1.Those three little words
Let “I love you” be routine. Dickson Musoke says the words “I love you” speak volumes to him, and he has also noticed that besides telling his partner that he loves her, words of affirmation like “you look good and sexy”, make his girlfriend blush. For a couple that has dated for four years, Musoke says the two things have kept their spark alive. Therefore, don’t take it for granted that your partner knows you love them make sure that they know, feel it and hear it every day.
2.Text and hold hands
Keep in touch. This includes sending naughty texts during the day and calling each other every day. But this could also extend to holding hands as you walk and anything else that reassures your partner about how you feel. Sam Gombya, an artiste and Dembe FM presenter, says one of the secrets to their 10-year-old blossoming marriage has been holding hands everywhere they go. “Nobody has to ask for Sophie because she is always by my side.”
Get a pet name. There are people who call their partners nothing. Not even by their name. So, where’s the fun in such a relationship? Gift Kiyingi, a resident of Makerere Kikoni, says her husband has never called her by name. He calls her babe and she says this makes her feel like they just started dating yesterday, yet they have been married for about four years. So, you could choose your endearment words, say my sweetie, honey pie, cookie, etc ,to always remind them of their fragrant qualities. Whatever you do, please do not call each other daddy or maama because this sounds old-fashioned, and secret: Women hate it because it makes them feel very old and men find it boring.
4.Invest in smelling yummy
Invest in scents. There is a reason perfume ads ooze sexiness. Most people I talked to confessed to being turned on by people who wear perfumes with sweet scents. Joseph Mugumya, an artist, says: “A good smelling woman is such an immediate turn on for me. Besides, I think it is very important for every woman to smell sweet. Women are like flowers and you cannot be a flower that smells terrible.” Of course, these should be on a clean smart body. This is not only about hygiene but it sets the mood.
5.Spend quality time together
Have quality time. With today’s busy schedule where parents wake up at 5am to prepare for work, drop children to school and return home late, couples hardly have time to talk, which may ruin your relationship. Stephen Langa, a relationships coach at Family Life Network, aises that couples find time to sit down and listen to each other attentively. “Fix time when you are preparing dinner or cleaning your bedroom to look into each other’s eyes.” He aises couples to do this at least once a week. If children are a disruption, send them over to a relative’s place or go to a quiet little place in the neighbourhood for coffee or a drink and just listen to each other. Langa regards it as a better way as opposes to watching pornography. “Pornography is counter-productive so in the long run, you will stop desiring each other.”
6.Strip for the bed
Sleep naked. An article I came across recently in the Cosmopolitan magazine pointed out that sleeping naked has a way of strengthening your relationship. “If you share a bed, the pair of you sleeping naked is a no-brainer way to increase intimacy – and something that has a high chance of leading to sex, if both of you are in the buff.” And the few couples I talked to said sleeping naked once in a while rekindles love because you easily touch each other and even when you do not intend to, the bodies will somehow collide and before you know it, one thing will lead to another. However, pray that you are not unfortunate because if an intruder gives you a surprise visit, you could struggle for the beddings and what started off as keeping a spark ends up into a squabble.
7.Give unto thy partner
Always find an excuse to give gifts. Some people’s love language is receiving gifts so if a special day passes without them receiving any, they will feel unloved. Do not limit exchanging gifts just to birthdays and Christmas. Joshua Tumwebaze, a university student, says when moving about with his fiance, he may see something and envisages it wrapped for him. When he says I would love this, he expects his girlfriend to get a hint and surprise him. Therefore, find excuses to give your partner a gift. It does not have to be something expensive it is the thought that counts.
8.Ignore the negatives
Find qualities to hang onto. Tina Mugisha, a mother of two, says her husband had many irritating habits that at some point she felt like she was going crazy. She was gloomy most of the time, until she found a remedy in appreciating the good things about him. Mugisha found three qualities in her partner that she loves and decided to focus on these as she went about her day. Not that there are no bad days in their relationship, but whenever he annoys her, she reminds herself that he is excellent in other things. Positivity is key to a healthy relationship.
9.Let go of the hurt
Forgive each other. We are all humans, which means we are all susceptible to making mistakes and getting hurt. Sometimes the pain may be too much and we find it hard to let go of the hurt and move on, so we beg for space. However, when it comes to marriage, these unchecked feelings can potentially become emotionally, mentally, verbally, or physically murderous. Langa says in most cases, a relationship is ruined by the inability to resolve wrongs. Since everyone makes mistakes, Langa recommends that when your partner makes a mistake and apologises, do not cling onto it as you will end up sad most of the time. Accept that they are remorseful and with time, you will forget it happened.
10.A ‘thank you’ doesn’t hurt
Thank you. To appreciate is one of the virtues emphasised through our lifetimes. It is because of the satisfaction that it brings to the other person. So if your spouse makes effort to do something nice for you, please say “Thank you”. Langa says a thank you when given a present, emotional support or after a good meal will make your partner feel special”. This will also boost their feelings and motivate them to do greater things to keep your relationship alive. So, even if it is your zipper he helped you with in the morning or evening after work, say, “Thanks babes”.
Explore new ways to get intimate. Many of us shy away from the idea of aenturing new ways to add spice in our relationships, when it comes to intimacy, and yet this is the centre of everything. Langa aises that couples once in a while go out on a date or surprise each other with breakfast in bed. Be sure to maximise your time out. If you, for instance, choose to go for a movie, sit in the back row and hold each other. Feel free to steal a kiss here and there. Nothing will keep the fire burning like acting the way you did when you first fell in love. Also, you can find time away as a couple. Get away from the children, if you have any, and just book a hotel room away from town for the weekend or a week while on leave. Rediscover yourselves and awaken the little selves in you. Get a little naughty too, (it does not have to be the 50 Shades of Grey -kind-of-stuff) Just a fun time that will be different for you both.
HOW HAVE YOU KEPT YOUR RELATIONSHIP ALIVE?
“Communication is key in our marriage because I know that if you cut it out, then the marriage is in trouble. We know each other’s love language and also keep doing the things we used to do together while dating like going out for a drink or to the beach. Above all, we pray and study the word together,”
Lydia Karuhinda Kakaire, Housewife
“I know that love is not easily angered and forgives. Even when an obstacle sets in, love overpowers. Also being jolly keeps our home brighter because there are few days when you will find us quiet. I respect him as a husband and he tries to make me happy and always says sorry when I am not happy,”
Anita Asiimwe Davids, Economist
“I constantly reassure myself that I married the best person and regularly echo that to her. With this, I always feel that she is special so no matter how many beauties I see out there, I know that the best of them all is the one I chose,”
Ronald Ahirirwe, Media Officer
“We are very aenturous and try out a lot of different things because relationships get stale after some time if not spiced up. Some of the things I do are to take her out for a treat or do something we have never done before. It really works!
Kevin Mugisha, Accountant
“By all means, Friday is our date night. At the date, we evaluate ourselves as spouses. He asks me if he has performed to my expectations as a husband or not. If there are gaps I tell him the different areas he failed at and those in which he excelled during the week. We then find solutions, not forgetting to encourage each other. At the end of the year, we take the children to my mother and go for a retreat for two nights at a fancy hotel or resort. While there we pray and renew our vows,”
Gift Kiyingi, Businesswoman
“I ensure that my man always feels special I tell him sweet words from time to time, and I praise and compliment him. In case of a mishap, I make sure that I iron it out early enough rather than letting it simmer and cause resentment in the end,”
Sonnie Mwangi, Communication Specialist
Compiled by Lydia Ainomugisha
SOURCE: Daily Monitor