Underneath It All
You can learn quite a bit about someone while you're dating. Foods they like, favorite activities, sexuality, intellect, family ties, openness, integrity, and a myriad of other qualities are discoverable. But there's a particularly telling aspect of a relationship that's not obvious and it's a reliable predictor of its future.
My friends contend that a critical measure of a relatively new boomer relationship is whether or not a couple travels well together. When they've mentioned this to me in the past I've cringed remembering one trip in particular that was so dysfunctional I could feel the relationship unravel in real time. I included traveling together in The Boomer Guide to Finding True Love Online because it's a critical dating issue.
What does travel well together mean? However a couple gets along at home will likely resemble how they relate on a trip. A relationship that works at home generally travels well and a relationship burdened by unresolved issues won't magically improve. Sarah and I had taken a few short trips together, and while each was near perfect, I recognized that three weeks of 24/7, togetherness in Oaxaca, Mexico would test our relationship.
Same Old Same Old
Not surprisingly, the issues that challenge us at home followed us to Mexico. Nothing new came up except we disagreed about who spoke better Spanish. But that was humorous rather than contentious, and we amused more than a few taxi drivers, artists, and people in the street with our quasi-fluent Spanish. Fortunately, Oaxaqueños are incredibly polite and most smiled good- naturedly at our efforts.
Silly Stuff Notwithstanding
Sarah and I are both strong-willed boomers who struggle with patience and being told what to do, and when challenged we tend to react instead of respond, which is the cause of our flare-ups. But the few upsets in Mexico were short-lived and quickly forgotten in the same manner they are at home. We're both willing and eager to recognize our silly stuff, apologize, and then move on. The notion of an ongoing conflict is anathema to us.
My friends also consider sex or the lack of sex a factor in traveling well. Sarah and I made love every day, which reflected our sexual frequency at home. But what strikes me as special is that sex has gotten juicier and has kept its dreamy quality. Our powerful sexual connection is inextricably linked to our ever-deepening emotional intimacy.
I'm crystal clear that a strong physical attraction is essential in a relationship from the start. I have never experienced or heard about sexual chemistry significantly increasing over time. Chemistry may be difficult to articulate but it can't be effectively ignored.
Eager To Please
Sarah and I never disagreed about where to have dinner, which small village to visit, when or where to take extended daily walks, when to sit and have a drink and watch people go by, or when to take an afternoon siesta, which quickly became our favorite time to make love. The best explanation regarding why we travel so seamlessly is twofold. We're eager to please each other and we agree that little is worth arguing about.
We spent a day apart when I took a cooking class and Sarah went to a few museums I wasn't keen to visit. When I got back in the afternoon Sarah greeted me with a sweet smile and open arms, and we made love like we hadn't seen each other in weeks. Relationship magic shouldn't ever be discounted because it's often what makes it special.
The good news is that our relationship is the same at home and away, and that we definitely travel well together. It's that steadiness that encourages us to do the work to continue building a lasting relationship. We already made reservations for next year.
Frosting On The Cake
Sitting in the airport waiting to board our flight to San Francisco Sarah leaned over and whispered in my ear, "This was the best vacation I ever had." I told her the same. We spent the tedious travel day holding hands and celebrating our best vacation ever. The first night at home and apart felt sad and lonely. We'd started a dialogue in Mexico about possibly living together and we'll continue it with confidence.
Sarah and I passed the travel test with honors. After three weeks in Mexico with her I agree that traveling well together is an omen.
Ken Solin is an author, Dating Coach, and Men's Coach, who believes in the limitless vitality boomers have to experience sex, dating, and relationships to their fullest. To learn more about Ken's new book The Boomer Guide to Finding True Love Online visit www.kensolin.com.