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Men and their Guy Trips

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Wednesday’s Question:

Did he ever care at all?

Monday’s Question:

Four years and counting: What’s he thinking?

Last week’s questions:

Is cheating ex playing me?

High school dating: Am I hot or not?

Relationship Advice: Committed or not committed?

Four Years of Mixed Messages

Dear Guys,

I’ve been dating a guy exclusively for a year and 3 months. Within the first year he went on 3 “guy trips” to Miami twice and Vegas once. I was uncomfortable with each, and made that clear. However, I wanted to respect his manhood and allow him to go with complete trust. I am sure he danced here and there but I did not question him when he got back either of the times. I kept it to myself.

Well, except the Vegas trip. One of his friends posted the dreaded trip on his Facebook page. As you can imagine, pictures can tell a thousand words. I confronted him on how embarrassed I was about the way he behaved- as if he were a single man. He barely defended himself because he claims he was drunk and didn’t even know people were taking pictures. Clearly he was drunk posing with one of his “home girls” holding her hair back and pretending to bend her over. That was embarrassing to me. He claims it was 100% innocent. I feel he was innocent, but it shows me that he when inhibitions are down (he is 29 by the way), that his behavior is not respectful of me. I am out of sight out of mind. Or maybe, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?

I am forgiving, but this coming July, the trend is starting once again. My question is, how do I go about dealing with this notion in my head that in July 2011, he is going to Miami for the same reason others go in July? He says it is a guys trip, but on the past 2 trips, magically his “home girls” are there to meet up. Some of these girls he hasn’t seen in years. And now this is becoming an annual Miami reunion. As his girlfriend, is this in a normal long term relationship excusable? Should I be okay with this?

I want to understand my man, and be okay with his guy trips, but I am unsure if I am just being naive. It is hard to take advice from women, because most of my friends do not trust their men. I know he is a good guy, maybe he makes stupid decisions when he is drunk; but I know he means well when it comes to me. But in terms of the respect factor, I do not know how to bring the conversation up with him.

Do I ask him that this be his last guy trip, or do I ask him not to drink? Won’t he rebel? My girlfriend (one of them) claims that he is taking advantage of me and I am “too nice” for letting him go on all these trips. When he made it a goal of his in 2011 to move out of his mothers house (They are Indian) and get his own place for US I was happy. But so far, he is more interested in his Miami trip than this move. He has plenty of money, so money is not the issue. I think it’s his priorities. However I don’t want to force him to not do what makes him happy. This is where my friends think I am wrong. Apparently he is having his cake and eating it too. Any insight? I asked him numerous times would he rather be single and get this stuff out of his system, but he says the clubbing is out of his system, and this is just a guys’ trip-an annual trip. He LOVES to travel with his guys. Side note: his boys are all single. They always are, or they magically break up with their girls before they go. Mine doesn’t want to break up when he goes. He pretty much calls me on the regular. Would I be wrong to give him an ultimatum when he goes, and tell him to think about if these trips are more important then the relationship we have? And ask him to think about it an decide between the trips and/or me?

Nicole

Dear Nicole,

Thanks for your question. We think you’ve hit upon something that a lot of women wonder about. So we’re going to explore the Guy Trip in general, and then address your specific question.

If a guy loves a woman they will pretty much do whatever it takes to keep her happy. But the emasculation factor is high here; so sometimes we need a break to strut our stuff, and prove to ourselves and our buddies, that we still have a drop of testosterone left in our bodies. Now typically, playing pool at a bar, or going to a baseball game, or frequenting the local “watering hole” is enough for us. For a few hours we preen and posture with our boys, reassert our manhood, and feel whole again. But sometimes these little medieval jaunts aren’t enough, and we need to put on full scale armor and do a little jousting. Enter the Guy Trip.

