Why we spent this Christmas apart (and would we do it again?)

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to spend Christmas away from your other half? Do you think it would it be the worst thing ever? Would you party all day and night? What would you miss the most? Here’s what happened to us.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - title and feature

Convention tells us we should be spending the festive season with our nearest and dearest… the problem Mrs Romance and I face is our dearest aren’t necessarily all that near.

As you might know, I’m from England. My sister, my parents and the rest of my extended family live there too.

It’s a long way from Australia, where we now live. Plus it’s bloody cold in England this time of year. Still, the strangest thing is I miss it.

Not all the time. I don’t have a constant hankering like a needy child tugging at my sleeve. I love living in Australia. It’s awesome.

But every now and again, I feel the need for a recharge. It’s a peculiar feeling.

But here are some numbers for you:

Last time I saw my mum and dad at Christmas was about 6 years ago, and the last time I was in England for Christmas was probably be about 10 years ago.

However, the last time I was away from Mrs Romance over Christmas was… well, we’ve never spent Christmas apart before. Not for 16 years! We had no idea what this was going to be like.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 1 at the beach[The beaches in Australia and England – can you tell which one’s which?!]

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 9 prawns and holly[Mrs Romance’s Christmas was full of prawns and sunshine; mine was holly trees and frost.]

Still, we both knew it was something that needed to be done. No matter how much you like your in-laws, you never truly relax. Not the way you do with your actual family.

I really like my in-laws. They’re great. And I know Mrs R gets on with my side brilliantly too. But if she’d come with me to England this time, it wouldn’t have been the same.

All I wanted to do was hang around at home, not have to worry about being on any level of behaviour and just be with my family. Have another cup of tea, sweetheart.

Mrs R would have hated it. She’d have wanted to be in and out of London, in and out of Europe, in and out of everywhere while all I wanted was to be still for a while. Eat some sausage rolls, dear.

In essence, I needed to be spoiled a bit. And to spoil my mum and dad a bit too.

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 3 Christmas relax[Mrs R and her folks took it easy over Christmas. Mum, Dad and I explored the English countryside.]

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 2 dessert[Our respective Christmas lunches.]

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 6 Christmas snacks

But was it what I expected? Did I come away feeling fulfilled? Were Mrs Romance’s fears of me cancelling my return flight valid?

In short, I had the time of my life. It was exactly what I needed.

But there have been some unexpected results too.

Mrs Romance and I missed each other a lot, so being apart for a month was surprisingly good for our relationship.

I realised how much I like living in Australia, which is another good thing. That part could have gone horribly wrong, couldn’t it?

The break made Mrs Romance relax as much as it did me. She actually stopped, put her feet up and enjoyed time with her family too. Ordinarily she would have been worrying that I was ok spending Christmas with her folks. Me, the poor, homesick English orphan puppy.

Yes, I do milk it when I can!

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 5 Christmas cake

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 7 the beach[Mrs R was snorkelling at the beach. Meanwhile – at midday – this was our shadow!]

Would we want to be apart more?

No, of course not. We love working and living together. But because we are together more than most couples, I think short breaks are good for us. Besides, it gives us new stories to tell each other.

Would we think about spending Christmas apart again though?

Yes, I think we would. We both loved the great quality time with our families. Maybe we’ll need to plan two Christmas’ a year so we can both enjoy the festive season with our relatives. Christmas in July, perhaps?

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 10 sunrise[Mrs Romance’s last sunrise of freedom and my last sunrise in the UK.]

Mr & Mrs Romance - Christmas apart - 8 family at Christmas

How about you? Is Christmas alone with your side of the family your idea of heaven or purgatory? Do you fancy the idea of being away from your significant other over the festive season? Tell us in the comments!

Images by Mr and Mrs Romance mostly using Olympus OM-D E-M1 and OM-D E-M5 mark II cameras respectively.


  • Reply January 27, 2016

    Steph @ Lipstick & Cake

    It looks like you both had a lovely Christmas! I missed you both!
    I love spending Christmas with my family. I love all our traditions, I know what we’re going to eat and it’s really one of the only times in the year that we can all be together. If it’s possible to spend every, single Christmas with them, then that’s what I’ll do. x

    • Reply February 1, 2016

      Mr Romance

      It’s funny, isn’t it, Steph. Don’t know if it’s because it’s what we’ve always done or because it’s that time of year or what, but being with the folks over Christmas is just so good. In a way I think not spending Christmas with them for so long made me realise this time how special it is. A bit like not eating chocolate for ages then having a bit… not that I’ve ever gone that long without chocolate!
      Missed you too, by the way. x

  • Reply January 28, 2016

    Nikki @ Styling You

    You two are just adorable … love the juxtaposition of photos from each part of Christmas. I think you nailed it. x

    • Reply February 1, 2016

      Mr Romance

      Hee hee! Thanks Nikki. Yes, I wasn’t sure how to put the photos up to tell the story. Glad you liked them.

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