Burning Man Relationship Survival Guide

This year was my first year going to Burning Man. I had heard horror stories of relationships falling apart while at the burn but also read some great advice on how to get through the experience together. There were some challenges during the week, but overall we were prepared and we came out on the other side stronger than ever.

Expectations are key, and the way to achieve success is by having a clear understanding of boundaries going into this experience. Below are a list of questions and topics that you should go over before you go. It is important to mention that my girlfriend and I are in a monogamous relationship, so this list is geared towards couples that are not in an open relationship.

Physical Contact. What is okay? What is not okay?

  • How do you feel about your partner giving or receiving hugs, kisses, massages from other people?
  • What areas of physical contact would make you feel uncomfortable?

How much time will you spend together?

  • How much time do you need alone?
  • How will you meet back up with your partner if you spend time apart?
  • How can you and your partner both feel comfortable being separated for an amount of time?

What emotional support do you need?

  • Is there anything your partner can do for you to make you feel more comfortable?
  • What can your partner do to make you feel loved?

Look after each other

  • Make sure you both stay hydrated and get enough rest.
  • If something bothers one of you, have a plan for resolving conflict.
  • Plan at least one night where you focus on each other and your relationship. This can really strengthen your love for each other during this whirlwind of a week.

Understand each other

  • What do you each hope to get out of this experience?
  • What are areas of this experience that worry you?
  • What agreements need to be made so that you each feel secure?
  • How can you make the experience better for your partner?

Once you’ve discussed these points and you are on the same page, go into the week with an open mind. Have faith in each other and in your relationship. You now have the answers and the tools needed to keep your relationship alive and strong during and after Burning Man.


Programmer — Writer. @andyhartnett12