A Guy Trip is needed when our estrogen levels have risen to dangerous heights, and the levy is close to breaking; or when a shot of testosterone won’t do it, and a full fledged blood transfusion is needed. Guys will then plan some outlandish trip where they live in a semi-altered state for a weekend or longer, that allows them revert back to when they were single, living on pizza, drinking beer in the morning, gawking at women(hopefully not touching, but sometimes), and doing all the foolish things they remember as being fun. Typically after a few days, this behavior gets old, and they realize it’s not their manhood they were searching for, but their youth. And then they are happy to reinsert themselves back into their lives, content for the moment.

But having said all that, we agree with your girlfriends for the most part. Just because guys need these types of trips occasionally, doesn’t mean Vegas or Miami should always be the destination. A Vegas trip might be okay once-say for a special bachelor party, or for a big high school reunion or something like that-but not for a yearly jaunt. We’re not saying your man is actually doing something that undermines your relationship-although we’re not saying he isn’t either-but just that trips to Vegas are providing him more than a much needed injection of manhood. He loves going, and in this respect he is getting his cake and eating it too.

If your guy wants to bond with his “boys” why couldn’t he go camping for a few days, or go on a golf outing, or do something on a less grand scale? We’re just a bit curious why he feels the need to do a week long jaunt to the City of Sin to feel whole again? If you know what we’re saying.

We also wonder why his “home girls” always seem to be part of the picture. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you? We don’t know him as well as you do, but that certainly begs an explanation. Remember Nicole, if something looks and feels suspicious, it probably is. We had another question a few months ago where a woman’s man was also taking regular trips to Vegas with work friends. (We answered it on our podcast.) A  picture was taken of her man and two women work “friends” sleeping in the same bed. He told her they just fell asleep and nothing happened, and she took him at his word. Well, let’s just say that was a bit suspicious don’t you think?

So we have a question for you. Does your man realize how much his trips to Miami and Vegas bother you? You say you’ve told him, but does he really know the depth of how you feel?

All relationships require some sort of give and take. And this comes with trust. Without trust, no relationship can survive the long term. It’s sad that none of your girlfriends trust their men. We believe there are men out there that can be trusted, so none of you should be settling for less.

We realize you don’t want to give him an ultimatum, and you shouldn’t. (This is where we disagree with your friends.) He has to come to the realization himself, after you tell him how you feel; otherwise your ultimatum will just lead to resentment on his part and your part, and possibly lead to the end or your relationship. But please tell him specifically how these guy trips make you feel; and tell him how you feel when you see pictures of him humping these so called friends. Deliver this information to him as calmly as you can. If he hears you and still chooses to do what he wants, then you need to take a hard look at the relationship and ask yourself a few questions. Are you getting what you need out of the relationship? And does he care enough about the relationship to change some of his behavior?

Sure, guy trips are wonderful and often necessary. They are similar to  when women get together for a girls night out. (Well not exactly)  But no trip should undermine an existing relationship, and cause more stress and strife.

This is a delicate balance, and an issue many couples struggle with. How much independence is okay within a committed relationship? Every couple has to come up with a solution that works for them. Too much of anything is trouble. So the balance between jealousy and freedom is something all couples have to work out. You two have a lot to work on it sounds like.

And for the record we wouldn’t be okay with our girlfriends, wives, or partners exhibiting the kind of behavior your boyfriend is exhibiting. Maybe he’s just not ready to be in the kind of relationship you want-a long term, committed, and respectful relationship.

Good luck.

THE GUYS

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23 Comments on Men and their Guy Trips

  1. My question is this: How would he feel if suddenly she started going on Chick Trips and her homeboys showed up, and her friends posted similar pics of her on FB? Would he be ok with all that?

  2. I have a similar thing. My boyfriend of 5 years went on a boys trip to Las Vagas last year and now has booked a boys trip to Thailand.
    I was upset when there was a fack book photo that showed up on our 4 year anniversary of him in a pool party with heaps of bikini babes around him. I was really up set and felt very disrespected.

