Busy Lives, Work Lead Couples to Honeymoon Solo After the Wedding

Why are newly married couples taking separate honeymoons?

ByABC News
January 2, 2015, 12:55 PM
 For some newly married couples, "till death do us part" does not apply to vacation time.
For some newly married couples, "till death do us part" does not apply to vacation time.
Getty Images

— -- First comes love, then comes marriage, and then comes two plane tickets to far-flung destinations for rest and relaxation. But for some newlyweds, those boarding passes may not lead to the same departure gate.

Conflicting schedules and demanding jobs are causing a number of recently married couples to take unimoons, a post-wedding retreat spent without one's spouse.

Author Bill Powers wrote about his own experience choosing the unimoon path in his new book "New Slow City: Living Simply in the World's Fastest City."

"Even as Melissa and I married in a small ceremony with family and close friends, our overworking led us to join the disquieting 'uni-moon' trend," Powers wrote. "Instead of a honeymoon trip together in the busy weeks after our wedding, we each took separate, individual vacations without each other--uni-moons, or what amounted to a few days of free time at the end of separate work trips."

While Powers' wife spent a few days solo in the sunny Dominican Republic, he wandered the romantic streets of Paris alone. The trip ultimately inspired the author to reflect on whether he and his wife had become too wrapped up in their careers, and how they could share more meaningful time together.

Travel writer Ann Abel didn't initially set out to vacation without her husband, but felt compelled to extend her stay beyond their trip so she could advance her byline.

"My solomoon in Southeast Asia came about because of work," she told ABC News. "I extended my trip beyond our two weeks together because editors started saying 'Oh, you're in the neighborhood, could you go here and write about this for me?' I was just starting as a freelancer then and eager to make money and build my brand."

After 16 days together, Abel's husband returned home. But she continued on for another two weeks.

"My fiancé was incredibly understanding every time I told him I was adding to the trip. I was anxious when I asked him about each one," she said. "He would have loved to join me, but had an office job he had to get back to."

Abel is no longer married, but she doesn't attribute the breakup to her extra island time. Still, she doesn't champion it either.

"I wouldn't have done it if I wasn't a travel writer and can't say I recommend it," she said.

Powers echoed with similar sentiments and went so far as to caution against taking a unimoon.

"Couples might ask themselves this: Why take an individualistic first step in the wonderfully communal journey of marriage? Might that be oxymornic?" he told ABC News, adding that the uni-moon trend plays in to a "work-and-spend" pattern.

"On one of the several real honeymoons we took after the disasterous unimoons, we took a stay-cation in our Greenwich Village neighborhood, lowering the carbon footprint associated with traveling long distances and sinking into the beauty right around us," he said.