TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 52 and 54, draw on their 21 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .
Q: I just got back from a holiday in the Canaries with my boyfriend. It was the first time we’d been away together. I am 41, he is 48 — and it was a disaster. Our flight was delayed and our car was cancelled. He shouted at the lady on the desk. I was mortified. This happened everywhere we went. It was just awful. We ended up arguing, too, about what to do during the day. I wanted to go sightseeing but he refused to get up before 11am, then just wanted to laze around and drink beer. We stayed in the hotel the whole time.
I also hated the hotel. He’d wanted somewhere cheap and I wanted a five-star. This was an unhappy compromise.
By the end of the week, he was driving me mad. It’s such a shame, as I thought he might be the one. But now I’m questioning everything. Should I end things? What do you think?
An anonymous reader asked Steph and Dom Parker for advice on a disastrous first holiday with her boyfriend (file image)
STEPH SAYS: I believe the only way you can really get to know the person you’re dating is by going on a trip together for at least a week. The first holiday is a little like a dress rehearsal for the rest of your relationship. It’s the only way you can get to see behind a carefully curated facade and truly see the person within — so it’s an absolutely essential test.
I am sorry the result has been so disappointing, but it’s far better to know now than in six months’ time. You are 41, which is still young, but not so young if you hope to meet-marry-and-mate.
If children are a priority for you, you haven’t time to waste. And if children are not on your radar, well, you still don’t have time to waste! None of us does. Life is too short to spend with someone who is rude to people.
Which brings me to an important point. You talk about your boyfriend shouting at staff. The answer to your question is right there.
Should you break off your relationship with someone who is rude to other people? Yes! Of course. If he is unkind to others, he will be unkind to you. And how could you have respect for someone who behaves like that?
Good manners are important and someone who lacks them is not worth your time. So without a doubt I think you should move on. Then you should analyse what you have learned about yourself and who you want to be with in the future.
Steph (pictured left with Dom) advised the reader to end the relationship, stating if the boyfriend is unkind to others, he will be unkind to you
You may have made a mistake by compromising so much on the hotel. I understand why you did, but at least you know what you want from a holiday — even if you have yet to decide what you want from a man! I am guessing that you work hard and if you want a week of being pampered and can afford it, then that’s what you should do.
We must all pick our battles in relationships, but going on a holiday you know you won’t like is never going to end well, so it’s worth fighting for what you want.
I think it’s time to be honest with your partner, so I would arrange to go out for a drink somewhere quiet.
Be brave, kind and courteous. Tell him you don’t see a future together with him.
You both know the trip was a disaster, but you must be the one who is brave enough to call it. Explain to him that after your experience together, it is obvious you are incompatible.
Holidays are supposed to be one of the highlights of our lives. Why spend the rest of yours with someone who makes you — and others — miserable? Let him down gently and book your next holiday immediately!
DOM SAYS: This is a great shame. I’m sorry your relationship has gone wrong, especially as it had all been going so well so far.
From what you’ve told me about your boyfriend’s behaviour, he is evidently not a good traveller — and you can’t bash him for that. Delays and hiccups can stress anyone out. That said, he shouldn’t have shouted at the person on the desk or, indeed, at anyone. There is no excuse for such behaviour.
Dom (pictured) told the reader if she really liked her boyfriend the hotel rating wouldn’t matter as much, he suggests tossing a coin to decide if they should break up
However, I don’t think you should criticise him for not wanting to do much apart from lie in, laze about and have a beer. Steph and I love our holidays, same as anyone else, and neither of us likes to sightsee. Most of the time, when we actually get a holiday we’re exhausted. There is nothing wrong with wanting to spend your time on holiday relaxing with a beer.
If you chose an all-inclusive hotel, whether it’s one-star or five-star, the point is that you don’t have to leave. So I don’t think it’s fair to call the poor chap out on that one, either.
You might have had a slightly firmer foot when it came to the choice of hotel. If you knew you wouldn’t like it, then the time to say so was before you booked.
That said, I hope you’re miffed because he could easily have spent more on something fancier but chose to be tight. It would be wildly unfair of you to complain about the hotel if it was all he could afford.
There is no pleasure in going somewhere that is out of your budget — pinching rolls for lunch from the breakfast buffet is no fun for anyone. So he should absolutely be forgiven for the naff hotel if that was the only one within his reach.
Thing is, if you really liked him then I doubt the star-rating would have mattered so much, if at all. And that tells me you’re simply not in love with him. But you don’t seem so sure.
So, what I propose is this. Toss a coin. Heads you leave him, tails you stay. Then listen to your gut on the answer. If your heart sinks at what the coin-toss tells you, do the opposite.
Should you end up staying together, then you have two choices: holiday separately — which doesn’t strike me as a great idea — or find a middle ground. If he wants to sleep until 11 and you want to get up at the crack of dawn, then both do what you want.
You don’t have to be joined at the hip the whole time. You can go sightseeing while he stays by the pool.
But only if you love him. If not, don’t waste your precious holiday time, or any other time, with the wrong person.
If you have a question you’d like Steph and Dom to tackle, write to: stephanddom@ dailymail.co.uk