Wayne and Wanda: My boyfriend’s planned an elaborate trip abroad, but our relationship is fizzling

Wayne and Wanda,

I need some advice or at least some different perspectives on a situation that has me feeling conflicted. I’m a woman in my early 40s and have been dating a man of a similar age for about six months. We’re both professionals and neither of us has been married, and our romance took off fast and furious. Now the newness has worn off and we have hit a lull. I don’t see our relationship working out long-term. But I feel like I can’t end things because I’m committed to a huge trip with him this summer.

It was pretty impulsive but just a couple months in, we decided to take a 10-day trip to England. It all came together quickly. He pulled the trigger on cheap flights and started booking and planning hotels and tours. I’ve never been out of the country and initially I was excited to do this with someone who is well-traveled and confident.

But I was a little put off by how much planning he’d done without me. He basically makes plans and then informs me and sends me a receipt to Venmo him. I guess I appreciate the lack of stress on me, but I did want to take a teamwork approach to this trip and that just hasn’t happened.

I feel like the way he handled trip planning was what started my decline in interest in him. It has highlighted differences, like our approach to money, and communication. I think he knows I’m unhappy and is trying to compensate by overdoing the romance of this trip.

While he is fun and we have shared many good moments and have great chemistry, I have gone from being so excited to wanting to get the trip over with. Do I go through with the trip or pull the plug now and accept the losses? I care about him and don’t want to add financial waste to the inevitable breakup stress. Yet, I’m not sure how enjoyable this trip will be knowing I’ll likely break up with him when we are back home.

Any advice on navigating this? Thank you for any insight.


Wanda says:

Stick it out. Tickets are purchased, itineraries are crafted, hotels are reserved. Could you get refunds on most of your purchases? It’s possible. It’s also a major pain and bummer to navigate. This was a trip you always dreamed of, so get on that plane. The worst thing that could happen: Traveling confirms your suspicions that this relationship has run its course and you respectfully end things and move on.

Let’s consider the alternative: Maybe the incredible and inspiring experience of traveling abroad rekindles your feels and reminds you why you fell for this guy to begin with.

Yes, the trip planning has been rocky. Perhaps had you dated longer and known each other better, he wouldn’t have made so many missteps in inadvertently excluding you from decision-making. But none of this came from a place of bad intent. He was excited and enthusiastic and gung-ho about creating a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

So go abroad with an open mind, and heart. International travel is an incredible adventure. It’s also challenging and stressful. By the time your trip draws to a close, you’ll surely have complete clarity on where the two of you stand.

Wayne says:

Well, I think this one has an international incident written all over it.

Don’t go. Why belabor the breakup? Why put him or you through a trip that will not have a happy ending? Best case: You see some sights, you have a little fun, you maybe even rekindle some of that old chemistry ... and then you break up. Ultimately, if you know it’s done then it’s done. So, worst case, you’ll feel anxious and/or sad the whole time, struggle being around him weighed down with thoughts of it all ending, if not totally annoyed by his presence, not sleep well, have to shoot down some romantic gestures, and not be 100% present. That’s a nightmare, not a vacation.

And remember: Much more dramatic, life-altering and costly breakups happen every single day. Like longtime married couples with families (even little kids) splitting up after a long, painful stretch of years. People cheating and getting caught. People getting kicked out of their homes and sleeping in friends’ guest rooms, and don’t even get started on legal battles after breakups.

In the grand scheme, this is small potatoes. If you both lose some money on the deal, it is what it is and you can write it off for your mental health. Then your head and hands will be clean of the whole deal, and you can move it without any guilt or emotional jetlag.

[Wayne and Wanda: My girlfriend is planning 5 out-of-state summer trips for us, and it feels like a lot]

[My boyfriend and I got along great — until we went on vacation]

[Wayne and Wanda: It’s our first international trip, and his overplanning is overwhelming]

Wayne and Wanda

Wanda is a wise person who has loved, lost and been to therapy. Wayne is a wise guy who has no use for therapy. Send them your questions and thoughts at