The Ultimate Relationship Litmus Test

Cynthia Bord
Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

Traveling shows you all the sides of a person that you may not have interacted with before. Are they organized? Do they snore? Do they prefer adventuring in nature or exploring ancient gravesites?

It is the ultimate stress tester. How does the other person react under intense stress with great consequences? What do they do when there are 45 minutes to your connecting flight and the airport terminal is across the airport? Do they grab one of your bags while you carry their Big Gulp as you both race across the linoleum bespeckled floor? Or are you yelling at each other, exchanging blame all the while, before missing your flight and losing 600 dollars?

In a relationship, you usually just see one side of a person. This is the side that you see most, often reflected in how you’ve met. The working side, the education side, or the party side.

Travel forces someone to be reliable.

You have to get to the train on time or it’ll leave on time, without you. How organized and dedicated to doing the things that they talk about? Are they all talk about the landmarks, restaurants, and museums that they want to go to? Or do they actively plan out days to make sure that you have a great trip filled with sightseeing and local foods?

Are you the reliable one who’s staying on task about check-in and check-out times, pre-boarding requirements, and even local knowledge about the area you are visiting? Sometimes traveling shows the best of ourselves and the worst.

Do they let you do all the work and essentially become dead weight throughout the trip? And if so, do they acknowledge your contributions? Or do they try and make themselves bigger by making fun of you for knowing a lot about the local culture when they don’t know an ounce?

Communication during travel

You have to communicate where you’re going to be. Or in a big, new city, you’ll lose one another. In any relationship, romantic or otherwise, it’s important to be able to let the other person know where you are and where you will be so you can meet up in a small time window. It makes sure that you are on time for dinner reservations, museum entrance times, and free hotel breakfasts.

Are they selfish?

On a couples trip to Pennsylvania, our group went picking up food for the rest of the group for the weekend. It was fairly standard: making sure we had enough ration to have a good trip. But as we were picking up Nepali dumplings, a girl in the backseat of my former boyfriend’s car piped up with a

“I’m worried he’ll get mad.”

I wondered to myself “Why would he get mad?” After all, we were all together and picking up food for our weekend trip. If a spouse has a tendency to become emotional when having to do tasks that he will benefit from. It shows a problem with their thinking and how they contribute towards a team. Or their inability o give more of themselves to benefit others. They may be more selfish than you may have first thought.

Hopefully, your relationship isn’t like this. But if you’re able to work as a team, it’s a good green light to continue in a relationship with this person.

It’s not about where you are, it’s about who you’re with.

Regardless of these things, do you genuinely enjoy spending time with this person? Because when you travel with someone for the first time in a new relationship, you are spending 24/7 with them. The moment you wake up, through commute from the monument to the coffee shop to dinner, until you have to call down to the main desk for toothbrushes and toothpaste.

If you do not enjoy your time, really enjoy the feeling of being in their presence, you will find out quickly. In your conversations, in the places, you visit, and even over great food.

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writer on love, tech, and politics, lover of coffee and petter of dogs

New York, NY

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