A road trip is a great way to determine long-term compatibility. The unrelenting close proximity highlights issues in a way few other experiences can. It also helps a couple sharpen their negotiation skills as everything from music to destination will be up for discussion.
However, if you can’t physically go somewhere, you might try this exercise to help determine compatibility. Imagine you’re going on a road trip with your partner and ask yourself these questions:
- Where are you going? Is that your choice, his choice or a mutually agreed upon choice?
- Whose car are you taking? Or are you renting a car? Is the driving shared?
- Do you drive straight-thru or do you stop along the way? What’s your maximum number of hours in a car for one day?
- Who is controlling the map or global positioning system? What happens if you get lost?
- What do you pack? What does he pack? Will it all fit in the car comfortably? Who is packing the car?
- Are you bringing food? Did you buy it or make it? Who made it? Is it healthy food or junk food?
- For beverages are you bringing refillable containers or are you buying disposable ones on the way?
- How far in advance do you need to ask for a potty stop? Do you need to ask more than once?
- Who is controlling the music and air conditioning?
- Are you splitting the gasoline tab? Is it 50/50 on each tank or you get this one, I’ll get the next?
- How are the accommodations? Are you in the lap of luxury or are you afraid to put your bare foot on the floor? What was the deciding factor in where you stay?
- Who is paying for what? Do you feel that it’s a fair and equitable distribution of costs?
- How do you negotiate arguments on the road?
If you have successfully gotten to your destination with a minimal amount of discomfort, congratulations. If not, what issues did the exercise highlight in terms of needing work?