Be bold and romantically creative

A couple that has been married for 20 years is off to Thailand for their very first romantic Christmas!

Opinion by Grace Mutandwa

In the African culture, when you marry, you get tied down to the whole clan. This means even in your first few years as a married couple, duty demands that you spend Christmas and every other recognised holiday with usually the man’s family. The “us” time gets taken over by the family.

We are very good at killing romance. The moment the bride price is paid or the ring is on the finger, it all becomes serious business.

There is immediate pressure on the woman to procreate and do everything under the sun to fit into the man’s family. We stop living! Romance becomes something we see in movies or read about in books.

The couple spending Christmas in Thailand has been saving for the past five years but they told me this was not very difficult. The hardest part was telling both their families that they would be away for Christmas and would only come back mid-January.

Not a single member of the extended family was happy for them — only their children told them to go for it. Ridden with heavy guilt, they insist they have no intention of cancelling their trip.

Change is good. Change is a major challenge and not everyone can deal with it. This couple told me that they had been having marital problems over the last three years and they would really like to go away and find that which brought them together in the first place. They want to laugh together again and find warmth in each other’s company, just as they did 20 years ago.

Change is like forcing a rebellion on people, it is not easy. It gnaws at your conscience, it makes you lose sleep and worry about even the cat’s feelings. But you can have a romantic Christmas as a couple. Forget about the love is sharing bit and go with love is selfish.

Do something just for the two of you. Even when surrounded by family and strangers, find small ways of making each other feel special.

It is already too late to plan a romantic getaway, but you can start saving for one. But while you are doing that, you can still attend the family Christmas party but find a way of getting away from everyone else even if it is just for 10 minutes. It is amazing how much fun you can have in 10 minutes if you know what you want and what you are doing.

There are broom cupboards, bathrooms, cars and gardens that would tell amazing and lurid stories if only they could talk.
You could also park your car in a spot where no one can see you and steal off to get some imaginary thing from the car when everyone is distracted.

Unless you make a calculated effort to bring romance into your Christmas, I can guarantee you, Father Christmas and his elves can do nothing either. It is all down to you.

Do not worry about what your man will think. Men are always willing to do anything, especially if it means they will have a happy ending.

Tip on growing closer to your spouse
When you are married, there are way too many demands on you as a woman. It is even worse when you have young children.

Learn to create moments for a bit of heat with your man. You owe yourself some excitement. You just have to learn to manage your time more efficiently and remember that every 10 minutes you can steal will help cement your marital sexual life. Be bold and romantically creative.

You get to understand each other better and grow closer if you ensure that you shut out the world for an embrace, a kiss or simply holding hands and having some quiet time together.

Answer to who you are

Hide a bottle of ice-cold champagne and some strawberries. When the Christmas lunch is finished and the rest of the family are gossiping, you can quietly sneak out with your man — go into the garden, broom cupboard, car or bathroom and crack the champagne bottle and feed each other strawberries and champagne.

What I do know with absolute certainty is that before you drink half of that champagne, your bodies will be speaking another language.

Look, the only risk you are taking here is that you are taking advice from a woman who has never been married, but what I do know is that I know what works and what doesn’t.

What do you have to lose – only your dignity if you do not find a good spot for the “melting moment”.

You want to make each other happy but you do not want to end up treating the whole family to an unsolicited live pornographic show.

Sometimes we do not have as much fun in relationships as we would like because we are too scared or embarrassed.
We worry about what other people think. Answer to who you are not what other people think of you. Life is too short to live an unromantic life.

That folks, is my Christmas present to you this year. Christmas comes once a year but make the memories worthy.
Have a peaceful and love-filled Christmas and a very warm and healthy 2013.

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