Love in Chinese is a highly spiritual emotion, as you may know from my jewellery, the character means ‘life to the heart and grace to the body’. Pretty deep stuff huh? I am lucky enough to vouch that true love really does feel like this. When you are in love, you feel whole and complete, your heart is full of life and your body feels like it is dancing through life! Love with the right person, makes you a better person.
But how do you keep this love alive over a long period of time like in a marriage or long term partnership? I’ve been with my husband for eleven years (married six and half years). Which is not that long relative to the likes of my parents (forty-nine years!). To be honest, kids have been the best and the worst thing that has happened to our relationship. I say the latter more often. Since our eldest came along four and half years ago, we have had to make much more of an effort to remain connected through the busy times, the sleepless nights and the dramatic changes in circumstances such as relocation and career changes.
I always say that sometimes the best things in life are hard work, like children and indeed marriage! Here are the four things we do to make sure our love continues to bring life to the heart and grace to the body.
- Tea every night in the kitchen
This is our little ritual that we do almost every night. Even if one of us is travelling for work, we have tea over Skype. First off we recount our days, from the highs to the lows, to the gossip from the school gate or the office. We may move on and talk about the plan for the weekend, the kids, current affairs or the crazy people I may have heard on the Joe Duffy show earlier in the day.
My parents have this ritual every night too. As we got older (our kids are obviously in bed) we were not allowed to come into the kitchen or interrupt the conversation. I truly believe this ritual got them through some tough times and it set a great example for us. Not being allowed interrupt is an example of how their marriage was put before us.
- Fun dates
When we first got together we did loads of fun dates such as picnics, roller blading, and hiking. It’s hard to arrange fun dates when you have babies at home. But we try to embrace these long evenings – walks, champagne on the beach, maybe take a cycle….as well just a quick quiet drink or dinner out. The key to this is our friendly 18-year old neighbour. What can I say, seek you shall find a babysitter!
- Breaks away
We are so lucky in this regard and I often feel embarrassed to admit we get away once or twice a year for a night alone! Only two weeks ago we went horse racing for the weekend. The trip in the car alone was just amazing. I felt like a giddy teenager!! It helps us to remember life before kids and why we like each other.
- And finally ……Kindness
When we got married my parents in law wrote some lovely words on the card they gave us. They signed it off ‘be kind to each other’. And really, you know, it’s as simple as that. Neither of us are perfect, far from it in fact, we have our ups and downs as individuals. So if kindness is the cornerstone of our relationship, Chinese love should hopefully continue to grow.
Check out the Love Collection here
Love Character – can you see the heart and the body?
Check out my husband modelling the new ‘love’ cufflinks.