We had only dated about two months when he went on a pre-planned trip to Dubai. We talked about his plans to return to D.C. after flying back into the states via NY. He hadn’t solidified his return plans yet, so midway through his trip I suggested I just drive up to New York and pick him up. I mean, after all, it would be cheaper for him than taking the train or booking a last-minute flight. However, I had a trick up my sleeve. See, his flight landed the day before his birthday and I figured it would be nice to just book a couple of nights in a hotel that way he could immediately sleep off his jet lag and we could celebrate his birthday together out of town. We had an interesting few days. Our time was mostly good sprinkled with a few moments of revelation that might not have otherwise been shared. Traveling with someone forces you into another level of comfort. There really isn’t much shame to be had in a small New York City hotel room where the toilet is separate from the shower and sink. Here is what I learned and this is why we are both better for it.
We all believe vacations are supposed to relax us, but that is not always the case, especially when you travel with other people. Coordinating events, finding places to hang out or eat last minute can either cause exhilaration or drain based on the company that you are keeping. If you two can roll with the punches and not break a sweat or each other’s necks, then you’ve got something special. Even if there are disagreements, can you solve them and not let it ruin the very short time you have out of town? This is important as it can very quickly give light to arguing styles and conflict resolution skills between the two of you. You don’t want to waste months together to finally have a disagreement and realize that you are in a relationship with someone who will hold a grudge at the expense of everything or furthermore make a scene in public.
Annoying habits will show up.
Spending day in and day out with someone will expose you to some annoying quirks that your partner might have. You are essentially living with them for a short period of time. Also, this experience is like a pressure cooker. You are speeding up the “getting to know you” process simply because you probably don’t have anyone except each other to hang out with the entire time. Does he grind his teeth in his sleep or refuse to get a pedicure but likes to rub his feet on your legs? Does she insist on talking to you as soon as she wakes up with her morning breath or does she go to sleep with face cream and a silk hair bonnet? Does he absolutely have to fall asleep with the TV on or the heat cranked up? Maybe you like to sleep late and your partner is an early riser? If any of these are deal breakers you now know and you can cut your losses. But if none of these newly-discovered quirks scare you away then more power to you!
How they spend when traveling says a lot.
When on vacation, you get an inside look at the spending habits of one another. People tend to be a little lax with spending while on trips. If your partner comfortably spends because they planned ahead for the trip, then you know that overall they like to have a plan and might be good at budgeting and money management. A little preparation ahead of time alleviates any stress connected to spending while on vacation. Now, on the other hand, if he/she splurges left and right in the beginning and toward the final days or turns their noses up to every suggestion for an outing, it’s safe to say that they have room to grow in managing their finances as well as their attitude. These are two scenarios at very opposite ends of the spectrum, but I think I’ve made my point.
Sometimes underwear can end up behind the door.
It is very easy to plan for company. Before she comes over you take a few minutes to push the dirty clothes into the closet, clean the toilet and do the dishes. But in a small hotel room living out of a suitcase and trying to rework outfits in time for happy hour, things can get messy. By the end of the trip, you will know if the person that you are dating is truly messy by nature.
Your shit stinks (and so does theirs)
Literally everybody poops, and at some point, you will have to go or suffer. You will either get really creative or really comfortable. If you can make it past this stage you really like them and there is hope for this union. If you can’t get past something as simple as a bodily function, then you aren’t ready for the big leagues and you should do yourselves a favor and part ways now!
What it all comes down to is simply learning what your pressure points and deal breakers are. Most of what you might find out are things that you will be able to deal with and if you survive your first trip you have some pretty amazing and special memories to look back on. However, in the case that you can’t get past what you’ve learned, at least now you know and you can move on accordingly. Either way, the experience makes for a good story. Good luck!
Tia is a native Baltimorean who bleeds Old Bay Seasoning and Howard U Blue. Some weird mix of Bohemian flower child and gangster rapper. Her spirit animal is Mos Def. Hobby: telling people how to get their lives together while attempting to practice what she preaches. Freelance film and TV producer, accountability coach, project consultant and writer. Just a girl trying to change the world, one social media outlet at a time. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Periscope.