Going through a wedding may feel like a maniac episode for some couples. Planning a honeymoon as a post-wedding break, or just to tune out from friends and family for some private time is definitely something worth pursuing.
But beyond these short-term gains, honeymoons can have long-term benefits for a couple’s growth.
The concept of honeymoon first originated in the 18th century. Back then, honeymoons were less for leisure but more for newlyweds to visit relatives who were unable to attend the wedding ceremony. It has since evolved into a pure holiday excursion and is heavily influenced by mass tourism.
Before you throw a huge amount of fortune pursuing an expensive honeymoon (to reward yourself for surviving the hectic ceremony), understanding the significance that honeymoons may have on your relationship can definitely help you make the most out of your honeymoon experience.
3 helpful ways to think about the purpose of honeymoons
So how are honeymoons important? Firstly, let’s set the 3 parameters that might help you rethink about the purpose of your honeymoon.
1. Generating fond memories to start your relationship on the right foot.
Now, imagine a childhood friend who you knew since you were 6 years old, and whom you have argued with, relied on, and shared your moments of happiness and despair with. Who knows your guts inside out, and have stuck by you despite your imperfections.
Bring it forward to today, and imagine that you are still in close contact and have not allowed your busy life to neglect this friendship of yours.
The chances of trivial conflicts escalating into full-blown tensions that threaten to tear the friendship apart would be incomprehensible. Even if so, it will be likely that you will try your best to work out the issues and attempt to salvage the relationship rather than easily giving it up.
While probably not the only reason for your commitment to the relationship, the wealth of positive memories and experiences that you shared with your childhood friend acts as important foundations for the relationship. With the average dating duration at 2 to 3 years for most couples, you may not necessary have the time or opportunities to create such wealth of experiences with your partner before your marriage.
Hence, starting your marriage journey on the right foot by creating fond, bonding memories with each other is especially important. And honeymoons provide just that space and opportunity for you to do so!
2. Your first post-marriage goal together.
Honeymoon is your first life goal as a married couple.
Okay, so your wedding or engagement ceremony is probably the first major activity that you managed as a married couple. While the wedding should have been the first positive experience of your journey, it is not always easy given the tremendous stress from family, friends or even just between you and your spouse. Like the saying goes, your marriage is not always just about you.
Honeymoon however, is spared from all these constraints. Think of it as your first goal as a married couple that involves just you and your partner, and is an activity that both of you have full control over. How exciting can that get!
3. A space for privacy and to reminisce the wedding ceremony.
As cliché as it sounds, honeymoon is a really great opportunity for you to spend some intimate time with your partner and to wind down from the hectic wedding ceremony.
Honeymoons provide a good space for both of you to reminisce about the wedding, recollecting, talking and laughing over the highlights and imprinting these moments into fond couple memories.
While you can definitely do it without going away, being away forces you to devote your time fully to each other, without distractions from family, friends and duties. That said, with the amount of connectivity available today, do remember to put away your phone and cherish the physical time with one another. This private moment is gold.
4 important reminders for your honeymoon
With the purpose set, honeymoon suddenly seems to be more meaningful, aside from being a great holiday. Below are 4 final reminders before you start embarking on your honeymoon preparations.
1. It doesn’t have to be expensive, far or long.
We often place the wrong emphasis and expectations on honeymoons. We imagine honeymoons to be a once-in-a-life-time event that might never happen again. With that, we throw all our expectations into the trip, spend huge amount of money trying to go places that are far away, trying to check-off our entire bucket list in one trip or wasting fortunes on extravagant and luxurious experiences so that we can share with our friends what a spectacular honeymoon we had.
Returning to the 3 significances of honeymoons, what is really important is being able to spend time with one another and enjoy the experience together, so as to start your album of fond memories as a married couple.
So, instead of trying to plan for an elaborated extravaganza, start by focusing on creating a successful and positive experience with each other. That means exploring places and activities that might bring much satisfaction to both of you, within the comfort of your means.
The last thing you want to do is to stretch yourself for the trip and come back regretting the decision. Remember, you don’t need to go far, travel long or spend exorbitantly to enjoy the company of one another.
2. Delay or postpone if necessary, but don’t scrap your honeymoon
Yes, I have heard it before too, honeymoons are overrated. That is if you think about honeymoons as how it is marketed by mass media today.
Of course, honeymoons are not obligatory and should only happen if it is something desired by the couple.
That said, I personally feel honeymoon, or travelling, is a good avenue for a couple’s discovery. While you may not be able to go away right after your wedding, it is always possible to postpone or delay your honeymoon, but don’t scrap it altogether.
Embarking on your first overseas goal together and achieving it can be a rewarding experience for your relationship. Keep it simple if required. Remember, it doesn’t have to be expensive, far or long.
3. It is about working things through together
Of course, there are always different expectations between a couple, and at times, it is hard to come to an agreement about what to do or where to go.
Instead of focusing on the impasse, communicate with each other and develop the itinerary collaboratively. Try to be open to new activities and support each other in the pursuit of these experiences. Show appreciation for each other if compromises have been made.
The key is to work things through together, from the planning to the travelling. Creating a positive experience founded on love, understanding and trust will help the relationship grow a long way.
4. Plan a honeymoon every year, biennially, or once every five years.
If you consider the purpose of honeymoons, you will realize that honeymoons doesn’t have to be an one-off activity.
Building positive memories, setting marriage goals and having intimate time is a constant investment required for healthy relationships.
For us, we try to go for a trip, or honeymoon if you call it, within our means every year. We time the trip near our wedding anniversary so that the trips can be something special we look forward to. We try to challenge ourselves for some trips, as in our Mongolia expedition, while others, we try to achieve some of our bucket’s list (watch a World Cup match live).
So there you have it…
So just in the event you are feeling stressed or constrained by your honeymoon, or contemplating doing away with this un-meaningful, overrated activity, consider these purposes behind your honeymoon and share it with your partner to align that vision.
Remind yourself that the honeymoon does not need to be an one-off event that needs to be exceptional or extravagant. Most importantly, you’ve got to enjoy that lovely honeymoon of yours together with your partner!
Travelling can be a wonderful way to bond and learn about your partner. You can read up about my experiences from travelling as a couple in my other article, and how we have managed our travels despite our different preferences.