The Best Test of a Relationship

I’ve been quoted in many books of quotes as saying, “The best test of a relationship is to take a trip together.”

In my experience, it’s completely true. When you’re on a trip, you’re outside of your comfort zone. Your raw, unedited side comes out, and you get to see what your significant others’ raw, unedited side looks like. I actually think this would make an interesting dating site idea: Your first date is a trip somewhere. It would combine a flight deal and date stuff.

I remember one of the first road trips I took with a girlfriend. I remember nothing about the trip except that I discovered that she drove about 200 miles an hour on the highway, pulling right up behind cars until they moved out of her way. It didn’t change my view of her personality–she really was a lovely woman–but I saw a different side of her. And I had to deal with it for many hours, so part of the test was seeing how I reacted.

This past weekend, essentially on a whim, I used some frequent flyer miles to purchase a ticket to Ireland. For a while (about a week) I’ve been fantasizing about spending some time in Ireland, writing and reading on rolling hills and in ancient castles, buying rounds of Bud Select in pubs for cute Irish girls.

So when I spotted an available frequent flier ticket in the fall, I jumped at the chance. I’ve also lined up a five-night stay at a castle hotel. That’s right. I’m going to live in a castle for almost a week.

My natural inclination is to include someone on the trip. Not someone in particular, just someone, a lady companion. But just like my intentionally single period back in ’09, I really want–and need–to go at this alone. A solo trip will be a huge challenge for me, a huge stretch.

Basically, it’ll be a great test of my relationship with my single self.

Have you ever taken an enlightening (or difficult) trip with a significant other? Have you taken a solo trip abroad? How was it?