My mother always told me that it took a whole calendar year to get to know somebody. Not that it necessarily takes 365 days for someone to come into clear view, but that it takes at least a year's worth of experiences to see every dimension of a person. She also said that if you're impatient and want to get to know someone quickly, travel with them.
When you leave your comfort zone with a new partner, you're forced to give each other a crash course in who you are. The second you step into the airport, it's like "This Is The Real Me, 101". While traveling together might not offer the best insight into what your relationship will be like — we don't behave the same way on vacation mode as we do in real life — it will give you insight into deeper parts of your personalities and characters that might not have come into focus if you were in your natural habitat. (Speaking of, I'm pretty sure there's an old school Hills episode in which Lauren tearily explains that if only she and Jason could exist on a private island in vacation mode, they would be eternally happy, it's when they have to mix in their real lives with their relationships that things get sticky.)
So by no means does a vacation give you all the information you need to know before deciding whether or not there person you're dating is life partner material, but it does put the two of you in a position to learn a lot. These are 11 things you learn about your new partner when you start to travel together early on in the relationship:
Money can put a strain on even the healthiest relationship. It's awkward to talk about and it's unpleasant to deal with, so if you both have very different attitudes about spending, you'll definitely butt heads on a trip.
Depending on what you want out a partner, this might be their time to shine as the romance character you've been looking for. Do they hold the doors, do they check to make sure you're not falling behind at the security gate, do they squeeze your hand when you take off and land? If these things matter to you, you'll be looking out for these gestures and you'll be disappointed if you're on different pages about it all. Some people are uncomfortable with PDA, some people can't live without it.
What's your partner's temper like under stress? If they lose their bag do they lose their mind? If the flight is delayed do they freak out or do they suggest a game to play? Traveling can be very stressful and someone with an extreme temper might have trouble hiding it in transit.
What's your partner like with other people? Are they kind to servers? Do they stop to help elderly people out or do they rush past them in a impatient fury? Watching your partner interact with customer service workers is a great way to see their true character. You may gain or lose some serious respect for them by watching them talk.
Compatible Recharge Rates
When you're traveling, you're not going on dates and then parting ways to go home and recharge. Is your partner able to recharge with you around? Are you? Do you need to spend a lot of time a part or do your moods and energies complement each other? How long can you spend together before you're desperate for fresh air?
Sense Of Responsibility And Adultness
Get a good feel for how responsible your partner is. How much planning did they do? How far do they think ahead? Do they remember little things like packing water before a hike and using a car service when going out drinking? You'll learn how much of an adult your partner is when you see how they view responsibility.
Problem Solving Skills On The Go
You're bound to run into a few issues. Traveling is never totally smooth. How does your partner deal with kinks and hiccups? Imagine how they might be with more serious problems in the future. It's important to be with someone who you can solve problems with.
Knowing Your Priorities
You'll quickly learn what your partner's priorities are. Do they want to rush to the hotel room to unpack and organize? Do they want to take a nap? Do they want to rush out and squeeze in an adventure before the sets? Do they want a cocktail before anything? Your partner's first priority on vacation will be very telling.
Sense Of Adventure
What's their sense of adventure like? Does it blend well with yours? Do you support each other and feel safe trying new things? Do you have the same amount of energy and curiosity?
Need For Personal Space
Everyone needs personal space, but how you ask for it and how you take it shows a lot about your personality. Does your partner know when it's time to take a moment alone or do they wait until it's too late and get crabby with you? Are you both able to give each other the space you need without resenting each other or being offended?
Definition Of Clean
Does your partner throw their towel on the floor because the cleaners will pick it up? Or do they clean up after themselves to make the cleaner's jobs easier? This is an opportunity for your partner to show their good character. Do you and your partner have the same definition of clean? Do you drive each other crazy with your habits or do you share the responsibility with ease?
These compatibility tests should give you and your partner a good idea of what your partnership is capable of. If you still like what you see after delays, hangovers, confusing maps, food poisoning and sunburns, you're probably onto something good.