I would have loved a more romantic proposal

The couple say it is easy to overcome any challenge in a marriage as long as you handle everything that comes together. PHOTO/Courtesy

What you need to know:

Prim and Dickson met while both on work duties. However, after exchanging contacts and starting to communicate, they developed a romantic connection. With time, the only way forward was marriage but instead of a direct proposal, Dickson just told Prim over the phone that he would love to start a family with her.

June 11, 2009 is forever etched in the minds of Dickson and Prim Tumuramye. On this day, a chance meeting at Phidam House, the then National Office of Compassion International, has led to 11 years of marriage. 
Working with Compassion International’s assisted projects (Prim in Rukungiri District and Dickson in Mitooma District), Prim’s supervisor at the national office had taken leave and Dickson’s supervisor was standing in for him. It was he that both were at the national office to meet that day. 

However, an impromptu meeting had forced the supervisor to leave the premises, leaving the two in the lobby for hours awaiting his return. While here, out of curiosity, Dickson asked Prim why she was seemingly relaxed despite how long they had sat in the lobby. On learning that she was waiting for the same person, they struck up a conversation after which Dickson was bold enough to ask for Prim’s phone number.

 “I could clearly see Prim’s commitment to evangelism and her love for Christ. It was also clear that she loved children. She was beautiful, firm and focused,” he shares.
In Prim’s case, Dickson was a stranger until he called that evening to establish if she had arrived safely, then the next day to find out if she intended to travel to Rukungiri the same day. 
“From then on, he found a reason to call. Additionally, three of my close friends and colleagues had been at university the same time he had so it was easy for him to fit into our circle. He was also caring, confident, and respected me,” she says.

Based on the fact that from day one Prim had told him that she hated casual relationships, one day, Dickson told Prim that he was considering turning their relationship into marriage. 
“Naturally, as time went on, we both knew, even without explicitly saying it that our relationship would end in marriage. As such, I did not do the typical proposal of getting down on one knee,” he shares. 
Prim who wishes he had proposed says Dickson behaved and acted in a way that silently communicated that the relationship was heading somewhere. 

“I also did not raise the proposal expectations then, because, unlike today, little was being said about men organising flashy events to propose. He would just mention it over the phone that we should start a family,” she laughs.

The couple with their children. PHOTO/courtesy

The wait
Having been told to give her time, Dickson waited. Prim loved that she was not in a relationship to be used as a litmus test. 
“Dickson was committed, which is what I wanted in my man. Even when the proposal did not come in a way that I would have preferred, I loved that he was not playing around with my emotions,” she says.

Dickson also continuously invested in gifts to express his love for her and one of the special gifts he knew would send a clear signal was a jewellery set comprising a necklace, earrings, and a ring. 
“Knowing her better now, I know she would have loved a formal proposal, great photography and a full celebration and I wish I had given her that. Nonetheless, she pierced her ears to adorn the earrings I had given her which made me feel special then,” he smiles.
She adds that despite not getting the proposal she wanted, the journey after has been memorable, and wearing his ring was exciting.

The couple got married on November 20, 2010 at Bweranyangi Cathedral in Bushenyi District. However, they were separated a week later when Prim reported for a new job at Uganda Christian University, Mukono, while Dickson stayed in Mitooma. 
“We did not stay together for the first seven months of our marriage. At times, it felt weird to say I was married yet I only met him at the weekend. The trips were also physically draining so we alternated on who would make the journey. Later in 2011, Dickson got a job in Entebbe, which solved the long-distance marriage challenge,” she shares.

Coming from different backgrounds, challenges are inevitable and for the Tumuramyes, one was different interests. Dickson was passionate about farming while Prim wanted none of it. Additionally, being from different tribes, the two had differences in perceptions. “Being a Mukiga, Prim is very straightforward and had an uncompromising stance on things she did not agree with. This caused me to get uncomfortable with her and her impatient with me,” he shares.

Dickson says in the heat of the moment, every challenge is pressing. He remembers a time when Prim would withdraw instead of  facing  an issue. Prim admits to being a sensitive person in that even little things, especially if repeatedly done, make her irritable.