-way mirror-lenses so he could ogle to his heart's content and she ran off with a Greek waiter who'd been ogling her across the hotel smorgasboard.

Other reasons for continental rifts include him wanting to ‘do' something, while she wants to relax; where and what to eat, drinking too much and getting drunk, packing (he packs too little, she packs too much), women taking too long to get ready for dinner, over-spending of the holiday kitty, getting to the airport on time ... and currency (how much to get and where to get it).

So, that's just about everything, then.

I'm looking on the bright side. I got to stay home alone all summer, completely aggro-free!

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