“Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.” — Bruce Lee
My Fairytale Romance
I met my husband when we were still at school. It was love at first sight. We had a 4 year fun, tumultuous, exciting, frustrating, explosive and exploratory courtship and then decided to take it to the next level. We got married in 1996.
We never looked back.
Turning Pumpkins into Golden Carriages
After 17 years of being happily married, I can safely say that I may know a thing or two about keeping a healthy, thriving, loving and successful relationship alive.
We have both been working from home over the last 8 years, so we are in each other’s hair 24/7, 7 days a week! However, we still manage to fall in love anew each and every day.
- Communication — this is a biggy, hence why it made it to the no. 1 slot. I learnt this early on in our marriage. If you don’t have an open channel of communiqué, your relationship is doomed. You will start assuming, begrudging and pretty much get the wrong end of the stick every time you decide not to openly talk about your problems. Women are usually good at communicating but we also need to learn when we’ve said too much and when to start listening. Men are generally not the best communicators — so guys, you need to work on your listening skills, it could save your relationship. And there is no greater turn on than a man who listens attentively. Always make your dialogue an even contribution. This means that you both get time to state your case and —on pain of death — don’t override, scream over or continuously interrupt your partner.
- Trust — we all have the capability to earn and lose trust. One can always build up trust if it is lost, you may have to work a little harder but trust is an integral part of building the foundations of a lasting partnership. If you let that little green monster called ‘jealousy’ into your relationship, you are on shaky territory. If your partner is not trustworthy, you need to look elsewhere. I know this sounds harsh but a relationship without trust is disaster-prone. If you’re a jealous person and your partner has done nothing to make you distrustful of him/her, you are also walking the gang-plank. Be careful, your jealousy could drive your partner to the edge.
- Excitement — never stop jazzing it up! Don’t fall into the trappings of complacency. Do you look good on the outside? I’m not implying plastic surgery nor am I implicating that you have to be a beauty queen or bodybuilder. Just don’t let yourself go, this is a no-brainer. Keep your appearance fresh and appealing. If you want an attractive partner, you’ve got to keep yourself well-groomed, fit and clean. It also doesn’t hurt to keep in shape and have strong personal hygiene routines. You’ve also got to spice up your love life every once in a while. Don’t do anything you don’t feel comfortable with but don’t be closed to all ideas — you never know what might literally tickle your fancy. When it comes to everyday life, you’ve also got to think out of the box. Doing the same thing week in and week out is boring. Inject a bit of pizzazz into your social/play-time schedule. Keep trying new things like eating out at that new restaurant, taking trips to museums/exhibitions, trying out a nightclub or just getting out into nature together by enjoying a stroll on the beach or a hike up the mountain.
- ‘I Love You’ — not a day goes by when we don’t express this simple phrase to each other. Don’t take for granted that your partner knows how you feel. A little love goes a long way. Hugs and kisses are also great daily practices, especially when they come at unexpected interludes.
- ‘Thank You’ — always show your partner gratitude for what they do. From the smallest things — like doing the dishes or picking the kids up from class — to the bigger things — like working hard or being a great listener or shoulder to cry on. Appreciation shows you partner recognition.
They Lived Happily Ever After…
When you excite and love yourself with your particular brand of uniqueness and zest for life, you’ll be an electrifying, lovable, irresistible rogue to your partner. Own who you are and what you want out of life and make sure you are allowing your partner to express the same thing in his/her life.
Be open to change, new ideas and constant dialogue and you will be well on your way to a successful, healthy relationship that will last.
A partnership is all about balance, love and respect.