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You love the way he smiles, and he might just be the smartest man you’ve ever dated. In your mind you’ve already cast him in the role of Prince Charming in your tale of Happily Ever After. (Insert dreamy music here.)
Not so fast, sister.
Before you start painting your white picket fence, you need to take this relationship on the road. Some character traits only become obvious when you’re away from your regular routine, and you need to know these things before you give him a key to your place, much less your heart.
Without further delay, I give you the list (totally subjective, of course, but meticulously researched via one failed marriage, one successful marriage, and many relationships in between.)
1) The Control Freak
A man who won’t let you do or decide anything (“it’s more romantic if you let me do it!”) is a man who wants control. Give him an inch and he’ll take a mile, and one day you’ll wake up wondering where you got lost along the way.
Sharing the chores of travel, alternating who picks the restaurant for dinner each night, and even giving each other personal time are signs that your man is looking for a partnership.
It may be more trouble to carry your own luggage or book the hotel, but in the end you’ll be glad you did. We should all be able to carry our own weight in a relationship.
2) Quick to Anger Guy
With travel comes the chance of delays, missed flights, and lost luggage. It is rarely the ticket agent’s fault, but those poor souls usually bear the brunt of this frustration from grumpy travelers.
Does your man lose his cool when these things happen? Or does he take it in stride, contact the appropriate people to resolve the issue, and then move on from the situation?
Believe me, you want the second guy in that scenario. In real life, the grumpy guy will take his anger out on the closest person instead of the right person, and if you are his mate it will often be you.
3) Mr. Everything is a BIG DEAL
Is your guy a roller or a squeezer? More importantly, is he frustrated that you aren’t the same way? I’m talking about dispensing toothpaste, of course.
If you are sharing toothpaste for the first time and he makes a big deal over you squeezing instead of rolling, he is a man who doesn’t know how to choose his battles. Life is too short to waste on petty disagreements like this.
A man who can work around minor differences in habit (use 2 mini tubes instead of one big one) is a man who will be more easygoing on a day-to-day basis.
Who needs that kind of drama first thing in the morning, anyway?
4) Closed-Minded Man
If you travel outside the US or even outside your geographic area, you are likely to encounter people who live differently than you do. Is your man interested and tolerant of these people, or does he ridicule them for being different from him?
Let’s face it: A man who is interested is a man who is interesting.
And living your life with a guy who has it all figured out (“if only everyone else would think like me!”) is a guy who won’t be interesting to you for long.
(If he’s a racist, homophobe or misogynist that likely already came out before your first trip and I hope you’ve already dumped him.)
5) The Macho Man Who Never Needs Help
Face it, he’s probably not going to come up with the idea to ask for directions, even if he’s clearly lost. But he shouldn’t freak out if you do.
He wants you to think he’s a walking GPS. He wants you to feel safe and secure with him, and he probably wants to show off a little bit, too. We all get lost, though, and wasting hours trying to find something when a question to a local can solve it in minutes is just plain crazy and can ruin an otherwise fun trip.
Knowing when to accept help is a desirable trait in a mate, whether you are talking about asking for directions when lost or finally giving up on a disastrous home-improvement project and calling a professional.
So, What Will He Learn About You?
This article is written under the assumption that you are a worthy match for this ideal travel guy. After all, it’s not fair to ask him to be a great travel partner if you break the rules.
Do you act in a way that would attract the kind of guy you want? Do you make a trip more enjoyable for other people? Being the kind of partner you want is the best recipe for finding him!
The pleasures and stresses of travel bring out the best and worst in all of us, which is why it is such a good way to learn a lot about each other in a short period of time.
Have you taken your relationship on the road? What did you learn about each other?
Betsy Talbot writes about carving the lifestyle you want out of the life you already have at www.marriedwithluggage.com. When she’s not writing, she’s paring down, saving up, and getting ready for a year of travel with her husband. Subscribe to her blog [here]