Tuesday January 10 2017

Is your relationship worth keeping?


By Carol B. Ataganza

It is a new year and we are all still giddy with the excitement of our resolutions and the possibilities they will bring us. One of the commonest resolutions at the beginning of the year is sorting out our romantic relationships. Usually at this time, the temptation to let go and start afresh is very high.
Sometimes, it is the right decision but most times we are blinded by the excitement of a possibility and we give up a sure thing. So before you throw in the towel, first examine your relationship and find out whether you should move on or give it one more try.

You truly like the person
Shifra Kayondo, who has been dating for more than five years, says the only thing that keeps her relationship going with long term boyfriend Arnold is that he is her best friend. “I have friends of both sexes that I hang out with but being with Arnold is an incredible experience. First of all we have been together a long time so we are capable of entertaining ourselves with stories from way back all night long. But most importantly, we love the same movies, music and artistes. Whenever we are on a break, I find myself impulsively reaching for my phone to tell him about a certain song I am listening to or a movie I liked. No one can ever replace that.”

Relationships are rife with duplicity and mind games if you find that one person who is honest with you, then they are worth a second try. A friend recently confided that his girlfriend lied about working with a telecom company for a whole year until he found out that she was actually unemployed. “I was shattered not by the fact that she was not employed but that she did not trust me enough to tell me the truth. I just could not risk staying with her. If she could lie about such a normal thing, what more lies were lurking around her life?” my friend wondered.
If you and your partner are not faking anything but there is trust and honesty in your relationship, it is a sign of a true partnership. A worthy partner lets you be your silly, smart, funny, sad self because they are themselves around you too.

They are developmental
Investing in your relationship is a natural part of being in one. It could be time, money, tears and anything else. Michael Kabiri was in a long distance relationship for two years so when they finally figured out how to be physically together, they decided to take the relationship to the next level. Another example is having financial investments together, not just in the relationship, but in other aspects of life. Many long term couples buy property together and the same can be said of a husband-wife sort of business team. The more you have invested, the harder you should think about walking away.

You fight fair
You can tell the longevity of a relationship by the quality of its fights. Sarah Kaita who has been married for 20 years says no relationship is smooth-sailing but quickly adds that how and what you fight about makes all the difference.
You have probably heard of couples that fight and break every breakable thing in their house. There are those who focus on the individual and want to stab, maim or leave some kind of lasting scar. These are people to be avoided no matter how many other redeemable qualities they have.

You make each other better
It might sound cliché but there are people who come into our lives and complete us like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle coming together to make it whole. There are couples lucky enough to have such complementary relationships. Singer Bobi Wine and his wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi are one such example. Where Bobi is fiery and loud, Barbie brings the cooling effect with her calmness and unflustered demeanour, thus balancing out the relationship. Being with someone is more than just filling a void and depending on another person to make you feel whole.
It encompasses various levels of emotional and physical aspects and if you can confidently list down the myriad positive reasons you are with your partner, then keeping the relationship alive is certainly important.

Think twice if...
The sex is still great. It is often said that great sex makes up 90 per cent of a relationship. So, if you still lust after your sweetheart, then you know that it is a good sign. Not many couples are able to keep the flames of passion going after spending a significant period of time together but if you two are able to, then why not give the relationship another go?
Obligations. You should seriously consider staying if you and your partner have already built a life together and share multiple responsibilities such as children. Unlike pieces of furniture that can be easily discarded or divided, children are a whole different story.