Photo Credit: Flickr/romsrini
When Alyssa and Rick returned from their honeymoon in Italy, they were still squabbling. They rented a car in Tuscany because they wanted control of their itinerary. Instead, they ended up losing control of their temper over being lost, low on gas, and parking spaces. They drove to so many towns that they came back exhausted and in need of a vacation!
Alyssa and Rick made classic honeymoon mistakes: They picked a place without picking how they wanted to feel about their experience—and each other. Smart honeymoon plans address the top three feelings of: Relaxation, Excitement and Specialness.
If possible, don’t go away immediately after the wedding. Couples often need to recover from too much eating, drinking, and dealing with wedding snafus and disgruntled guests.
Some couples go on min-moons that consist of a few nights of luxury at a location that does not require too much driving or flying. You want to feel pampered and refreshed. You can go on your main honeymoon later when you have more time.
But don’t worry if you do go away immediately after the wedding. Make sure, though, you pace your activities so you don’t get exhausted. Tired people are cranky people. And crankiness doesn’t mix well with intimacy.
Do relaxation research! For example, look for cruise itineraries that include days at sea. If there aren’t any, then restrict the number of all-day shore excursions. If your trip is on land, don’t select every charming town. Don’t just read about places on the French Riviera or in Provence or in the Italian hills—look at photos and select a sample of styles or eras. Hiring private drivers is another way to avoid aggravation. They know about scenic drives, petrol stations and ways to avoid traffic jams.
Don’t make the mistake of choosing too much down time by flopping on the beach every day. Happily married, long-term spouses know how to keep that spark alive: They take chances by doing new things.
Newness is a blend of anticipation and anxiety—the perfect honeymoon mix. Doing slightly fearful activities such as zip lines or safaris strengthens your bond. You become a duo that conquered danger and the unknown together. You feel closer because you are building a shared sense of trust and safety. And, by the way, those feelings also make for memorable intimacy.
Even smaller doses of the new will build bonds. Explore different restaurants, wander into shops and museums, and take different routes back to your hotel. Some couples check into one large luxury hotel for part of their honeymoon, and then they check into a luxury boutique hotel for the remainder of the time. And don’t think that renting a car is the best way to be spontaneous. Hire a private driver who will accommodate last-minute changes.
Over time, you and your partner will become more than a duo: You become your own private country of special moments, memories, triumphs, and traditions. Start now. Take lots of photos—even those touristy ones! Put them in an album, keep a journal, and buy at least one thing for your home that reminds you of your honeymoon.
Author: Dr. LeslieBeth (LB) Wish is a nationally recognized psychologist and licensed clinical social worker #7132, honored for her pioneering work with women’s issues in love, life, work and family. The National Association of Social Workers has named her as One of the Fifty who has contributed to the field, and by Marquis’Who’s Who publications. Her latest self-help, research-based books are Smart Relationships and The Love Adventures of Almost Smart Cookie the cartoon companion book where you can follow a year of Cookie’s love missteps and learn about yours! To learn more go to her website www.lovevictory.com