AFTER THE HONEYMOON
Or How to make your Honeymoon last for years
If you want your marriage to be a happy and lasting one then don’t let the honeymoon end – EVER! My wife and I have been married since 2002 and we are STILL newlyweds on our honeymoon and hopefully always will be! Just ask our friends and family, they can see it in our eyes and our hearts. So, how can YOU keep those same thoughts and feelings after your honeymoon? Read on for some tips and tricks.
Planning is the key. You have to PLAN to have fun, PLAN to go on adventures, PLAN to spend time together. Now this doesn’t mean that you can’t just hop in the car and start driving somewhere without a destination, my wife and I do that all the time, we call it “going on an AD-VEN-TURE” and it can be relaxing, exciting, fun and who knows what else. Sometimes we will just start driving in one direction and then one of us will say “turn left up here”. Sometimes we end up on dead end streets, other times we end up WAY out of town and make a big loop to get back, but almost always we end up going someplace we have never been.
But back to planning. We PLAN to do this by planning TIME to do it. We may not know where we’re going, but we know how long because we plan for it. But there are plenty of other things you can do to feel alive, in love and happy in your marriage, but it’s just easier if you have some plans.
We plan several vacations each year. 2-3 of them per year usually. Sure, some of them are ‘working’ vacations like going to Las Vegas to a convention, but we also ‘plan’ to go to shows and have fun gambling and doing other things. One year we went we also visited Ethel M’s chocolate factory and took a tour of the factory and their extensive cactus and succulents gardens, we also went out to Red Rock Canyon for a day and were surprised by some wild burros walking on the highway when we were heading back into town, you would be surprised what kinds of things you can do around Vegas for free and/or very little money if you want to. This trip also included several days driving and staying in Zion and Bryce Canyon National parks (Bryce is the one with the spires) as well as the Grand Canyon on the way back and believe me, it was AWESOME. Of course because we PLANNED it for the winter when hardly anyone was around, the parks were pretty empty and GORGEOUS with all the snow! Not to mention hotels were cheaper (two of them even upgraded us to suites for free when we told them we’re on our honeymoon – we’re ALWAYS on our honeymoon!), food was cheaper and there was no traffic either.
Another thing we try to do each and every week is to have “date night” every Wednesday night. We picked that night because our local ‘cheapy’ theatre (shows movies a couple months after they come out) has a great deal they call ‘date night’ - $10 gets you 2 admissions, 2 popcorns and 2 drinks. It’s cheap, easy and fun! But most important is no matter what, EVERY week we have a “date night”. It could be the movies, or bowling, roller skating, miniature golf, or whatever! One night I surprised my bride by taking her to a DRIVE IN MOVIE!! I had to drive a couple of hours away to find one down in Los Angeles, but we had a blast!! Oh, and nowadays the drive in doesn’t have crappy speakers, you use your own car stereo for the sound!
So, no matter what you like to do, start a DATE NIGHT with your wife! You can’t go wrong.
Want to bring back that Honeymoon trip you just got back from? How about you turn down the lights, light a few candles, cue up a CD or MP3 player with some island music and slather your bride down with a little, or a lot, of coconut (or other) oil. Then, give her a relaxing massage complete with the scent of the islands, or wherever you went on your honeymoon and she will re-live your romantic vacation all over again -- even if it is only Monday night! You might even want to have some tropical fruits like bananas, mangos, papayas or pineapple so you can take a break from all the rubbing (when YOU get tired from it) and feed her a few pieces. Take your time, you've got all night! Of course these foods and music are if you went somewhere tropical - if you went somewhere else, substitute the local music and foods.
Are you daring? Bold? How about setting up a surprise dinner out with your bride AND your new in-laws?? Tell the in-laws about it, but don’t let anyone (mother-in-law) let the cat out of the bag. Pick a nice restaurant that’s not too expensive and NOT romantic (not with the in-laws…ewww) and have them meet you there! Try and arrange it so they arrive earlier and wait in the lobby for you… She will REALLY be surprised when you walk in and they are there waiting. Usually it goes “Wow, what are YOU guys doing here?” Then of course you can tell her that you planned it yourself. She will think how great you are for going out to dinner with HER parents (without being forced to!) and they will think what a nice guy you are for spending time with them as well as doing something nice for their little girl. Awww…
Of course remember that he who does the inviting pays the bill, or at least offers to do so at least twice… Don’t force it after offering twice as you might come off as pushy and a show off. Instead just tell them “Well, Okay, but only if I get to buy next time!”
You can also do the same thing with friends or other family members as well if you can’t invite the in-laws (or if you really don’t get along with them). But the rule of the invite still applies.
BUY HER STUFF!! Yes, women love it when you buy them things! The sappier the better and they don’t have to cost a lot either. Find out what she likes (mine likes cat stuff and bears) and get her some. Just make sure you do it when she is NOT expecting it! Pick up something on the way home from work, like a nice potted plant or flowers (I get the ‘live’ kind instead of cut ones, they last for weeks/months!) or a stuffed animal and a funny card that says “You make me bear-y happy”.
I told my wife when we started dating that I didn’t believe in Valentine’s Day and she shouldn’t expect anything when that day comes and I stick to that. Instead, I give her loving gifts, candy, flowers and cards almost each and every month when she least expects it, or better yet, when she is feeling down. You can even send her some at work (like those coffee mugs with stuffed bears and candy) and then she gets to tell you how jealous all the other girls at work were when it arrived and the card said “Just because” – the others will think you are so sweet and they will likely go home and ask their boyfriends and husbands how come THEY don’t do things like that!
So remember, the real key to keeping your marriage a happy one is to make it FUN!! At least that’s the way our marriage has been (and will continue to be)! Having lots of fun and adventures will certainly give you lots to remember and to talk about too, oh, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures and short videos while you are out there on your adventures. It’s always great to look back at them years later and remember how great a time you had, but it’s even better to start planning some new ones!
So PLAN something! It doesn’t have to cost a lot (or anything), it doesn’t have to take up a lot of time or energy, but it should be: fun, relaxing, adventurous, special, wild, romantic, silly, fun, crazy, or anything else that you can think of that will make you both smile. It’s your choice.