Friday - - Editor’s Letter - Karen Pasquali Jones Editor kpasqual­i­

The se­cret to a last­ing ro­mance is sim­ple: cud­dle at least five times a day, don’t check each other’s phones and never go to bed with­out re­solv­ing an ar­gu­ment. Fol­low this ex­pert ad­vice and you’re ap­par­ently head­ing to­wards a golden wed­ding an­niver­sary. Ex­cuse me for ar­gu­ing against 50 years of wed­ded bliss, but love isn’t that easy. If it is, then I’m a ro­mance rule-breaker. I cud­dle my dog more than I hug my hus­band, and would snoop on any­one’s phone left near me for long enough (ask my mum, teenage son and cleaner, and they’ll vouch for my abil­ity to read their mes­sages from 50 paces). As for ar­gu­ments, some­times I’ll have five of them a day and when we had a spare room, I’d hap­pily storm off to it rather than make up.

But I’ve been bliss­fully to­gether with my hus­band for 19 years, so we must be do­ing some­thing right. For me, our se­cret is that we’re to­tally dif­fer­ent, but we make each other laugh ev­ery day. Many a time our be­mused chil­dren find us clutch­ing our stom­achs, tears on our cheeks, and un­able to speak be­cause we find some­thing one of us has said so hi­lar­i­ous. ‘It’s just Mamma and Daddy be­ing weird again,’ our 13-year-old son will say to our lit­tle girl, rolling his eyes.

They’ve grown up with us bick­er­ing over my dis­like of his driv­ing (‘Hold the steer­ing wheel with both hands, don’t look at me, look at the road!’), his ha­tred of me singing and danc­ing (yes, re­ally!) in su­per­mar­kets as I shop, and our belly laughs over our in jokes.

So yes, while I read the 12 ro­mance rules from ex­perts on page 24, I don’t think you need all dozen for the per­fect mar­riage. I’d rather lis­ten to the real cou­ples on page 36 who list tol­er­ance ahead of bou­quets of red roses as the rea­son they’re still hap­pily mar­ried. Happy Valen­tine’s Day – I hope you love this spe­cial is­sue!

If LOVE is easy, then I’m a ro­mance RULE-BREAKER. I cud­dle my DOG more than I hug my HUS­BAND, some­times have FIVE AR­GU­MENTS a day and would SNOOP on any­one’s PHONE left near me for long enough

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