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Let love bloom, and last forever

How do you let love last longer than a rose? We show you the little things that will do the trick
CATS Classified In The Straits Times - February 14, 2008
By: Sheila Lim
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Let love bloom, and last forever

Isn’t it apt that of all flowers, the rose has been picked as a symbol of love?

Just like love, when the rose plant blooms, it’s gloriously lush and beautiful. However, it has to be handled with care, otherwise its thorny parts can hurt. It also isn’t the easiest thing to grow; if one doesn’t know how to nurture it properly, its blooms will quickly fade, and the plant might even perish.

But while a rose plant thrives on soil, water, sunlight, nutrients and a knowledgeable gardener, a loving relationship will require these “5Cs”:

Communication

No matter how busy you are, you need to designate time for your loved one. Make a habit of spending at least 15 to 20 minutes communicating with each other daily, or as often as possible. Bar distractions and give each other full attention. This gives you both the opportunity to air grievances or concerns, discuss insights, or simply chit-chat to stay connected.

Another basic communication practice for sustaining a healthy relationship is to express regular appreciation and praise in a loving manner, and keep criticisms to a minimum.

Care and devotion

At the beginning of a relationship, couples are often blind to each other’s shortcomings and do their utmost to please each other. However, it’s a different story once the day-to-day drudgery of work, raising a family and sustaining a livelihood take their toll.

But even when the rose-tinted glasses come off, love can assume a different shade and mellow into something more mature and enriching. All it takes is to be consistent in these things: cherish and respect each other, do small acts of kindness and be considerate of each other’s feelings.

Creativity

Have fun together! Never take your relationship for granted, otherwise you’ll have drifted far apart before you know it.

Even if you’re Mr Roboto or Ms Dead Serious, plan little surprises for your other half regularly. These needn’t be fancy dinners or expensive gifts. Personalised, heart-felt expressions, such as self-composed silly poems or love songs are the best keepsakes (even if your standard is way below that of Robert Burns or Stevie Wonder).

Keep romance alive by continually “courting” each other. Treat yourselves to bouts of romancing, like a quiet walk in the park, a fling somewhere away from familiar settings or doing something fun, silly or out-of-the-ordinary together.

Cash flow management

Money is the most common culprit in relationship failure. Although having money always helps, it’ll never be a substitute for thoughtfulness, creativity and respect. Your happiness as a couple depends much more on these than the size of your bank accounts.

Strive to be forthright and sensible about money matters right from the start of your relationship. Always remind yourself: What’s the point of all those expensive gifts, an out-of-this-world wedding or that luxurious home you can’t afford when worries about long-term debt are going to cause a rift later on in your relationship?

Chilling out

Familiarity breeds contempt. Couples should make time for intimacy without stifling each other’s individuality. Allow each other some personal space and “time out”. A relationship becomes unhealthy when one partner becomes too dependent on the other, or over-controlling. This creates feelings of resentment.

Love’s like a red, red rose

Just like rose gardeners, if couples work hard and succeed in keeping alive what they’ve planted, the results they reap can be as joyful to behold as those that come when the seeds of love first take root.

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