Before taking the matrimonial plunge or getting more serious with your significant other, you should travel together. We’re not talking about lounging on the beach or overnighting at a bed and breakfast. We’re talking about navigating unknown territory, embarking on a real adventure. Here’s why:
- You’ll learn how your partner handles stress.
Traveling always has elements of uncertainty. Will the hotel be okay? How do we exchange money? What if the museum is closed? The answers to these questions, however, are much less important than the way your partner behaves when plans change. Does he or she get angry or dismissive when stress runs high? Or, are you finding resolution together? A life together will inevitably have challenging moments; count yourself lucky if you’ve found someone who can roll with the punches.
- You’ll find out the little things that you would otherwise only learn over time.
Spending an extended period of time together forces habits and personality quirks to surface. You will quickly discover what your partner needs to feel comfortable—and also what happens when your partner gets exhausted. You’ll learn basic living preferences like how much sleep he or she really needs before getting cranky. And, you’ll see his or her street smarts at play when it comes to navigating and making new friends.
- You’ll understand your partner’s sense of adventure.
While traveling, you’ll experience new things—new food, new people, new surroundings. As exciting as an unknown adventure is, it’s not for everyone. If you’re seeking thrills, and your partner is happy with routine, pay attention! You may not be as compatible as you thought.
- You’ll have no choice but to let it all hang out.
When stomach aches happen on vacation, you’ll have no choice but to live your embarrassing moments in front of your significant other. Getting over the “manners hump” can be challenging, but on vacation it’s impossible to avoid. Be prepared to understand what true intimacy is all about.
You should learn how your partner behaves in a variety of situations; travel has a way of fast-tracking your education. Ready to make plans? Read 5 Questions to Ask Before Taking Your First Trip Together before starting the conversation.