Keep your romance alive

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Whether it’s a new relationship, long distance or marriage, keeping the romance alive can help things last longer and keep both of you satisfied.

By Amanda Mtuli Pictures: XX

The importance of romance in a relationship cannot be emphasized enough.

When both partners remember to keep the spark burning, this translates into a lasting and satisfying bond. And, there are many ways to achieve this. “You need to keep the romance going like it’s the beginning of your relationship,” advises Dr. Matthews Katjene, a clinical and organizational psychologist and relationship expert, based in Johannesburg.

It’s just too easy to let the flirty, fun side of things go by the wayside, but you really shouldn’t. Here’s how to keep things going:

6-months dating

*Viwe Mthembu and *Nosisa Yedwa have been in a relationship for six months. They met at a mutual friend’s house warming party. “The first three months of our relationship were filled with fun and adventure. Viwe would always text me in the morning and wish me a good day and we’d talk for hours on the phone in the evenings,” says Nosisa. But lately the morning messages have stopped and the calls are shorter or sometimes don’t happen at all. The two now feel as though their relationship has lost the excitement. They want to work on it and would like to regain the intensity they had at the beginning.

Long distance relationship (2 year 6 months)

Many people believe that long distance relationships are never going to work out. Your family and friends may even discourage it, with some advising you not to take it too seriously. This was the case for *Sanele Nyembezi and *Khulile Mabaso. They met via social media network Facebook. For Sanele it was love at first click. “What drew me to her was her profile picture; I thought that she had a beautiful smile. I didn’t hesitate, I sent her a friend request right away,” he says. What started out as an hour wait – she accepted – has now blossomed into a 2 year and 6 months long distance love affair.  Sanele is based in East London and Khulile lives in Johannesburg. Apart from the obvious challenge – the distance, the couple is having a hard time communicating. And because of this they are having difficulties connecting emotionally especially when they are together in person.

Nobody says it is going to be easy — the extra distance makes many things unachievable. Additionally things could get complicated, and you could get sad and lonely at times. However this doesn’t mean that you cannot make the relationship work.

Married for 5 years

*Lungelwa Zondi and *Mpho Nkosi have been married for five years. In the last year, they have seen a drastic decline in the bedroom. This is due to the pressures of raising their two teenage boys and managing their hectic work schedules. What should they do?

Avenues to explore together

Read books

Studies have shown that reading books on relationships can play a vital role in your relationship. “Books can help couples learn new ways to examine their own relationship,” says Trish Rosenberg, Cape Town based relationship coach.  If you’re looking for a new read, get In Love & Intimate, by veteran actor Jerry Mofokeng-wa Makhetha and his wife Claudine; they have been married for more than 35 years. In the book, the couple takes you through how he and his wife have dealt with issues in their marriage. It is a manual on how you transition from young newly wedded couple to a couple that has grown, studied, worked and ministered together. It further explores how couples work and exist independently of each other but can also form as a perfect couple. You may know Jerry from television shows such as etv Scandal! and award-winning movie Tsotsi.

Have fun together

Date night is always a great idea but step things up a notch and plan that weekend away that you’ve just been talking about. You don’t necessarily have to leave your home town. Find a little romantic place nearby, pack your bags and enjoy a couples retreat with your sweetheart.

Experiment in the bedroom

Sexing things up means making an effort to do something different with your partner, whether you choose to watch porn, introduce sex toys or even sexual play, a little erotic fun can go a long way! And lastly, have fun with one another!