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Romance: Key factor in a successful marriage

Written by Bosede -Ola-Samuel - Nigeria

Romance! What exactly is romance? Romance refers to the actions and feelings of people who are in love, especially behaviour which is caring and affectionate. A romantic person therefore is one who says or does things that make his wife or her husband feel special and loved. Romance involves the expression of an individual's feelings and emotions.
Romance requires time, activities, effort, and creativity. Romance is a definite way of sustaining the love in a relationship. And when you've chosen to spend the rest of your life on earth with someone, it behoves you to do all you can to enjoy every moment of that life. Romance, therefore, is a way of ensuring that you enjoy your life together as married couples.
However, it has been discovered that many marital relationships are devoid of romance. And if romance is all about expression of love in diverse and creative ways, little wonder that the rate of divorce is on the increase daily. To many people, romance is just the exclusive reserve of dating and courtship. According to a line of thought, "romance is a relationship between two persons who are in love with each other, but who are not married to each other." So, once married, romance should be relegated to the background. What this simply means is that love is kept out of marriage, because love is romance and romance is love. To do away with romance in the marriage setting is to kick love out of the marriage. And this means that the marriage is dead because the situation in such an instance is a case of "No love, No marriage."

Keeping the marriage romantic requires the commitment of the partners to the ideals of romance. To achieve this, love keys for marital bliss becomes relevant. Love keys are different ways of expressing love to one another that bring about the best of romantic marriage anyone can experience. I term them keys, because without them, you are denied access to your spouse's heart. Remember that with the right key, access to a door is guaranteed, while the door remains permanently inaccessible without it. Couples must realise that for marital harmony and love sustenance in a marriage, they must know what love keys are, understand how they work, and discover which of these keys works for their partners to ensure the fire of their love burns "till death do them part."

Everyone needs love
One fact of life that couples need to realise is that everyone needs love. Psychologists have concluded that the need to feel loved is a primary human emotional need. This starts from childhood and follows us into adulthood and marriage. The need to feel loved is the greatest key for marital sustenance. When we feel loved, we become amazingly wonderful in relating with our partner, while without love, we make life naturally unbearable for our partner through harsh words, misbehaviour, unfaithfulness, withdrawal, sexual denial, and criticism among others. Can a marriage survive without romance? The answer is an absolute no, because romance is just creativity in expressing one's love.

Love keys are ways of making one's spouse to feel special and loved. These keys are basically five in number, just as Gary Chapman puts it in his book, 'The Five Love Languages.' However, for purpose of clarity, I chose to name them as follows:
Key 1: Good words or verbal compliments
Key 2: Undivided attention
Key 3: Physical contact
Key 4: Gifts appreciation
Key 5: Good deeds

All these are all to make one's partner feel loved and special, which is what romance is all about. I once heard the story of a young man, who went proposing to a lady. The first response he got was that the proposal was not romantic. He got worried and started thinking of a way to convince the lady of his romantic prowess. Thus, next time he was going to see the lady, he bought love cards with different messages of love. The lady responded by telling him that he was becoming a burden. The young man was bewildered and said, "but you said I was not romantic." The lady laughed and asked in astonishment, "Is this how to be romantic?" I leave the judgement to you as to whether or not his action was a romantic act.

How to keep romance fire burning in marriage

Step 1: Make time for each other
The most common reason for romance dwindling in a relationship is a simple lack of time spent together as a couple. You need to make time for each other in order to get the ball rolling. Set aside one night a week to make a date. This could be anything from cooking a meal together at home to a night at the theatre, just as long as you both agree to spend time alone together with no distractions.

Step 2: Tell them you love them
Try to find new and original ways to say "I love you" that will make it more memorable. Leave a little note for your partner somewhere they will see it, like on the fridge or their computer screen.
Paying your partner a compliment is guaranteed to win their heart. Telling them how much you love their smile or how great they look will make them feel lucky to be with you.
Sending your partner a love letter is the height of romance. Hand written letters are rare these days, so, if your partner is the traditional type, they will adore the fact that you took the time and effort to write to them, just to tell them you love them.

Step 3: Show them you care
If you want to treat your partner, surprise them by cooking their favourite meal at home, which you can eat together by candlelight. You could even include foods that can put you both in the mood for romance. Foods you can eat with your hands, such as asparagus, exotic fruits, figs and chocolate work best as you can feed them to each other.
Pick wild flowers for your partner for a simple but effective gift. Your thoughtfulness will be hugely appreciated.

