New relationships are fun and sexy and exciting. They’re also one extended test. Don’t cringe at the word “test,” though! (Or do, but stick with me, please!) I’ve witnessed so many of my friends not treat their new relationships as a test and I just have to say something in case you’re doing the same thing. Instead of starting something with a new man and testing it out to see if this relationship works for her, I’ll often see my friend transition into “needing to make it work” as soon as she passes the third date. And that’s the wrong attitude when you’re getting to know someone. Instead, treat this relationship like a car you might buy and your first three months are the test drive. When you’re testing a car, you put it through the paces to see how it accelerates, brakes, handles and a bunch of other car stuff that I don’t know the words for. (I’ve never been much of a car person.) Back to the point, your first three months in a relationship are a test drive and I think a short trip together, even just a one-nighter, is the perfect obstacle course to run your relationship through to see how it handles. Here’s why.
The first three months can be peppered with a lot of question marks. Two of the biggies are “Does he like me enough?” and “Do I like him enough?” Pretty fundamental questions for establishing a relationship. Planning and taking a trip together shows a level of interest from both of you that should answer those questions. You wouldn’t plan a trip with him if you weren’t feeling him and same thing on the flip side. If your newbie relationship can get to a level where you’re both excited about traveling together, you’ve already passed one section of the test.
It can be tough to tell who the person truly is during the first three months of dating if you’re just seeing each other a few times a week for a few hours a time. A date is only three hours, so of course everyone’s on their best behavior. But, when you’re spending over 24 hours in a row with someone, you’ll get to know their style a whole lot better. Look for spending habits, their definition of fun, how they deal with time and what their reaction is when things don’t go according to plan. Are your styles similar or do they clash? Of course, relationships are about compromise, but it’s good to know early what kind of compromising you’ll have to do in a relationship with this man.
The thought of living with someone you met less than three months ago may seem nutty, but I’ve never been afraid of being called a nut. If you’re dating this guy in the hopes of transitioning into something long-term, you want to know if you can live together. A short trip is a great way to get a taste of what living with him would be like. Is he a slob? Does he get up early? Does he procrastinate small tasks? Take stock of how he lives. Even if it’s just vacation living. It’s as good an indication as you can get about how living with him would go before you get super serious.
Google some road trips, look up cheap flights or book a night in a hotel near you and do a pseudo-staycation. No matter how the trip turns out, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor. You’ll know if you should get out while the getting’s still good or that you’ve found someone worth pursuing a serious relationship with. Win win…and you get a trip out of the whole thing. Pretty good, right?