The Dbag Dating Guide to Vacationships


Vacationship (portmanteau of vacation and relationship) – a romantic affair one engages in while on vacation. Often has similar characteristics to a real relationship, yet must never be mistaken for such.

(*FYI portmanteau means word hybrid; I learned this by Googling Kimye)

You know the drill. It’s summer, and you head to a warm European destination with your girlfriends, determined to live out an expedited version of Vicky Cristina Barcelona. At club recommended to you by a Facebook friend, you meet Marco, a handsome local with a thick accent and excellent John Lobb loafers. You spend the next few days blissfully admiring Marco’s city through a rosé-tinted prism, dreading the day you must bid adieu. Of course, Marco happens to love New York (Paris / London / whatever urban metropolis you are from) and is planning a to visit next year.. Your paths will cross again! You exchange Facebook information and promise to keep in touch. With none of that rosé to lubricate the language barrier, your interactions quickly become limited. Soon, Marco becomes a mere fragment of your vacationship past, a blissful memory that cheers you up while trudging to the office on a dreary Tuesday morning..

I could probably write a book dedicated entirely to vacationships. There was the Italian dentist who tried to initiate a threesome between myself and my 22-year-old friend. There was the Mikonos party king who somehow convinced me to stay with him on the island while my friends returned to Athens, resulting in the most X-rated adventure of my life. There was the Parisian douchebag who inspired me to quit my summer program in the South of France and move to Parisian hostel for the rest of the month. One more ridiculous than the next, they provided me enough stories to dine out on for the rest of my life. They also made me somewhat of an expert on vacationships, a knowledge I feel inclined to share as we officially step into the summer and embark upon a new season of fun, sun, and promiscuity!

1. Don’t judge. The beauty of vacationships is that the guy doesn’t have to abide by any of your usual standards. March to the good ol’ Beatles tune and let him come as he is, whether this entails pastel chinos, odd bedroom fetishes, or a questionable career in bartending. Think of it as an opportunity to degustate something new and exotic, expanding your palette and adding to your vacationship portfolio.

2. Don’t hold back. You don’t have much time, so cut the bullshit and simply have fun, whatever that entails. Remember, vacation sex doesn’t count. A friend of mine recently went on a beach vacation with her mother. She quickly found herself bored, and decided to activate Tinder. Five hours later, she was having sex on a golf course. Trust me, this is a memory she will have at 85. Hell, it will probably make her the most popular old lady at the retirement home!

3. Take one for the team. To avoid living out another cult classic, Taken, vacationships require a solid buddy system. Unfortunately, you don’t always get to pick the friend. The Parisian douchebag I pursued that fateful summer happened to come with a pint-size former convict bestie, whom my friend put up with solely for the sake of my blossoming romance. God bless her. Actually, he did, because she’s married now. So is the douchebag. The convict is still single.

4. Leave it all behind. The biggest mistake one can make is trying to make a vacationship work in real life. My favorite Epic Fail story involves the time my friend Regina went to Israel and fell in love with a local bartender. Two weeks after she left, the bartender decided to invest his entire life savings to buy a ticket to New York and rent them a love nest Jane street. When the poor fellow arrived, Regina took one quick look at him and dragged me to Urban Outfitters to buy him a full new wardrobe. She then forced me to sleep in the 300-square foot apartment with them, a cockblock move that proved to be useful when she kicked him out three days later, and we happily partied at the Jane Hotel for the remainder of the month.

5. But don’t exclude the impossible. In the rare case that you do have a deep connection, you may feel like you owe it to yourself to try. Just be aware that a long-distance relationship with a 4-day foundation has a very slim chance at survival. It will take serious commitment from both parties to attempt to get to know each other via Skype sessions and weekend visits. That said, I have seen two marriages work out like this. The one thing that they had in common is that the guy was overly determined to make it work, and that the girl moved to his city three months later. One moved with an engagement ring! Just saying – miracles do happen.

Now that I gave you my wisdom, I can calmly send y’all off on some fun Memorial Day adventures! Last piece of advice – use protection. Nothing is worse than having to Goggle Translate your way through a gyno appointment. (I’m clearly giving up on Net-a-Porter sponsoring me and am going for Durex instead. @durex, can you hear me? Can you?!)

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