Step 4: Think bigger
If little things aren't your cup of tea, then, by all means, think big. Surprise your loved one with a romantic weekend break somewhere that you cannot be disturbed or buy them that piece of jewellery they've had their eye on. You can also plan a romantic picnic together in secluded location, where there will be no distraction.
There is no doubt that romance would be kept intact if these are practiced by every couple.


Romantic tips for marital bliss
Written by Jude Ossai, Enugu 

We define romance as the actions and feelings of people who are in love, especially behaviour which is very caring and affectionate. A romantic person therefore is one who says, or does things that make his wife or her husband feel special and loved.

Romance involves the expression of an individual's feelings and emotions. We also highlighted some of the ways to keep the fire of romance burning in marriage. In it all, the high point is that romance is all about actions and feelings displayed by two people who are in love, that make them feel loved by each other's acts of love, caring and affection.

We will look at some of those things (actions) that make us feel loved, or express our love to our partners. These are definite things done creatively for each other that fire up our love, one for another. I have chosen to write out some of these romantic acts because of those who are just not romantic and may find it difficult figuring out what to do that can pass as romantic gesture. Of course, they will also help others to have a variety of romantic activities available for their use. Remember that romance can also be learnt, and these tips are some things we can learn about romance.

Going on a journey
If your partner is going on a journey for a few days, tell her that you are worried about her safety. To be at peace, you have hired a bodyguard for her. Then, give her a teddy bear.

On special occasions
On a special occasion, buy your partner eleven real red roses and one artificial red rose. Place the artificial rose in the centre of the bouquet, with a card attached, bearing a message: "I will love you till the last rose falls and fades away."

Special gifts
Buy a special attractive hand mirror as a gift for your partner, together with a love card with this message: "In this mirror you will see the image of the most beautiful and adorable lady in the world."
Have flowers delivered to your partner's workplace. He/she will not only enjoy the flowers, but draw memorable comments from the colleagues to keep him/her blushing all day long.

Plant a tree
Plant a tree in your place and on your anniversary date annually, place a love card at the base with this message: "as this tree grows, so shall our love for each other keeps growing forever." You can spend time around the tree from time to time. Considering what it takes to keep the tree growing, it will help you to figure out and get committed to doing things that will keep your love growing forever.

Whispering love words in a public gathering
Get close to your partner and whisper those sweet words of love in his/her ear. Try whispering how beautiful she looks in the midst of the gathering, and watch her blush. Such thoughtful acts in public gathering blow the mind of lovers. It is one great way of saying he/she is always on your mind.

Have dessert in bed
If you want to give your spouse a special romantic treat, you should serve him/her dessert in bed, i.e. fruit or cake. To do this, have your wife/husband go to bed as usual, and while getting ready to sleep off, bring out a tray with dessert, with one spoon or fork. Share the dessert back and forth between each other without speaking, if possible. Play some soft romantic musical tunes, and see what happens thereafter. Note: this works well if your partner does not immediately fall asleep.

Take your partner on a romantic picnic
You can take your partner on a romantic picnic to spice up your love life. To achieve this, choose a location that is natural and secluded, a private place, where you're certain you can be alone. Nothing spoils a picnic for two like other picnickers. Getting close to nature doesn't mean setting up a home from home. It only requires certain essentials for picnics. So, avoid fancy crockery and food that needs carving, or cooking. Keep it simple with finger food that is easy to eat such as French bread, pate, cheese, fruit and chocolate. Wine is an elegant, romantic drink for a picnic, but don't be so minimalist that you forget a corkscrew.
After you have eaten, it's time to while away the afternoon. Here are some ideas: walking, chatting, gathering acorns, comparing leaves, smelling flowers, watching bark, admiring butterflies, climbing trees, showing off about how well you climbed those trees, digging up roots, playing hide and seek, kissing, cuddling, and being in love. But there are some things you should never do at a picnic, such as: arguing, sulking, littering, defecating without digging a hole, hunting rabbits, hunting squirrels, shouting at owls, eating the last piece of chocolate, sending emails, or exposing your breasts.
There are so many ways of making our partners feel loved. There is no hard and fast rule about it. All it requires is pure creativity in expressing our love. Once you can think, just go ahead and display that love in a creative manner towards your partner.

Breakfast in bed
This is another romantic way a man can make his love known to his wife. Women are usually the ones saddled with the responsibility of fixing breakfast, but a romantic man can do so sometimes to send his wife a message of love. While she is still in bed, get out of bed early enough to make a simple breakfast, like cornflakes, oatmeal, bread and butter. This may even prompt an unplanned lovemaking.

What exactly do we stand to gain from a romantic marriage? What are the benefits derivable from keeping the fire of romance burning in your marriage?  

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