The honeymoon is over.
Apparently, couples no longer celebrate their first few days of marital bliss watching Caribbean sunsets or sightseeing in Paris. Instead, according to the New York Times, they book separate solo vacations or trendy “Unimoons”. According to new research, one in four Americans says they get more out of traveling by doing it alone.
So much for “Until death do us part”.
What would make two people who have just decided to spend the rest of their lives together pull out so quickly? Take the main couple in the Times article who couldn’t agree on a post-wedding destination. The groom wanted to go to France … to watch football. The bride didn’t. So she “went to see a friend in Toronto” while her new husband went to Europe to watch sports with his brothers.
Then there was the couple who had to go on separate work trips after tying the knot and decided to have their own solo honeymoon with them. When the groom, who wasn’t really enjoying his time in Paris, passed the Eiffel Tower and was so overwhelmed with longing that he decided to call his new bride, “she was busy in a meeting.”
“It’s a very individualistic, modern practice of efficiency above all else,” the Groom tells the Times. “I think it’s linked to workaholism and working on the treadmill when you can’t even coordinate one of the most important times in your life together.”
OK, I kind of get it. When I was young and planning my own wedding, I didn’t see much of the point of a honeymoon. After all, my partner and I had been together for seven years. We had lived together for over a year. We had taken various vacations and road trips together.
Then I got married and understood.
For one thing, a wedding rarely happens just between the two who take their vows. Even the coolest couple often grapple with nagging parents, sparing family members, last-minute mix-ups (as in our case when event times get messed up or alcohol runs out), and embarrassing friends who inevitably drink too much and feel even more ashamed.
Trust me, it is going to take you a few days when you can actually spend time together, just the two of you, away from your family and friends – for your own health and well-being.
But more importantly, honeymoons are wonderful! Really. You talk a lot and eat a lot and love a lot and get dizzy at the prospect of spending the rest of your life together – all without worrying about work or your apartment falling apart or your cat in need of feeding or yours checks email or twitter or any of the other worldliness that consume our daily lives.
And I know that not everyone can afford a two-week stay in the tropics. That’s OK. My husband and I spent our honeymoon in a hotel room (generously provided by my bridesmaids) in Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh! – City of steel. And to be honest, it couldn’t have been better if it had been in Paris.