Sure, you love her. But can you spend significant periods of time together in either tight or simply unknown places? Can you stand each other when you’re at your worst?
The problem with most marriages is that they happen too soon. It’s not that the individuals haven’t known or dated each other for long enough, it’s that they don’t know each other well enough.
Unless you’ve traveled with someone, you only know half of that person -- the half that exists in a place that she knows very well and is comfortable in.
Not until you travel with a person for a significant amount of time do you get to see a glimpse of that other half, that more selfish and uncomfortable half. Before you get married, take a pre-wedding honeymoon for a month or two.
1. Traveling often brings out the best in people -- and the worst.
I’m not sure whether it’s because we find ourselves a bit off guard, if our egos take over and we choose to focus more on ourselves and less on our partner, or if we simply get overly excited with all the novelty, but all the extra sensitivity that traveling allows for can both be a gift and a burden.
Things that seemed less of a problem back home -- problems that you maybe thought were resolved -- can pop back up and get blown entirely out of proportion. At the same time, however, traveling with the person we love can remind us how much we love her.
If you have issues within your relationship, then traveling may very well force you to face them. If you’re planning on marrying her, then it’s better to start with a clean slate.
2. If you’re going to marry her, then you should be comfortable leaving your comfort zone with her.
Sure, she’s probably a bit uncomfortable. Yes, you’re also uncomfortable. Even if you can afford to travel luxuriously, you’re still stepping outside of your comfort zones. You know fewer people. You’re not quite as familiar with the food or the culture. You’re going to have to think and act differently than either of you normally would.
This is what makes life so wonderful -- getting chances to widen that comfort zone. This is what spending your life with another person is for; if you can’t do it together now, then you won’t be capable of doing it together later.
3. Traveling allows you to get to know each other much better.
You may be thinking that you already know your partner as well as you ever could. If that’s the case, then I have to warn you that your marriage isn’t likely to last. Not because she has no more of herself to introduce you to, but because you already find her boring and aren’t bothering to explore her.
Traveling allows for partners to remove themselves from their regular routines and focus on just each other. If you travel for a month or two and come back happier than before, then at least you know you can handle the good times together -- not all couples can even do that much.
4. You learn exactly how she reacts under pressure.
When she realizes she forgot to pack enough socks, when she loses her makeup bag, when the flight gets delayed four hours and you’re stuck together on a plane with no AC, let’s see how she manages. Some girls keep calm and cool, and manage to deal with the discomfort.
Others, on the other hand, will complain until your ears bleed -- as if nagging and whining will change the reality of the situation. Now, imagine how things will be once you’re married.
5. Traveling shows you how independent she can be.
Traveling is the best way to figure out if she's her own person. Some guys seem to like needy, codependent girls who can’t fend for themselves. And some girls seem to love being that type.
I’m going to assume that most of you guys aren’t insane and would prefer a woman who is capable and strong and can take care of you sometimes too.
If you love your girl, then you may already have a good understanding of her strength. Nevertheless, could you think of anything sexier than your woman leading you around unknown cities, forests and jungles? If you plan on leading a very active lifestyle, then you’re going to need a partner who can keep up.
Of course, ladies, the same goes for any potential marriage prospects for you. Don't marry him until you've traveled with him either!