We recently went off for a couples retreat with two of our oldest and dearest friends. I then received comments like “I don’t know if I could go away with friends without people plotting murder” people told me they thought it would be easier if it was more couples or if the kids went along and that a three day long double date was asking for trouble… who are you guys hanging out with, sheesh, hahaha
So I thought I’d share our tips for successful cohabitation. We went on a weekend long couples retreat and still like each other.
– disclaimer girl Rob (that’s how my family lovingly distinguishes between my husband and my best friend) and I have been friends for 15 years and have gone away together in various group scenarios…As single friends in a large group, with other families , with our two families, we have even moved into each others bedrooms while in University. But even so, as you grow as people, dynamics change and a couples retreat is really a three day double date and that changes things… here is how we made it work.
1. We checked our schedules and made sure that none of us would rather be somewhere else (Real talk) Nothing like having someone act like you are forcing them to be with you
2. We were very clear about financial obligations. The trip was a prize (The Lord knew we needed it) but things like food and petrol, we discussed from the get go so there was no awkward reaching for wallets not knowing who was supposed to pay where. Guys the world is expensive , can’t be outchea covering all the bills…well maybe YOU can, in that case drop me a line , we’ll hang , hahahaha
3. Remember that everyone has obligations. On the trip there (mid day Friday) I had to reply to emails, Ryan had to take business calls ,Robyn had to sort out things with the kids and Robin was rescheduling a court appearance but we don’t catch feelings. Do what you need to do to afford the time away, I say.
4. Let everyone enjoy the trip like they want to. Ryan wanted to golf, Rob likes hiking, me and Robyn wanted to see how much nothing we could do in various locations; the patio, the pool, the couch…We didn’t get in each others faces insisting we all do the same thing or even eat the same thing and that helps keep the peace I tell you.
5. Choose people you gel with. Real talk. You have friends that you would go out to a show with, friends you would do adventuring with, friends to have a braai with, this isn’t necessarily people you want to be couped up with in a car and then close quarters for three days. Choose the friends you are your most at ease with, it makes for a more relaxing weekend all around.
We had our couples retreat at the newly redone Fish River Resort. It is pretty “newly opened”, and some of the amenities like the spa and heated pool aren’t operational just yet…The pool and the pool bar are there just not switched on.
They serve breakfast buffets (man I love a breakfast buffet) and you can take a shuttle or a hike to the beach and play golf on their highly rated course. Animals like buck greet you on morning walks and boy is the place picture ready.
It gives you that “resort far off the beaten track” fell but honestly it’s two farm stalls away from PE (about 2 hours)
I love the place and will definitely recommend it for a break away. You can even take your kids they have child care, a play room and outdoor activities catered to them.
Do you do trips with friends? What are your tricks for not “tossing out” (vernac for real life unfriending) by the time you get home?