“Leave as a couple, return as one.” assures the Mercury Travels advert. “Discover the perfect moment to fall in love again and again. When you’re in love, it’s easy to feel the entire city is just for you….” it goes on to promise a whirlwind romance for 5 days/ four nights in Singapore.
To-be-married couples will be entranced by the picture of a young couple standing in neck-deep water, looking deep into each other’s eyes in the breathtaking backdrop of the Singapore skyline by sundown and the assurance of an experience that will bring a couple closer together, even as ‘one’.
While beautiful Singapore, touted as ‘no ordinary getaway’, beckons, is it only Singapore that beckons? Why does the advertisement allure even the much married (such as me)? Why does it draw even the closest couples with the promise of even more closeness? Not just the holiday, or Singapore, or even the striking photograph of the couple holding hands under water in the evening light. What then is it that draws one to the advert? I believe it is the promise of romance for the already initiated, the guarantee of closer relationships where closeness already exists, and of course the mood, the ambience, that the exotic locale only serves to enhance.
We unconsciously aspire for romance – the mystery, the pleasure, the emotion, the excitement (sigh, if only we could bottle it for keeps!). Romance is the extraordinary high we experience perhaps for the first time in our teens, when the first stirring or awakening happens, the fluttering of the heart, and the quickening of the heartbeat or the breath….
Wikipedia describes romance as ‘the expressive and pleasurable feeling from an emotional attraction towards another person associated with love.’ Romance builds intense emotions on the journey to find that perfect partner, while marriage offers intimacy and long lasting sharing.
However, with the present global scenario, there have been tumultuous changes affecting almost every aspect of our lives, including in our understanding of romance and love and marriage. The very concept of marriage is undergoing a transformation – this may well be a passing phase before we evolve to a more deeper relationship or an understanding of it.
While advertisements attract us with the promise of romance in a glorious honeymoon, do we, or can we really get our money’s worth if we are not ourselves mentally prepared?
How could we do so?
First, an understanding of what the honeymoon is to the marriage would be important. The first lap of the lifetime journey when each partner gets to know each other better is crucial, and the better planned it is, the more the success – not so much in terms of the holiday itself, but the understanding, empathy, caring that develops as a result will go a long long way in building and strengthening relationships.
Plan the journey and seek expert help in planning it. Or at least seek advice from someone you know who has done this recently. This could eliminate last-minute disappointments… However, sometimes the mystery of the unknown and discovering things together could add to it – though it is important to know if the partner is ok with backpacking or with uncertainty.
Make sure you have packed right – enough to make the journey and honeymoon smooth and easy-flowing, munchies, camera, connectivity, medicines, music, umbrella, warm clothes, swimwear, sunglasses, books, diary.
Have the right attitude to enjoy yourselves and get to know each other.
Indulge yourselves – pamper yourselves for honeymoons are once-in-a-lifetime affair and let go of the restraint and make sure you both enjoy yourselves thoroughly.
Plan at least one special evening – seductive and music, mood and the right atmosphere. You may decide on some more, or for each day to be as special… but start with one.
Eat familiar foods – try not to experiment too much as some foods could cause allergies and this may not be the right time to test your palate. Also keep away from strong smelling foods such as onion and garlic – they can be quite a dampener during lovemaking. Some foods are well-known aphrodisiacs and can heighten sexual pleasure – fruits such as figs, pomegranate, bananas, avocados, watermelon; chocolate and vanilla, spices such as chilli, as also walnuts, asparagus, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and salmon all help in building the special feeling and the togetherness mood.
Share memories of some special moments of your past with your spouse.
Compliment one another – everyone likes compliments. Say nice things to show you have noticed. Communicating that you care can make a huge difference to your relationship.
Give each other importance – both of you have given up your earlier life, a life that you were used to, and are embarking on a new life ‘together’. And the one way to do this is to listen to each other – it is important to listen to your spouse, it is among the most important things you could do to show you care.
Find out what your partner likes – Make a list of things that you like and ask your partner what he or she likes. Check how much you differ… the odds are that your tastes differ vastly – as chalk and cheese! For don’t they say: ‘opposites attract’?! Also, accept your differences and the sooner you do that, the better it is for you.
But, don’t worry if you aren’t able to do any of this… Stress is the biggest dampener and can prevent you from bonding well. Take it as it comes then… accept your partner wholeheartedly and with no-holds-barred.
And if you are not already in love, hope you do end up falling madly in love during your honeymoon and can say ‘I love you’. It’s the most beautiful thing to be in love. And hope you always manage to keep the fires of love burning within.
So when you leave as a couple, you will surely return as one!
Feature Writer: Purnima Joshi