I am looking for a good word to describe and emphasize a duration of time in a different environment, where the relationship between two people is "unaffected" by the worries of their usual environment.

A couple of words that came to mind were "unaffected" and "untainted," but they don't feel quite right with what I'm trying to describe. I feel like those words imply too much negativity.

Do you have any suggestions?

  • Perhaps it would help if you described why they don't feel right, or give an example including the words. – Daniel Sep 24 '11 at 17:35
  • Are you perhaps looking for something like free from stress/unstressed? – Autoresponder Sep 24 '11 at 18:52
  • @drɱ65δ: I updated the question a bit. I was having a hard time giving an example because I wasn't exactly sure what I was looking for; just that the words I had didn't seem to fit quite right. – Leif Sep 24 '11 at 20:26
  • @Autoresponder: Thanks, that's a good suggestion but it's not quite what I was looking for either, because it's not really stress the character's are experiencing. – Leif Sep 24 '11 at 20:26
  • I think the question is too general... there are a lot of possible words that could work here, it's very dependent on the context. – Andrew Vit Sep 24 '11 at 22:14

The first appropriate adjective that comes to mind is carefree. It very much implies an environment in which the usual cares and worries of life are significantly reduced in importance.

If you want a noun, the entire period of time might be referred to as a getaway. This word has various meanings, but the connotations here clearly refer to the fact that the two people are escaping their usual troubles and daily routines, hence "getting away".

Slightly less apt adjectives to describe such a time (almost synonyms to carefree) might be untroubled, blithe, or laid-back. These adjectives could be applied to either the time the persons spent together or the persons themselves, really. Other words like buoyant or light-hearted however, apply better to the moods of the persons themselves.

Finally, if you are looking for verbs of the form "They were [verb] by worries.", you could use:

  • unfettered
  • unperturbed
  • untroubled
  • unconcerned

These are all examples of attributive verbs.

  • As well? As far as I remember, I was the first to answer here... – Noldorin Sep 25 '11 at 0:28
  • My apologies, I read the other answer first because of the way they got ordered when I came back. I ended up using 'carefree' in my text, so I'll switch my accepted answer :) – Leif Sep 25 '11 at 1:35
  • @Leif: No worries! I was in a rather sarcastic mood, so sorry about that. ;) – Noldorin Sep 25 '11 at 14:01

If you're looking for an un-word, here are some thought-starters in italics :

Finally, Jack and Jill reached happyland. They spent a few blissful days at the top of the hill, secluded from the rest of the world. The brief interregnum at the hilltop resort rekindled their love for each other. Far removed from real-life, their relationship was unconstrained / untroubled / unfettered / uninhibited / unhindered / unimpeded/ unhampered by the circumstances that caused them to sell the house to pay for their exotic holiday in the first place.

If you're not looking for an un-word, you could say :

Jack and Jill were insulated / isolated / removed / cocooned from their worries.

If you're looking for an "in-between-stress-filled-times" kind of word, you could use:

break, sabbatical, holiday, jaunt, hiatus, idyll, respite, interlude, interregnum, interval

  • I think the un- was what the OP was calling negativity. – Daniel Sep 24 '11 at 18:42
  • @ Dr M : have edited my answer – Autoresponder Sep 24 '11 at 19:23
  • Excellent answer and the example was great! There are some good words in there. I might go for 'uninhibited' or 'respite'. And it was something more along the lines of "in-between-stress-filled-times" I was looking for, since the characters know it's only temporary, before things "return back to normal." – Leif Sep 24 '11 at 20:32
  • Adding: unencumbered, liberated, unclouded. – Andrew Vit Sep 24 '11 at 22:17
  • Some of these words are very odd. "Unhindered" and "unhampered" are just not appropriate, I'm afraid. Also, interregnum is certainly not correct, as (at least in Latin and British English) it refers to the period the reign of two monarchs in which no monarchy exists... There are other suggestions here that are highly unusual too. Sorry to knock this answer so much, but it really is very misleading. It looks like a non-native English speaker just got out the thesaurus. – Noldorin Sep 25 '11 at 0:27

Neutral is often used to refer to such an environment.

A retreat is a period of time away from usual worries. From previous answer with many words, break, sabbatical, hiatus, respite, and interlude seem to me more a propos than do holiday, jaunt, idyll, interregnum, and interval. For example, I think the latter two words connote "a time between" more so than "a time away from cares". I associate jaunt with traveling rather than respite, and associate holiday and idyll with activities for pleasure rather than with just being away from the usual cares.

  • @jwpa7: Thanks for your answer! I like to see the way you think about these words. I was actually considering 'holiday' for a while, but then I felt like it sounded too much like a planned trip for leisure, as apposed to a "lucky break." I associate retreat with surrender; I wouldn't fit into the story, since the characters never "gave up." Interregnum was a bit too "official" and interval a bit too "programatic." – Leif Sep 25 '11 at 1:24

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