An obvious partnership is the married couple, the engaged couple, the college romantic couple.
If you're planning a long hike with them, its good to sit down and get all issues out in the open.
My mentor claims for every person you add to the group, the difficulty is doubled.
Meaning, one person on a scale of 1-10 would be like one. Two people, its doubled, or two. Three people, its 4. Four people would be an 8.
The reason for this is difference in body strength, more risk of someone getting sick, differences in passion and expectations, and general life events.
There was a couple who starting having relationship problems when she decided her load was too heavy. He kept carrying more and more of it, leaving her with just a light pack.
Another couple would debate each town stop, whether to get a motel, rent a car, what foods to buy for a resupply.
Hiking a long trail together doesn't usually mend relationships, but will put it to the test. If yours survives, you have a true life partner. You will have memories, good bad and ugly for the rest of your lives.
If your partner gets injured, bored, or leaves for any reason, you have to figure out if you'll continue. I've met people from both camps. Usually its the woman who ends up having to leave, sometimes for family emergencies, sometimes injury.
Hikers can meet their loved ones at intervals, especially on the Appalachian Trail because there are so many roads, and towns close enough to enjoy together. Phone calls and post offices make staying in touch easy, if you must separate.
Some will find loose partnerships of like minded hikers while on the trail.
We never even know their real names, so that getting to a motel and asking for a trail friend becomes very hilarious.
One time, I asked if Foxtrot had registered yet, the lady behind the desk looked at me, and asked for a real name. I described his appearance, and backpack. She just shook her head and exclaimed, "They all look like that!"
Partnerships can be beneficial, someone to look out for you, for company on long trails, share loads of specialty items.
Tomorrow we'll talk about some ways to enhance benefits.
I wrote a lot about this at http://trailquest.net/ultralight.html