Years ago, a former coworker who was pretty by-the-book about relationships confessed to me that she and her (now-husband) took an impromptu trip to a tropical island just a few weeks into dating.
I couldn't believe she would take that kind of chance, and yet, she was so excited retelling the story. The most interesting thing done lately is see my boyfriend's grandmother perform in a local opera.
Important note: This was someone who I could really see myself with—the dates included hours of deep conversations, we seemed to have lots of common interests, and he had been thoroughly vetted by my wingman, Google.
Hearing her talk about how fun this trip was left an imprint on my mind and made me realize I should probably be shaking things up from the usual dinner-and-a-movie script.
A few years later, I was G-chatting with a guy I had only been on four dates with but really liked.
Of course, I'd be remiss not to mention the obvious downside to the spontaneous trip: What if you get there and realize you don't like each other?
It hasn't happened to me, but is certainly a possibility.
At a certain point in every relationship, dollar pizza date nights just don't cut it anymore.
Reality sunk in—was I really about to jet off with someone I barely knew? Everything in my gut said Did we live happily ever after? But we had a great time on the trip, and going away together fast-tracked the process of getting to know each other in a way that was certainly more exciting than doing so in our own city.
Call it the effect: spending a whirlwind weekend away with someone cuts through a lot of the formalities of dating.
Worst case, if you land in Anguilla and he emerges from the hotel bathroom in a Señor Frogs T-shirt screaming, "Which way to the foam partayyyyy?! But here are four practical tips to ensure that doesn't happen.
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You end up dealing with everything from flight delays and traffic jams to getting ready in front of each other—and since there's no privacy when it comes to putting on foundation or curling your eyelashes in a hotel room, in a funny way, it builds intimacy.
Sharing a living space is also a preview of what's to come, and that kind of 24/7 togetherness makes it clear quickly if you're compatible or not.