    Good to know your perspective on guys trips. still not 100% happy about them though.

  3. @Confused……Good luck. Keep us posted. Ask a question anytime.

  4. Pia Ponte // August 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm //

    I just found this discussion bc I was searching “how many guys trips a year is ok.” I know that sounds crazy, but I’m going through a similar situation as Nicole. My bf goes to Vegas about 3 times a year. Sometimes w friends, sometimes a bachelor party, sometimes w his boss, young son, and friends from work. He always says its to see a fight, or for business. Meanwhile, when they go, there’s always a pool party or two attended, thousands of dollars worth of drinking and drunkenness. They are grown men, I don’t believe anything “bad” goes on, but still… 3 Vegas trips a year, is that necessary. And maybe I think too far ahead, but I think of the future and a family and if we each took 3 trips of our own, then we should have 3 together, and that’s now 9 weekends away. That’s not what I want. I don’t know. Am I crazy? What do you think? Nicole, I sympathize

  5. @Pia Ponte……How old is your boyfriend? We have to agree with you. Three trips a year WITHOUT you seems a bit excessive. Of course every situation is different and every relationship is different so we’d have to put a firm number on it. However, the red-flag is that he’s in a serious relationship, but yet, he’s still eager to take all of these trips without you. Sure, maybe one a year, as a special guy bonding trip. But if he thinks this is okay, taking all these trips with his buddies, who knows what he’ll be like if/when the two of you get married. Or, will he even be the guy who takes his marriage vows seriously. ps. He and his buds might be grown men, but you might want to inquire about specifics. We’re not saying your boyfriend is doing anything unsavory, just that unsavory stuff goes on with these sorts of parties. Take care.

  6. Carol no barol // September 16, 2016 at 10:44 pm //

    So ponder this….my 45 year old husband of 13 years and father to my three girls has 3+ guys weekend getaways every year. He had one the week after school started for the kids and then another one next weekend. Football in Michigan, cottage weekend, a weekend away for a concert, Fraternity alumni weekend. Always a good reason too – “it’s a yearly thing”, “it’s an anniversary thing”, you name the “good excuse”. The thing is he also travels extensively for work and goes out for “work” dinners and “drinks” on a regular basis – like every two to three weeks. I am left with three kids and a dog and I am a BEAR when it is all done. Heaven forbid I should complain though – enter the “nagging wife”. I can’t win. His response is that I can go away too. But as all you moms out there know – that isn’t the point – it’s about being together as a family after a hectic work/school week.

  7. @Carol no barol……It’s not just the moms who agree with you. The Guys are also like-minded. So how did this start? This pattern? His weekends away? His man trips? Was it fine with you initially and now it’s not? Or did you agree to it resentfully from the start? (How old are your kids?) Do you think there’s a way to change it? Or are you worried that if you put your foot down he’ll threaten to leave or something like that?

  8. @All the Women out THere…….We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Perfect Guy? Leave a comment, a description or respond to someone else’s comment. Let’s have a conversation.

  9. My boyfriend (now ex) of six month is on a trip to Columbia with his two guy friends. He mentioned the trip casually, even jokingly about a month into our relationship feeling me out, whether I’d be OK with it. I brushed it off, since we were having fun with our friends and didn’t take him seriously. I didn’t hear a word about it until two months ago, when we were out with a friend. At this point, things were getting serious. He said he wouldn’t be here in October so I could go ahead and make other plans. The next day, I told him, I was not OK with him going to Columbia because 1) he will be partying 2) be going with guys I know cheat on their wives and GFs and 3) I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who wants to do these things. I told him if he goes, its his choice, but I can’t be with him any longer. He admitted that he felt uneasy about going himself and knew it was a bad situation. He said our relationship meant more to him than a trip and he wouldn’t go. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he calls me up this week (after I had been with him all weekend…we are long distance, about an hour away) and says he is going on his trip. I was shocked and angry and told him the same thing. I repeated the same things I had three months ago, but he was quiet and said that I don’t trust him and he needs to “clear his head” Did I do something wrong? Or is he simply losing interest in me? Or was there nothing I could do to prevent this from happening? We had a great weekend, minus the normal fights we get in. I haven’t heard from him since the call and me telling him we are done. I love him so much, but can’t take the pain, or the deceit any longer.

