Holiday romances – doomed or delightful?

The ongoing holiday romance between heiress Chloe Green and the so-called ‘Hot felon’ Jeremy Meeks has been the subject of heated debate for the last several weeks. We ask Relationship counsellor Denise Knowles for her opinion on falling in love while wearing a bejewelled bikini on the beach is necessarily a good idea….

Holiday romances have had a bad press recently and because of this there is a perception that they are a bad thing – but they are not necessarily all doomed. Many people meet the love of their life on holiday and can share a lot of positives. At Relate we tend to hear about the relationships that end badly. We don’t tend to hear about the ones that survive.

Holiday romances are a bad idea if you are married, or in a long-term relationship, (unless your relationship happens to an open one). It is also not ideal to meet someone new if you are feeling angry about splitting up with a partner, or are emotionally fragile.

However, if you are single, a bit lonely and open-minded, holiday romances can be a great learning curve. People can learn about different cultures, foods and ways of looking at life and even learn a different language when they meet someone new abroad, or in their home-land.

However, if you are single, a bit lonely and open-minded, holiday romances can be a great learning curve. People can learn about different cultures, foods and ways of looking at life and even learn a different language when they meet someone new abroad, or in their home-land.

Lots of folks holiday in the country of their birth, maybe in a different area. I know couples who have met at holiday camps or walking holidays etc.

Relationships are a very meaningful part of our lives and can bring us a great deal of happiness and fulfilment. Even if a relationship is a brief one, so long as it is based on honesty and reality it can give someone a lift and enable them to be more productive and confident when they return home.

Whether you are having a fling or hoping for a lasting all relationship of any length benefit from honesty, transparency and accountability. You have time with someone you enjoy but you need to be realistic. If you go into a holiday fling with a modicum of realism you are less likely to get hurt.

You have time with someone you enjoy but you need to be realistic. If you go into a holiday fling with a modicum of realism you are less likely to get hurt. 

Holiday romances can be good for older people, especially those who live alone or who have been bereaved to meet new people. Many crave close friendships or romantic relationships but find them difficult to come by.

Twenty years ago your holiday fling lasted as long as the flight home. If you didn’t provide your details you couldn’t be easily tracked down. But with social media today’s summer romance can linger indefinitely. It’s all too easy to get carried away in the sunshine. Holidaymakers should remain vigilant of the safety of social media and how much they share online.

Many of us worker-bees live such pressured lives that it can be hard to find the time to switch off for a few days or to meet someone new. Holidaymakers who are single and free to do so and want to meet strangers while abroad can use apps such as Plenty of Fish and Happn, which use GPS to find others in the area willing to flirt.

You can have time with somebody you enjoy but need to be realistic. It’s very easy to get carried away in the buzz of the short-lived, utopian sun-drenched moment, knowing that any holiday flings have an expiry date. This gives you the freedom to experiment with someone who isn’t generally your type.

Sophie, aged 31, enjoyed a holiday romance that turned into lasting friendship. Sitting dreamily on the steps of Barcelona Cathedral, she caught the eye of a local Catalan painter called Quim. He felt drawn to her although he thought she looked rather tomboyish and not his usual type. Sophie felt slightly repelled by his beard but liked his warm smile, creativeness and lively conversation. It helped that Quim had taught English before he became a painter and spoke the language perfectly. They spent the night together and still remain friends 20 years later. Sophie returned to Barcelona another six times to stay with Quim and remembers him and Barcelona fondly. Before social media it was difficult to stay in touch and the relationship eventually petered out.

Many single people find that holiday romances can be a positive experience and fondly remember their holiday friends and lovers, even if they never see them again.

Denise Knowles

Denise Knowles

Specialising in couple counselling, relationship and family counselling and psycho-sexual therapy and working with abusers and victims of domestic violence and victims of sexual abuse, Denise Knowles has been working in this field for 25 years.

As well as promoting healthy and respectful relationships on behalf of Relate, she has worked with a variety of corporate organisations developing materials for use with MS and Menopause as well as being invited to talk at a variety of global meetings/conferences and acting as a consultant on management issues.

More recently, she has been involved in the development and supervision of new services for those who perpetrate domestic abuse and the survivors. She is a qualified supervisor offering supervision to health care professionals, therapists, trustees and managers.
Denise Knowles

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