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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Romancing the spouse

Sulaiman Kamal | 9:54 PM | | Best Blogger Tips

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IT all began with a tete-a-tete over breakfast with two friends. Our conversation inevitably drifted to the subject of relationships and romance as Feb 14 was round the corner.

We found that our husbands had something in common - they were pathetically nonchalant and unsentimental about birthdays and anniversaries, let alone Valentine's Day.

The idea suddenly dawned upon us that we could do something to "make things happen" this year - like organise a special night for couples, to stimulate love and romance. Through fun and games, our spouses could be "tricked" into doing something outrageously romantic and thus become"Romeos" for the night. The "Juliets" would then respond amorously.

We had to put our ideas into action immediately. My friend offered her mansion as the venue, and volunteered to cook the "love feast" for the occasion. I took up the challenge of planning the activities geared towards re-igniting the spark between the couples.

Our eventful night was Feb 18. Except for two couples in their 40s, the rest of us were in our 50s and 60s. Age aside, the 14 pairs at the party behaved like young, eager and starry-eyed couples, ready for a great time of revelry and romance. Everyone was mentally prepared to let their guard down, to forget themselves and let the "little child" inside come alive.

The glorious, home-cooked food specially prepared by the host was a great starter, after which the men gathered in a room for a quick briefing. They were each given a rose and a card on which they had to pen the most loving message to their spouse.

Like a cohort of determined, indefatigable suitors all out to conquer, they would then saunter out and present both the gifts to their "wives-in-waiting". They were encouraged to be creative in their postures and expressions of love, while singing You Light Up My life.

What a sight to behold as the men, totally uninhibited, glided majestically towards the women of their lives and smothered them with overtures of love. The more sporting and gallant among them even knelt on one knee and, with rose in hand, belted out their serenade. Even the most shy and restrained among them hugged and kissed their spouses openly.

Many of their wives were bemused, taken aback and touched by the unreserved attention. They responded by singing I Will Follow Him with gusto. The whole scene was especially hilarious when it came to those suitors who were literally croaking and totally out of rhythm and tune.

The games, played outside the house, highlighted the importance of touch and team spirit. What struck a chord with everyone was the game that required the guys to relay a message using mime. In turn, the gals had to decipher what they were trying to get across.

For example, the husbands were asked to mime: "I am not like you because I am a man and you are a woman." What their spouses "heard", among other things, was: "You don't like me to wear pants" and "You don't like slim women." A reminder of what happens in real life, too?

Among the indoor activities was one that required the couples to coin the most romantic word from the letters of their names, and to draw a symbol (other than a heart) which represented their relationship. Here is where the participants showed how innovative they were.

But the most significant and meaningful activity was the exchange of messages between the spouses. They expressed their appreciation for each other, revealed what made them feel loved and happy, and also pledged to do better as "the better half". Some apologised if they had hurt each other, whether intentionally or otherwise.

Brief light-hearted messages were then shared to sum up the purpose of the various games. The couples were reminded that to have an enriching relationship, they have to listen to each other attentively, or the scenario at home could be one where "both talk and the neighbours listen".

A sense of humour and an understanding of gender differences were also emphasised. When a wife said, "I was such a fool to marry you", it takes humour to reply: "But darling, I was so in love with you that I didn't notice it," and then have a good hearty laugh about it.

The couples were also encouraged to celebrate and complement each other's strengths and weaknesses as stepping stones towards a stronger bond.

The highlight of the evening was the re-affirmation of marriage vows to each other. Each couple also prayed that God would seal their relationship with everlasting love.

The night ended with the crowning of The Most Romantic Couple of the Night. As a bonus, each couple received a mystery gift, thanks to the generosity of the hosts.

It is naive to assume that a wonderful night together will have the magical effect of doing wonders for a marriage. But even if the romantic gestures were simulated and the couples were just play-acting, everyone at the party had a refreshing, relaxing and rejuvenating time. It was heart-warming to see the older couples exhibiting youthful exuberance during the games, as if they were reliving their good old days.

As one of them quipped: "For me it is more meaningful to have a night like this than a quiet candlelight dinner with my spouse in the most exquisite and exclusive place. It may feel grand, but we will just end up staring at each other blankly, with nothing much to talk about."

Hopefully, that special night will serve as the ingredient for a greater love potion in the relationship of all those who stepped out to romance their spouses.

Info : News



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