We used to think that once you pass a certain mark, like 2 or 3 years into a relationship, it will last forever. But in a time where things like work (or DOTA) can take precedence over replying a text message from our other half, it can be tough to maintain a relationship.
We realised how common it is for relationships to fail despite the years. Just within our social circles, we’ve friends who had to abruptly close a major chapter of their love life – just like that, 6, 8, and even 9 year’s worth of time can become nothing more than just bittersweet memories.
It made us wonder: can a relationship really last in this era?
We sought out to find the answers, and we found them in photos of our longtime couple friends. Here are the photos that captured the essence of love and growth, of when they first started dating compared to them today.
“We Treasure The Smallest Things”
Nicholas & Jasmine – 9 Years Together
The biggest “challenge” has to be keeping the relationship and romance going and constantly nurturing it, as it is easy to get so used to each other that we take things for granted.
The smallest and simplest things in relationships that get overlooked are often the main reasons for deteriorating relationships. We both do our best to make sure we are aware of this and we treasure one another.
Communication is something we both hold dearly as our foundation. We’re able to be honest with our feelings and come to an understanding to resolve problems together. The smallest actions like kisses and hugs count too. Or showing appreciation by making each other our favourite drinks, or watching our favourite movie when either of us feels down make a difference.
“He’s Always The Bigger Person, And She’s Appreciative”
Samantha & Jeremy – 7 Years Together
To Samantha, a big part of keeping the relationship going is because of him: “He’s so gracious, patient and accepting of my shortcomings; especially my possessiveness and temper. If I dated myself, I would have dumped my ass a long time ago.”
When there are unhappiness and quarrels, it’s very difficult to come to a compromise. It’s difficult to find a solution and makeup when both of us are upset. We both know it and he’s usually the bigger person who puts emotions aside and initiate for us to make up.
“We Trust Each Other, And Never Carry An Argument Overnight”
Cherie & Shao Yong – 6 Years Together
If we can wrap up the essence of our relationship, it is trust and communication.
On trust: we don’t give each other any reason to doubt. We are completely transparent with each other and this builds up the robust level of trust we have in each other. We are comfortable enough to not interfere or restrict each other’s own social life too.
On communication: whenever don’t meet, we make it a point to still call each other every night to talk about our day or even just to say goodnight.
Whenever we argue, we make sure that we only move on after we have accepted each other’s feelings and made peace with it. We never carry an argument overnight.
“It’s Normal For Us To Fight, But We Forgive And Move On”
Matthew & Li Ying – 4.5 Years Together
Throughout the years, we’ve learnt to deal with each other’s annoying habits. For example, I have learnt to deal with Li Ying being a grammar Nazi and correcting mistakes mid-sentence, while she has learnt to wait for me to take the perfect photo of food before we can eat. So there’s a lot of acceptance, patience, and understanding.
It’s normal for us to fight a lot, but at the same time, there is a lot of forgiveness in our relationship.
“We Choose To Love Each Other Even When We ‘Hate’ Each Other”
Mieko & CJ – 8 Years Together
The fact that we have been together since he was 20 and I, 16, we’ve gone through so many milestones together: studies, NS, work, and eventually the unexpected appearance of baby Dayna.
We definitely have had many arguments and major fights, and it resulted in a lot of heartbreak. We can’t specifically pinpoint any particular reason or factor that kept us going through it all. However, it truly boils down to loving each other the ‘right’ way – being able to love each other even when you ‘hate’ each other.
Love is a choice, and choosing to love someone is not easy. It’s a choice we make every day, through thick and thin.
“Two Headstrong Personalities, But We Compromise”
Ryan & Jia Yi – 8 Years Together
Honesty and compromise play a big part in our relationship. We are both very headstrong personalities and if we hadn’t made conscious efforts to compromise with each other, we honestly wouldn’t have made it this far.
Also, one of the major hurdles we had (and I’m sure many couples have) was the assumption that the other party would automatically understand our needs and desires. We’re not mind-readers and we’ve learnt to make efforts to tell each other why we’re upset instead of just begrudging each other for not “getting it”.
“We Stay Cheesy With Verbal Compliments”
Pat & John – 9 Years Together
Just like other couples, we’ve been through many milestones together. Completing NS, buying a house, proposal, and wedding planning are just some. But one of the biggest challenges for us was riding the waves of my (Pat’s) anxiety issues together. Throughout my darkest times, John stuck by me. He fought along with me, and for me.
One of our common love languages is words of affirmation. Verbal compliments and appreciation can go a long way, and after dating for 9 years, we’re still cheesy as ever.
“We Laugh At Each Other, And We Laugh Together”
Celine & Ivan – 4 Years Together
There’s a lot of love and patience between us. We understand each other’s personalities and accommodate not just to each other but also our families.
We do silly things together, laugh at each other and laugh together. We learn together and grow together as individuals and also as a couple.
“We Address Our Problems As Best Friends And Lovers”
Shane and Nikki – 18 Years Together
We’ve gone through so much together from secondary school and university to surviving army days. We’ve gotten married and built up our first home, and now, celebrating the birth of our first child.
We’ve always been best friends so our friendship laid a strong foundation for the relationship, and we are able to communicate really well with one another on so many grounds. It’s important and helps us address our problems together instead of running away from them.
Keep The Faith Alive
Granted, love isn’t just rainbows and butterflies.
While it takes a large amount of effort and work to sustain a relationship, these couples have proven that it still is possible. And the benefits you reap from a happy, lasting relationship is worth every fight for.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for someone to fight alongside you on your life journey, you can try your luck here!