We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the honeymoon is the reward for all the work you and your bride put into the wedding. You’re finally alone with her, and the two of you have no responsibilities at all. In fact, you’re expected to do nothing but have indulgent, indecent, adult-style fun: amazing meals, amazing adventures, amazing sex, amazingly total relaxation. Your honeymoon is going to be perfect.
You’re probably old enough to realize that nothing in life goes 100% the way you expect. So when it comes to your honeymoon, you need to balance two facts:
A: Your honeymoon will be incredible;
B: Your honeymoon will not be perfect.
These two facts are not mutually exclusive. If anything, they’re mutually inclusive: How well you deal with Fact B has a direct impact on the degree to which Fact A holds true.
Manage your expectations now, and neither the common inconveniences of traveling, nor the unique problems that can crop up on a honeymoon will stop you from having an awesome time.
MEET YOUR MATTRESS
For the first day or two of your honeymoon, you may not want to leave your hotel room.
Don’t get excited: it’s not because you’ll be too busy having marathon sex. (We’ll get to the sex in a minute.) It’s because you’ll be exhausted.
Traveling is a tiring business, and you’re probably still recovering from all the drama (both the happy and annoying varieties) of the Big Day. Relax, this exhaustion will dissipate quickly enough, and you can start enjoying yourself in earnest.
But first, put on your bathrobe, pour yourself a drink, and chill.
DISCOVER YOUR WIFE
Sure, sure, we know: she’s your best friend, the love of your life, the only person with whom you can truly be you.
Fair enough. But you’ve just gone through something that has changed your relationship irrevocably. You got married.
The woman lying next to you in bed is no longer your live-in girlfriend. She’s not even your fiancée anymore. She’s your wife. And you are her husband.
You’ll be surprised by how different that feels, and during those first few days it might make you awkward around each other. Don’t stress. You’ll get used to it pretty quickly.
EXPLORE YOUR ANIMAL NATURE
We’ve talked about honeymoon sex more extensively elsewhere, so for the purpose of this article we’ll keep it short and sweet. The sex you have on your honeymoon does not have to be the most mind-blowing sex of your life. In fact, the more you try to make it the most mind-blowing sex of your life, the less it will be.
Don’t go for quantity over quality, either. There is no minimum requirement for number of times you must screw on this trip. Anyway, if you just relax and let things happen, you’ll probably be happy with the number you ultimately achieve.
FACE HER DEMONS
Your new wife might be cranky. Frankly, can you blame her?
She’s just gone through one of the most exhausting, emotional events of her life, and here you are, giving her that “sexy time” look every ten minutes. She probably needs to crash, to zone out for a while, and not have anyone ask anything of her. It’s only human.
She also may be feeling pressure to have a good time, and may worry that she’ll disappoint you if she doesn’t. If this causes her too much stress, she’ll start taking it out on you.
PICK YOUR BATTLES
Perhaps you arranged the honeymoon, and want her to fully appreciate all the fun activities you have planned. She was the boss of the wedding, you are the boss of the honeymoon, right?
Wrong. Just as she had to compromise when planning the ceremony, you need to compromise now. So you had your heart set on renting jet-skis, or zip-lining down the mountain—but she wants you to spend the day strolling through the town with her, looking at the architecture. You can’t get all huffy about it. You need to man up and go with her. Remember, it’s her honeymoon, too.
BE BLISSFUL, NOT OBLIVIOUS
While you’re walking around with a sense of blissful invulnerability, the rest of the world is going about its business. You will be surrounded by people dealing with everyday affairs: maybe they’re late for work, maybe they’re not sure how they’re going to pay the rent, maybe they’re bored out of their minds with the wonderful island atmosphere you and your wife find so charming.
If people are rude or indifferent—if they don’t smile at you two as you pass arm in arm, or give you free stuff just because you’re young, beautiful and in love—don’t let it harsh your buzz. They are not trying to ruin your honeymoon. They just don’t care about it.
KEEP CALM AND MARRY ON
Perhaps you imagined your honeymoon as the happy ending of a movie: the extended, soft focus coda after the bad guys are defeated. Think the throne room scene at the end of the first Star Wars. Think the last forty minutes of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Here’s the problem. You might get sick on your honeymoon. You might get robbed on your honeymoon. You might end up in a hotel room with a view of a brick wall, or at a restaurant with really mediocre food. You might get stuck in traffic or spend 14 hours in an airport terminal waiting for them to call your flight.
As much as we want to assume it will be a fairy tale, a honeymoon is real life, and like real life, anything could happen.
The upside? If something does happen, you don’t have to go through it alone. You go through it with your favorite person. You’ll be surprised at how tolerable 14 hours in an airport terminal is when you’re spending it with the woman you love.