*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Traveling with your partner is a fun way to make memories while seeing new places and discovering what you both like, but how do you react when you realize he would rather go without you or that he didn't even consider inviting you?
And when there are other girlfriends on the same trip, would you feel your relationship doesn't really have a future since you weren't included?
My friend Eliza has been going out with her boyfriend George for almost two years.
During this time, they took cooking classes together, met each other's families, and they moved together. They also enjoyed weekend trips and hiking but didn't go anywhere for longer than two or three days.
"I like how he cooks, his parents are very nice to me, and his brothers are great. It's like I found my second family already, and I can truly consider getting married and settling with George," Eliza said.
They were friends in high school and in college and only began going out once they both graduated and had jobs.
"It felt like a good decision to wait to start a relationship until we were both in a good place for our careers. I didn't want him to think he'd have to pay each time we went to a restaurant, and I wouldn't be comfortable doing that for him all the time, either. We each needed to accomplish goals and start earning. Then we could consider being together," Eliza added.
Vacations were not something they planned much because they both wanted to make a difference in the places where they worked and were set on promotions, so they didn't go anywhere during the first year of their relationship.
"His family couldn't afford to go on a long trip, and mine couldn't either, so we didn't notice it much," Eliza said.
However, things started to change as the second year of their relationship began. George made new friends at work, and they often went out to restaurants. They talked to him about vacations, and gradually, he realized he wanted to include that type of trip in his life too.
"He told me he was excited to learn everything about the places his friends visited and that he could afford his own vacation soon. I assumed that would include me, too," Eliza said.
As it turns out, George only considered vacations as a personal experience and had no intention of taking Eliza with him.
One Friday afternoon, he let her know he would be going on a trip with his friends and that he would be away for ten days.
"He made it sound like it would be just a guys' trip, so I thought maybe he needed that. I was disappointed he couldn't save more free days for our short trips too, but I knew how much he wanted that. I said ok, even if I felt left out. I thought each of his friends would go alone, and they would go sightseeing," Eliza said.
Unfortunately, that wasn't the case at all. Once her boyfriend left on the trip and he called her, Eliza could hear women's voices close by.
"I assumed it would be waitresses or just people nearby, but he told me his friends all had their girlfriends there. And he didn't apologize for not asking me to go either. I was so surprised I didn't even know what to say. How could he not realize that would be upsetting to me? And why would he be comfortable going alone like he was still single?" Eliza said.
She talked to her parents about it, and they also feel George should at least have asked her if she wanted to come. They're not sure if it shows there's a problem in their relationship, but Eliza is doubtful about the future.
"He's on vacation with his friends and girlfriends; I wasn't invited. What if that means something? Could he be trying to meet someone else and then come back to tell me he wants me to go?" Eliza said.
She's not sure what to think and will wait for George to come back from his trip so they can have a talk about where they stand. And she's not willing to let it happen again.
"I won't agree to him going on his own like that again. And if he doesn't want me to come, maybe I need to consider other options," she said.
What do you think about this situation? Was it ok for George to take a trip and avoid inviting his girlfriend when everyone else brought their partners along? Is it fair for Eliza to consider ending the relationship if he wants to go on like this for future trips?
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