Are you attending Burning Man with a significant other or close friend?
How long have you known this person?
More importantly, how well do you know this person?
Truth be told, by week’s end you’ll know that person much more than you did when you arrived.
Anyone attending Burning Man with his or her significant other or close friend should know the potential for stress and frustration the event can have on relationships -especially if this is the first time you’re going to the playa together.
I personally know of several relationships (both romantic and platonic) that were dissolved after a bit of drama erupted into full-blown arguments and, to this day, have never been completely resolved.
It’s hard to say what exactly is the cause: the intense daytime heat and stress of being in the desert; the intensity and over-stimulation of the event; the pervasive spontaneity; lack of sleep; decreased appetite; potential dehydration; or, if this is your first time, your inexperience with the combination of all the above.
Think about it this way: everything you do feels like it’s put under a microscope. And if you’re with a romantic partner early on in the relationship, think of it like speed dating on steroids.
Seemingly little things that might have been glossed over with a short conversation and explanation in the real world somehow have a way of becoming much larger, more intense issues on the playa. Emotions are raw, patience can be short, and before you know it, you could find yourself in a screaming match with each other.
While we can’t even begin to give you advice on every problem that could erupt between you and your partner or friends, the important thing to remember is to be respectful of one another’s feelings and/or boundaries. Sometimes taking yourself out of the situation with a time-out can work wonders. Or maybe it won’t. Every situation is different.
What we can do, however, is to recommend that you read our Relationship Survival Guide, filled with lots of great tips to help you prepare and avoid potential relationship-altering or -ending problems.
We’re confident your relationship can survive the intensity that is Burning Man. And well, if it doesn’t survive, there are plenty more cool people on the playa with you. Find yourself a new playa buddy!
Good luck, and be careful out there.
We’re all in this together, you know!