  10. @Mary…..We understand your position and we understand his. When was the trip planned? Before the two of you started dating or after? Here’s our sense after reading your note. It sounds to us that he really cares for you and felt uneasy about the trip and initially was going to call it off. However, he also felt that you were pressuring him, due to the fact that you don’t trust him, and so that made him decide to go. What we’re saying is, he may have come to the conclusion on his own that he shouldn’t go, but he felt as if you were forcing his hand so he pushed back and decided to go. If you truly love this man we would suggest you reach out to him, tell him you hope he’s having fun, and that you’d like to talk when he gets back. You’re not promising him anything, but you are letting him know that you’re open to hearing what he has to say for himself. And we do agree with you. In general, this type of trip is not completely appropriate for a guy in a serious relationship. Maybe going on some sort of adventure trip for a few days with buddies is fine, but a monthlong trip where the goal is likely drinking/womanizing, no, that’s not appropriate. However, remember, this is the first time anything like this has come up, correct? When it becomes a pattern that’s when you really have to worry. What do you think?

  11. This is clearly not a from a guy’s perspective and should not be deemed as so. Sounds like this advice is coming from some woman who has been burned before. Anyway, my wife has gone on girl trips just about every year since we’ve been together while I have never been on a guys trip, mainly because my friends don’t really travel, but that’s a whole nother issue. So now, I’m feeling like I won’t to get away only because I want to take a vacation where I can just be myself with no regard for pleasing anyone else, if I won’t to sleep late or find a spot on a beach and do nothing, that would be fine. I wouldn’t mind for the guys to come along, but if not, I would be willing to go alone. Is that wrong?

  12. @Kevin…..Sorry dude. This is definitely coming from a guy’s perspective. Did you read the entire post? We’re not saying guy trips are off the docket. In fact, we actually said the opposite. But, there’s a line when you’re in a committed relationship. We’ll give you an example. We’re all for men and women being friends, even married men and women. That said, going to dinner with your woman friend on a regular basis is crossing the line. Why? Because that’s what couples do. And frankly, it’s also about perception. If you’re out with a woman friend for dinner, that’s perceived as a date, which means, running into people you know will make them think, “Do you think he’s cheating on his wife?” Etc. Now of course you might say, “Well who cares what people think?” To that we’d say, “It’s about respecting your partner.” Coffee or lunch is much more appropriate for friends, just as a camping trip, or a quiet trip to fish or sit on the beach—like you’ve proposed—is more appropriate for a guy trip than a regular jaunt to Vegas or Miami. Like we said, nothing wrong with an occasional wild trip, but it’s about respecting your partner. This guy is not respecting his partner. There’s a way to do it and there isn’t. And to your question: NO, there’s nothing wrong with going alone. Honestly, coming from some of the married guys here with kids, solitude is what we crave the most these days. Hope you get to get away. ps. And you can certainly disagree!

