Marriages require regular maintenance, in the best ways. Add children, jobs, pets, and schedules and every couple needs a consistent weekend getaway here and there for escape and connection.
Too often we wait for the big romantic, luxurious resort getaway, and we keep waiting. Here's a quick guide to finding connection and rest as a couple, easily and often.
We all have dreams of the Second Honeymoon - perhaps a 10-day vacation at an all-inclusive resort on a secluded tropical island. But the over-the-top romantic getaway, if feasible, is a once every 10 years event. These are big vacations that require significant planning and significant spending.
But every couple needs a routine of rest, romance and connection, accessible through a commitment to the consistent weekend getaway. When planning your romantic weekend getaway, keep these 4 rules in mind.
When planning a romantic weekend getaway, look for a destination to which you can return. Weekend getaways get easier to plan when you are going somewhere familiar, returning to activities you loved and favorite, romantic, spots to dine.
Familiar does not mean it can't be luxurious. Familiar means the variables that can cause stress in travel are removed. You have favorite spots to eat, and sleep and spa treatments you will opt for again and again.
Familiar could mean New York or it could be a resort by Hot Springs. Familiar could be a romantic boutique hotel with turn-down service, an antique-filled, one-of-a-kind, turn-of-the-century bed and breakfast, or it could be simply a cozy cabin in the mountains.
When you plan your trip, think of not just a one-time getaway but the beginning of a romantic weekend routine. Discuss vacation ideas together in terms of what you want to build for the future, not just experience as a one-time romantic escape.
Or do both! Inevitably time together can be consumed catching up on each other's lives, or even problem-solving about your relationship or other family obstacles. This is important work, but create time during the weekend to experience something new together, physically, through your senses in nature, or in an art gallery or concert.
New experiences disrupt conversations that can feel stuck and help you to view each other in new ways, which adds romance. So take the hike, walk hand-in-hand through the gallery, submerge in the Hot Springs, drive through New England in the peak of fall.
Watch the sunrise from your private deck, or take a horse-drawn carriage ride through a small village. You can even hike the beach looking for sand dollars. Then reflect on all of it, in conversation, or silence, by a cozy fire.
Choose to enjoy a long meal together on your trip. Don't just eat - dine.
Linger over appetizers, try something new for an entrée and definitely opt for the chocolate-covered strawberries for dessert. Explore where conversation naturally takes you and learn to sit in comfortable quiet.
Often, in the thick of family and the busy-ness of life, meals can be rushed or focused on listening to children or hearing daily updates. Take the time to linger as a couple over a meal.
Whether you dine in a world-class resort, an all-inclusive dining room, a New York City cafe, or a small-town farm-to-table restaurant, enjoy the luxury of being waited on, and relish waiting. Be surprised by the romance of a long and comfortable meal.
During a weekend getaway, time is precious. By building a familiar routine, you are alleviating outside stress. But many couples make the mistake of inviting daily life into a romantic vacation through devices and ongoing communication.
Be sure to take the necessary steps to shut down work and distractions for the time you are together as a couple. Set expectations with work colleagues about your time away. Adjust settings on all of your devices for emergencies only. Make rules as a couple for in-room device use.
Consider not engaging in any social media in order to be present in your relationship. Remember, there is little point in a weekend getaway when you bring everything from daily life with you. (And a moment can only be but so romantic when you have to post a picture of it for your Mom to "like". )
Prioritize privacy for the weekend getaway and take ownership of your boundaries. The only escape from communication and digital noise is the one you plan and execute unapologetically.
Have you been putting off planning a weekend getaway? As a couple, you need time for the two of you in order to navigate the daily stresses forced on relationships. Consider these small trips a practice in wellness for your marriage.
Begin creating a routine of weekend getaways that fits your style and budget today! Choose do-able and repeatable over the Second Honeymoon Dream and you will be surprised at the romance possible, in just a weekend.