The Road Trip Test

I was having a conversation with some women awhile ago, and one was talking about a road trip she and her husband had recently taken.

She complained about the trip, saying “Well, we bickered the entire way. You know, like married couples do.”

I kept my mouth shut, but all I could think was my husband and I have never bickered through an entire road trip. She said it like it was a given in a marriage, that you can’t be in close proximity for any real length of time. I beg to differ.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had to drive 12 hours together for a funeral. We left on a Tuesday and drove back on a Thursday. We left our son with his grandparents. I had to miss 3 days of work and worry about travelling while 7 month pregnant. None of that sounds exciting, but I was excited.

We were going to get to spend 24 hours in the car together. That meant 24 hours of uninterrupted conversation, quiet moments, and laughter. Despite all of the things I wasn’t looking forward to, knowing that we were going to have that time together made it bearable.

Taking a road trip together while you’re dating is a way of doing your due diligence when deciding if that person is marriage material. If you can’t handle being in the car together for an extended length of time, you might not be right for each other.

We figured out early on in our relationship that we could handle road trips together. A few months after starting to date, he was going to an event in my hometown and asked if I wanted to tag along. I immediately agreed, but then started to think about the 12 hour drive. Could I be in a confined space for hours and hours and hours with this man? What would we talk about? Would the silences be awkward? We got along really well, but how does that hold up during 12 hours of face time…and 12 hours back?

It was not a problem. We talked. We laughed. We played punch buggy for 8 hours. When it was over, it was one more thing that kept him firmly in the category of marriage material.

These are the kinds of things to keep an eye on while dating. If you don’t want to bicker on car trips when you’re married, make sure you don’t bicker on car trips while you’re dating.

The more I think about it, a road trip can be a microcosm of a marriage. You’re in it together for a long time, and you want it to be fun. There are moments of quiet, moments of laughter, moments of conversation. There may even be unpleasant moments. Just like a marriage it’s not going to be one thing for the entire time, there’s going to be variety. And that’s what makes it fun. So testing it out during dating can be a peek into what marriage could be like.


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