Truth: There’s nothing better than the honeymoon phase of a relationship. Everything is new. It’s all a great, mysterious adventure. Every joke he tells is adorable. The way she cuts her chicken wings with a knife and fork is just so damn precious. No one goes to the bathroom. Ever. It’s just a f***ing dream…
…until it’s not. Six months in his sarcasm is grating to the point where it’s downright condescending. If she’s ordering chicken wings, then pick up the freaking chicken wings. And then there’s the whole skid mark situation that you’ve both just pretended to ignore. And suddenly it’s a downward spiral right up until Splitsville, and you’re wishing that if you had known all this ahead of time you’d have saved the last six months.
Well, let me in on a little secret: Traveling with a significant other is the express lane to knowing whether or not you are truly compatible with another human being. So before you freak out that it’s only been a month and therefore too soon to commit to a plane ticket and hotel room and romantic selfies on the beach, allow me to make my case.
Traveling with a significant other right away allows the two of you to build a foundation of seriously romantic memories together. Barely-there bikinis, romantic dinners, long hikes in the jungle to scenic vistas, or springing for the presidential suite. It’s pretty impossible to not fall in love falling asleep next to each other in a hammock on a covered porch while Bob Marley is playing and it’s raining outside (I’ve heard….). And let’s not forget about the glory that is hotel sex. Or hot tub sex (again, so I’ve heard…). You’ll come back home having an arsenal of sexy photos, memories, and inside jokes that you’ll thrive off of for the next four months at least, and you’ll definitely, definitely want to do it again.
Travel is often fraught with stressful situations. From getting to the airport, to the manic joy that is the airport, to missed flights, to car breakdowns, to shitty hotel rooms, to language and cultural barriers – the list goes on and on. Patience will be tested. This is the time when true colors show their boldest and brightest. Are either of you impatient or inflexible? Relationships on their own are stressful, and watching how your partner handles stress when the relationship is not the problem will shine a bright spotlight on how this person will be towards you when the relationship goes through its unexpected and rocky stages.
How you treat people in the service industry speaks volumes to how you are overall as a person. How is your partner towards flight attendants? Concierges? Does he or she leave a tip for the maid? And more importantly, how are they when the situation doesn’t quite work out the way you were expecting?
The Morning After
While in the beginning of relationships you’re hopping out of bed before the other wakes up to brush your teeth and freshen up, when you travel together you are living in tight quarters. All day. There’s very little space to hide anything. And while some of you consider this to be a mood killer, the truth is it’s going to happen anyway. But if you rip the BandAid off and (gasp!) see her without her makeup or she (double gasp!) finds out that you can’t exactly handle dairy, and you still want to have sex with each other? I mean, isn’t that just the freaking dream right there? Here are a few other signs that she’s the one.
Of course, there’s always the chance that all of this blows up entirely in your face and you find out your partner is rude, inconsiderate, high maintenance and, worst of all, atrocious in the waking hours. Well, at least you found out now and not eight months from now. And at least you found out in a place that’s probably more beautiful than where you actually live. Change your seat online before you fly home and breathe a sigh of relief that you’re only out the money, not your precious time and energy.