  13. My boyfriend (age 33) is going on a 10 day trip to Thailand this December. I felt fine with it until last night when I heard the friend who he is meeting up with in Thailand talking about all the girls he is hooking up with (some of them married) and the crazy sexual encounters he is having. I already did not trust this friend and once he brought a girl out with us who ended up kissing my boyfriend (everyone says she kissed him, not the other way around). The point is I already feel uneasy because of the kissing incident and after hearing what his friend is up to over there, I realized that there is no way my boyfriend will be going on an “innocent” trip, rather it seems like he’ll be helping his friend chase girls. I also just found out he plans to go on a trip the following month with his friends to Miami. He made it sound like it was purely a guys trip because they are trying to recreate a trip they did ten years ago to Cancun (where they basically were drunk 24/7). Then yesterday I found out some girls that his friends are trying to hook up with are coordinating a trip to Miami with them so that they can be there too. I know it is different because I am a girlfriend and he would have to be more attentive to me than his friends do with these casual girls, but I still feel hurt that he did not think to include me. I understand recreating a trip from your youth, but I also feel like his situation has changed. He is older and in a committed relationship and thus, the trip just cannot and should not be recreated. I have been generally supportive about this but after yesterday, I am questioning everything. I also feel like he gets more excited about planning these trips than on planning trips for us so we can make more memories together. I confronted him about this before and he said its different because if he is not excited about the trips with his friends then they may not happen. Any advice is appreciated.

  14. @Weary……The question is: Do you trust your boyfriend? It sounds as if that question is up for debate. Besides the kissing incident has he given you any other reason NOT to trust him? Other than the fact that he seems to want to go on these adventures without you, which does seem to bring into question where his priorities are. What do you think? How long have you dated?

  15. I do trust him, which is why I was supportive of these trips until two days ago when I heard all the things his friend was doing in Thailand and that other girls will meet up with the guys in Miami. We’ve been dating for two years.

  16. @Weary….Thanks for filling us in. (Sorry for the grammatical error in our first response. Has/have) Anyway, we kind of agree with you. The two of you don’t seem to be on the same page. It’s great that you’re supportive of him but he isn’t reciprocating the same support. To us, it seems like he doesn’t understand that he’s in a committed relationship. Why? Because he’s acting like it’s all about him and not really considering your feelings or your take on things. (What if the roles were reversed?) We’re certainly in favor of couples spending some time alone, or time with friends, but to prioritize these extravagant trips over spending time with you, or taking you on an extravagant trip, just seems like he’s missing the point. His priorities seem off. He kind of seems like he wants to be single AND have you. What do you think?

  17. Michelle Amper // April 13, 2017 at 1:02 am //

    My boyfriend of 4 years. I just had about enough of this travels with his friends I haven’t met without me. I’m the course of 4 years he has been to Thailand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Philippines, Japan, Las Vegas, And all these places he’d been to more than once. Now he will go to Thailand again and he is planning a trip to Germany. I just have about enough. He doesn’t have any social media and I don’t know any of these friends he goes travel with. I feel so disrespected every time he goes away. I can’t take it anymore.

  18. @Michelle…….When do you actually see him? And has he ever invited you?

  19. Message Body:
    My partner of 3 years is going on a boys only holiday to Ibiza with pool parties at the hotel. He’s 50 years old now and his mates are similar ages. I read a text saying they are booking a room where “they can be close to the action (chicks)”. He’s not even told me he’s going. Not sure how to approach this. Should I be worried? He knows I’m insecure about theses boys holidays as his mates cheat on their wife’s and if they’re all doing it what will he be doing when they’re with the women they’ve pulled.

  20. @Sammy……Well, do you trust your partner? Sounds like maybe you’re not sure. Has he done anything to make you question his judgment? Have there been other incidents where he made questionable decisions? And has he cheated on you before?

  21. There has been two incidents both whilst he was on holiday. But I trusted him enough to believe him not the rumours even though the girl was messaging him on fb (he never replied). He’s now told më about the trip and made it quite clear that he wont be taking my feelings into consideration and that I have to deal with. He said he will be going on boys holidays ever year. I don’t mind him going but to pool parties in ibiza at the age of 50…This I feel is disrespectful to our relatiobship.

  22. Ps. He’s not into clubbing at home and we never go to these sort of holidays together.

  23. @Sammy……Well, there’s nothing wrong with taking a yearly trip with the boys, but it’s not okay if he’s going to try and hook up with other women. This comes down to trust. You either have to trust him or not.

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