Keeping that spark alive...

Last Updated 13 September 2013, 16:24 IST

Life doesn’t really always have the fru-fru effect of a romance novel setting. Despite the oddities, what keeps that spark going are moments of surprises from your spouse, reckons Deepa Ballal.

My grandparents are nearing their 90th birthdays, but nothing stops my grandma from getting vanilla icecream for my testy old grandpa, whenever she ventures out with her grandkids. That is what, she says, makes him very happy, and it leaves us all amused. To this day, she puts an effort to keep the spark alive, and I must say, it does give Grandpa that momentary high...

A few go for tried and tested ways and end up feeling lame. Scented candles may trigger some into a sneezing frenzy while the flowers just seem way too expensive. Or still worse the candle lit dinner may get ruined by mosquitoes hovering around you...

The fru-fru effect of the perfect Mills and Boon setting seems fit only within the confines of the pages of a novel, but certainly not your life! And then there comes a time in most couples’ lives when they get bored of gifting goodie baskets, flowers, perfumes, bubbly and the likes. Specially engraved jewellery too seem a passe.

Everything seems routine. The zeal and the oomph just seem to have fizzed out! Years of living together and knowing each other inside out suddenly seems useless when it comes to gifting or surprising your spouse!

A relationship is like a garden. It needs a lot of tending, weeding, and timely pruning. Life goes on, but some moments in life make living worthwhile and many a times become the barometer for the health of a relationship. Surprising your spouse is certainly one of those moments.

"There were occasions after our wedding when I would ask Amit, my husband, to attend functions hosted by my parents, but he would bluntly refuse making some excuse of office work. And then, suddenly, he would appear at the function and surprise me," says a misty eyed Hamine, recollecting these small gestures that mean the world to her.

Another instance wherein a surprise visit turned out to be an elixir itself was in the case of Rupa Arun. "I was going through a rough patch post delivery, both emotionally and physically, owing to complications during child birth and my husband was far away in Florida on work. He travelled 8000 miles to be by my side and that is what I cherish the most to this day. It was a big surprise for no one knew," she reminisces.

On her husband's birthday Gayatri ordered for a cake with his childhood photos, that she had painstakingly collected, printed on it. “He loved it,” she says with a big smile. Recollecting the list of surprises she has given her hubby to this day, there is one she is very fond of. “One morning he was raving about a new watch in the market. Voila! There it was on the table when he came back from office in the evening,” she exclaims.

“My husband hates surprises. Be it a birthday cake or a gift, he thinks it to be a "waste of time, money, and resources,"” chides Seema. Cautious of annoying her short tempered hubby she does tread a dangerous path when it comes to choosing gifts that surprise him. "Strangely he likes to surprise me; it's another story that he doesn't wait for occasions to gift me. He gifted me an iphone a week after my birthday and an ipad a week before our wedding anniversary, so that did come as a big surprise to me,” she says.

Juni has a unique way of pepping up things in her life. "I find nothing more romantic or sexier than sharing household chores. I find folding laundry together, cooking and cleaning together, buying groceries together, and gardening together more romantic than a candlelit dinner at a fancy restaurant. Even simply relaxing with your spouse over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, after a hard day’s work can be romantic. You really don't need to think far and wide. Simple things like these too can ignite the spark," she asserts.

Ideas could be pretty bog standard, but executing them is what sets them apart. So next time you feel the boredom bug bite your sweet honey time, just look around. And for those who still find it difficult to crack this "surprise" nut, here are a few handy tips:

*Makeover: Do something that will jolt him/her out of his/her senses. Change your look to what your spouse has been dreaming of. Hit the gym, do yoga, just do what it takes to get in shape gradually, and look a knock-out treat one final day (or night) to sweep your honey off his/her feet!

*  Post love letters: Go retro. Why not actually mail a post card on your spouse’s birthday date or your anniversary date every month?

*  Show up at work: Instead of having something delivered, take it to him/her yourself. Or show up at lunchtime and ask him/her out for an impromptu lunch, even if it is just to pick up a sandwich and coffee.

*  Picture perfect: Collect old and forgotten pictures of the two of you and create a photo album, showcasing all your memories. Or create a photo collage and frame it yourself.

*  Detour drink: Surprise him/her saying you two are going to your parent’s place and take a detour to the nearest getaway where you can park and have a drink or two and simply enjoy the view and the quiet.

*  Go digital: Make a movie of all the good times you have spent with your loved ones, using the video editing tools, and finish it off with a soothing background music. Easy to store and has a long shelf life too.

*  Role play: Role play need not be a mere kinky bedroom idea. Play scrabble or cards or subway surfers together, and behave like arch rivals for fun sake.

(Published 13 September 2013, 16:24 IST)

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