‘Honeybooming’ is the act of taking a kid-free holiday once the kids are old enough and it’s totally ‘a thing’.

You see, research by Carnival Cruise Line looked at 1,000 Australian couples with children aged 13-plus, and what they found was a whole bunch of people who had forgotten what romance was.

Flirting on the dance floor doesn’t seem to come as naturally it used to, and it’s clear that Aussie parents are in need of some help to warm-up their relationship and rekindle the romance once again.

Honeybooming might just be the answer! We spoke to well-known relationship expert, Jacqui Manning about why the romance dies, and what the best ways are to get back on that horse.

Jacqui Manning

Relationship expert, Jacqui Manning shares her tips for rekindling your romance.

What is the main reason couples with children lose that ‘lover’ connection in the first place?

There are a couple of reasons why couples lose the ‘lover’ connection:

  • Lack of quality time: One of the biggest issues facing Aussie families is a lack of quality time. In fact, the research found that 80 percent of Aussie dads said they’d love to spend more quality time with their partner. This isn’t surprising considering the chaotic lives we live as parents, juggling work, family life and our relationships. Sit down and think about how much time you are dedicating to your relationship and when was the last time you did this.
  • Lack of communication: Communication is key to any relationship, and mistakes are usually made when couples adopt an ‘all will be fine’ mentality. This can lead to a communication breakdown, and increased tension between couples. Make sure you are actually listening to what your partner is saying and that you are having proper conversations, not just going through the motions. Communication is a real issue in relationships, with almost a third (30 percent) of Aussie couples admitting that they haven’t had a grown-up conversation with their partner in over a year.

Research found 46 percent of Aussie parents have forgotten how to flirt.

Taking time away from the kids can leave a whole bunch of guilt. But really there shouldn’t be any stigma, we’re allowed to take a break, right? Why is it so important to take time for yourself?

Yes, we are! We used to live in tribes where other adults could pitch in and help with the kids, but in our modern families the pressure is immense as we (largely) have to do it all ourselves.

We all need a little time for ourselves, especially as our children grow older and become more independent. It helps us stay refreshed and ensures parents strengthen their connection with each other, which is the best gift you can give your family!

Taking time for yourself reminds you you’re not just a mother or a father, but you have interests and passions beyond your kids.

Kids enhance our world in a deep way, but it’s important to keep your own lives interesting so you feel fulfilled and remember how to have fun when your kids aren’t there, because eventually they’ll grow up and fly the coop and you can’t live your life through them.

One in three Aussie couples admit that time together without the kids can be awkward at first

One in three couples admit that time together without the kids can be awkward at first, how do we overcome that? Any tips?

Give yourselves time, realise that you’ve been in such a habit of life being all about the kids that it will take a moment to shift gears.

Find some activities to do together or go on a ‘Honeyboom’! In a nutshell, a HoneyboomTM is the term coined by Carnival Cruise Line to describe a child-free holiday, i.e. a second honeymoon!

A Honeyboom gives you the opportunity to rekindle the playful and romantic sides of your relationship. Dress up a little special one night, treat your partner to a cocktail or two, remember your signature dance moves and embrace the spirit of a Honeyboom to show your affection for your partner.

The research found that over one third (37 percent) of Aussie couples haven’t been on a child-free holiday in over three years. Taking this time can do so much to inject the spark back into your relationship and improve your love life both on holiday, and at home!

Is it really that bad to talk about your kids on a date or child-free holiday? Actually… Don’t answer that! Ha. How we can avoid that trap? What are the flirty conversations we can be having instead?

Ha! Don’t beat yourself up either way. If you find the conversation drifting to the kids, set a timer. Ten minutes max!

In general, try to find your way back to each other by asking questions at a deeper level. Share the ways they make you feel grateful or happy. Think of three things that make you smile, even if you have to think back to the beginning of your relationship.

Ask your partner questions about themselves and share what’s in your heart too. What are your career wishes? Is there anything new you’d like to try in the next five years? Use questions like these to trigger a positive discussion of your future together.

When it comes to a child-free holiday, 45 percent admitted that they’d likely default to talking about their kids.

Research says 46 percent of parents have forgotten how to flirt, how do we get back on that horse? Any good tips for bringing the sexy back?

Firstly, put some effort in to help yourself feel good, whether it’s a new outfit or haircut, whatever makes you feel confident, because that will give you some extra energy and self-confidence with which to flirt! If you feel sexy on the inside you’ll sparkle and feel more energised to be cheeky with your partner. Then it’s all about making an effort to notice each other; hold hands, eye contact, compliments, like you did when you first met.

Take the time to compliment your partner on the effort they put into themselves and your relationship, give them a hand when they might need help, and listen to them when they want to share the ups and downs of their day. While this is vital for everyday life, time away with each other, even if it’s a few nights on a short cruise, can provide a great opportunity to kick this off and start a habit of showing your love more openly.

“Try making time and space for romance. Scheduling it doesn’t sound romantic, but it works.”

What does the change of scene – getting away from the home environment – do to help that romance rekindling?

Getting away from home allows you to press the ‘reset button’ on your relationship. Away from the chores and life admin, you can focus on fun things, being together without being constantly interrupted by other responsibilities.

Taking a Honeyboom is the ultimate way to reconnect with your partner, allowing you to leave the kids at home and take the time to work on your relationship, even if it is only for a few days! In a nutshell, a Honeyboom is a child-free holiday acting as a second honeymoon.

Once we get that flame burning again, how do we incorporate it back into life in the real world of lunchboxes, bills and toilet training?

While it’s difficult to manage the many demands of life as a parent, it’s natural that your kids and ‘life admin’ will sometimes get in the way of your relationship. That’s why it’s key to carve out quality time with your partner and rediscover exactly why you first fell in love with each other.

Try making time and space for it. Scheduling it doesn’t sound romantic, but it works. Find a day or night where you can spend time together, screens off/away. Doesn’t have to be anything fancy, you can be at home and still make it fun by playing music, doing an activity together (puzzle, crossword, game) and valuing each other.