8 Honeymoon Dos and Don’ts

By Janey Womeldorf

If people took their honeymoon before they got married, would they still get married? The problem is, one unavoidable reality lurks beneath the picture-postcard ideal they have in their minds: When you spend every claustrophobic moment of every blissful day in the company of your beloved, whether you like it or not, each other’s quirks and flaws will rise to the surface like enemy torpedoes.

Welcome to the magical, vertical learning curve we call marriage, and what better place to start that journey of love than on vacation. Yes, that week-long celebration of laughter and love guaranteed to unite couples and bond families – nothing tests a couple’s patience or tolerance like it. Even decades-married couples can crack under the pressure.

Blinded by love and anxious to christen their new life together, the happy lovebirds giggle with dreamy excitement about their long-awaited trip. Practical clothing has no place on this vacation, and eye-candy outfits bulge from their pristine suitcases. As they fly off into the sunset, visions of togetherness, laughter and harmony warm their hearts. They don’t need rose-tinted sunglasses; tension, sulking and miscommunication will not happen on their honeymoon. Their love will conquer all.

For extra fireworks, they embark on this eye-opening, joyous adventure into togetherness by obtaining passports they fear daily of losing, staying in a city they don’t know, using a currency they can’t calculate, surrounded by a language they don’t understand, and eating food they can’t pronounce and will later discover does not agree with them.

But all of this pales in comparison to their ultimate challenge: Sharing the same bathroom for the first time ever. Is that the smell of romance in the air?

Do not fear, tropical sunshine awaits at the end of that love tunnel. Whether you are a future honeymooner or a married old timer, here are some basic dos and don’ts for vacation success.

1. Make Up.

Men don’t realize how much “stuff” it takes to look good. As you start unloading your collection of pink, dusty make up, he may go into shock. Don’t elevate his angst by relegating his razor and deodorant to the far corner of available space while you recreate the make-up counter at Macy’s in your bathroom.

2. Getting Ready.

He will try not to get impatient but will fail. The truth is, men just don’t understand what takes us so long. He will crack. Train yourself to notice the signs – loud huffing while he looks at his watch, taking his shoes back off or switching the TV’s romantic-music channel over to sports and blasting the sound to drown out his frustration. Preempt his mood crash by pouring him a beer and suggest he drink it on the balcony while you beauty-up. Tip: If you are a high-maintenance woman, just do yourself a favor and book a hotel with an on-site bar. Life is short.

3. Don’t be shy about giving him wardrobe guidance.

It’s time to go out. You’re dressed to the nines, and he’s wearing shorts and his favorite college t-shirt. Don’t ruin an evening by sulking over his perceived lack of wardrobe consideration. He’s on vacation, and his priority is what beer to drink not what shirt to wear. Speak up or shut up, and embrace the learning curve. Pull out the collar you secretly hoped he would choose, gush how good he looks in it, offer to buy him a beer and go have a fun evening.

4. Never, ever ask him to pick out your outfit for the evening.

He will pick the wrong one. This leaves you two choices: One, wear his outfit and suck it up, (serves you right!); or two, shatter his ego by unsuccessfully sugar-coating the fact that you are over-ruling him and wear what you really wanted to wear anyway. Either way, you will ruin the evening. Twenty years of marriage later, there will be misguided moments when you are still tempted to do this. Drop this romantic notion. This is a game few men want to play and even less men win.

5. Never ask: Does this make me look fat?

He may say yes. Instead, live by the following rule: Don’t ask the question if you might not like the answer. I didn’t. I asked, he told me, I cried.

6. Prepare for bathroom noise.

It will happen, so save yourself a lot of cramping. Embrace and accept it or pack the spare iPod-and-speaker set with the best volume.

7. Don’t succumb to the “sulk, sulk, he-should-have-known” trap.

If you want him to do something, tell him. If your wine glass is empty, ask him to pour you another. If you are cold, and he hasn’t offered you his jacket, ask for it. Stay warm, drink wine, and save yourself a lot of disappointment. He is not clairvoyant, never will be, and when you feel yourself going to the “sulky” place, twirl your ring and admire his collar.

8. Beware making blind-love decisions.

Many a regretful (and costly) honeymoon and vacation decision has been made in the name of love. (Timeshare anybody?)

“I only did it because I thought you wanted to.”

“Well I only did it because I thought you did.”

Learn to speak up now; it’s better to negotiate through a few minutes of awkward discussion sooner, than waste an evening or suffer a lifetime of expensive regrets later. And embrace compromise. Admit you’d rather order room service than eat out, (romantic dinner on the balcony?) and if you want red but he wants white, get both.

The honeymoon is the cusp of the learning curve, and life runs smoother if you prioritize magic over melodrama. Don’t assume, expect or hope; start as you mean to go on, learn to communicate calmly, and compromise. And remember practice makes perfect; besides, it will all come in handy on that first vacation with your in-laws.

And you thought your partner had quirks!

About this writer

  • Janey Womeldorf Janey Womeldorf once went to work wearing different shoes. She now freelance writes and scribbles away in Orlando, Florida. It’s probably best.

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6 Responses to “8 Honeymoon Dos and Don’ts”

  1. Lynn Obermoeller says:

    Great advice for newlyweds!

  2. Communication is the key. This article made me laugh, as I recognized myself… relegating his razor to a corner.

  3. Janey Womeldorf says:

    Lynn, thank you for your comment. Almost 23 years of marriage and sometimes I feel I’m still learning.

  4. Janey Womeldorf says:

    Linda, glad it made you laugh. Good job razors are small enough to fit in corners eh.

  5. Maura Troy says:

    Very funny. It’s so true, I definitely tend to be more easily irritated when we’re on vacation. And nine times out of ten, it’s because there is only one bathroom. :)

  6. Janey W says:

    Maura, aah yes, the joys of vacations and shared bathrooms… :>)

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