2017 Goals: Be a better Adventure Partner
Common sense says it's safer to adventure with a buddy, and chances are, if you're in a committed relationship, that buddy looks a lot like a wife or boyfriend - which is great if both of you are equally passionate and experienced in the same outdoor activities.
It also says to be patient when that buddy is also your significant other (SO). At worst, you'll turn your partner off from your favorite pastime for good. Here are a few tips for keeping the peace and being a better adventure partner for your SO.
APPROACH NEW ACTIVITIES WITH CAUTION
Choose realistic routes, trails and weather conditions, and keep your first day out together a short one. Approach new activities with a lot of patience and understanding; try to put yourself in his or her shoes and remember what it was like to be a beginner. Your SO is probably putting aside a lot of fear and unease to get out there with you, so it's your job to make him or her feel comfortable and appreciated. Wait for your SO at difficult sections of trail, give her helpful tips without being condescending and, most importantly, don't force anything!
LET A PRO BE THE BOSS
Take a good, hard look at your own personality. A guide or instructor is trained to deal with a beginner's mental and physical barriers with more knowledge and patience, and by allowing a professional to take the role of teacher, you get to be the "good guy" and cheer on your husband from the sidelines. There's bound to be fewer angry words and tears when there's a stranger with you.
GIVE YOURSELF LITTLE BREAKS
When emotions run high during a challenging first backpacking trip or frustrating climb, give yourself a break from the activity to just enjoy each other's company. Schedule in plenty of rest breaks, make sure everyone is hydrated and well fed and make it a point to verbally thank your partner for his or her efforts.
OFFER SOMETHING IN RETURN
If your girlfriend is giving up her day off of work to learn how to snowboard, the least you can do is go with her to her favorite bouldering spot.
COMPROMISE, COMPROMISE, COMPROMISE
Maybe your husband just isn’t cut out for rock climbing, or your girlfriend just can’t get into cross-country skiing. Don’t force your SO to love something just because you do. You can always go climbing with your friends and pick up a new activity you both can enjoy instead.