Valentine’s Day – With Love

Valentines Day

Seeing it is Valentine’s Day on Sunday and Galentine’s Day tomorrow, I thought I’d talk about relationships.

Original, I know.

But I should be a bit of an expert seeing that by the end of 2021, the husband and I will have been together for 33 years and married for 28. I still struggle to remember the date we got married. Sometimes I think it’s the 3rd December, 1994 when it is actually the 4th December 1993. Whatever. It is a seriously looooooooong time, so one would assume I’d know one or two things about relationships, but I’m not really sure that I do.

The day we got married it POURED with rain...
The day we got married it POURED with rain…

When I met the husband, besides thinking he was insanely hot, I also just felt completely comfortable with him and it was not long before I knew he was the one. We have been through some tough times together but generally speaking our relationship is not hard work. We both work from home so we’re together for a lot of the time and we obvs enjoy spending time together and communicate well.

Me: Honey, why is it do you think our relationship has lasted?


Me: Babe, stop watching the goddamn cricket and listen to me!



Him: What?

I just made all of that up, but like all good stories, it had a kernel of truth in it.

I really did make the husband tell me what the secret of our relationship is, mainly because I couldn’t think what the hell to write, and I was really hoping I could get him to write half my blog post for me.

Sadly, it was too brief to fill up a page but I did think it was illuminating. His answer was: “A sense of humour. There’s nothing quite like making you laugh.” Which was pretty high up on my list too.

Here’s what I think is important in a relationship in no particular order:

Having lunch at the Local Grill for our 25th Wedding anniversary
Having lunch at the Local Grill for our 25th Wedding anniversary
  • You have to share similar values. I could not be married to a racist/homophobe/misogynist/Trump supporter. If you’re both Trump supporters, awesome. Go and storm the Capitol together (a friend who shall remain nameless, after finding out that her husband had said something positive about Trump: “I have divorced men for less.”)
  • Sexual attraction. I still look at him and think “phwoar, that’s a bit of alright”.
  • Sense of humour. His Dad jokes are baaaaaad but they make me larf.
  • Respect. Endless badmouthing of your partner is not cool.
  • You have to have fun together.

Here’s what I especially love about the husband:

  • He’s the first reader for all my books and puts up with me discussing the characters as if they’re real people.
  • He does up that one sports bra that is impossible to fasten.
  • He goes for walks with me and lets me ramble on about all the characters in my head as if they’re real people.
  • He brings me coffee.
  • He cooks.
  • He’s endlessly patient with the kids.
  • He loves my cats.
  • He does all the admin-y things I hate doing.
  • He’s romantic and buys awesome, thoughtful gifts.
A few of my favourite gals...
A few of my favourite gals…

Now Galentine’s Day is the day before Valentine’s Day when you celebrate your friends. This is equally important because one person cannot be everything in your life. I really do believe that. I think it’s putting unreasonable pressure on someone expecting them to fulfil your every need, and I also think it’s dangerous. What happens if your relationship doesn’t work out or if, God forbid something were to happen to your other half? You would be screwed – and not in the way you were hoping to be.

Don’t rely on your partner for everything. Get some friends.

I have the most AMAZING girlfriends who have really been there for me through thick and thin and many bottles of prosecco/red wine.

I am not going to start naming them as my Covidy/menopausal brain would most likely forget one of them and I would be in shit but they know who they are – my sister and my SILs, school and varsity friends, friends I’ve had since the kids started playschool, the Westcliff Wives, the Red Wine Friday crew, my TV friends, my bookish friends (especially the fab four) and my social media friends.

Love you all long time.

A few more Galentines...
A few more Galentine’s…

And of course the greatest love of all (to paraphrase Whitney) is with yourself. Relationships are fantastic but loving yourself is waaaay more important.

Not in a I-am-on-the-Narcissistic-Personality-Disorder-Spectrum and I-take-fifty-seven-selfies-every-day kind of way, but in a healthy self-esteem, I-treat-myself-well and do-not-talk-to-myself-in-Sister-Veneranda’s-voice kinda way.

While we’re on the subject of relationships, knowing when to leave a bad relationship is soooooooo important. We often focus too much on who’s to blame in these cases, we want the tea, but a lot of the time a relationship has run its course or the two people are just too different and it doesn’t work out.

Shout out to everyone who was brave enough to leave a relationship that wasn’t working. I think you deserve a special day of your own for loving yourself enough to want something better.

Book recommendations: We begin at the end by Chris Whitaker. A heartwrenching read that I had to keep leaving and coming back to, but I’m glad that I finished it. Beautifully written, suspenseful with unforgettable characters, I LOVED Duchess. Thank you, Amy Heydenrych for the recommendation.

Book recommendations 1

I am currently reading A Family Affair by Sue Nyathi. I was planning on reading this over Christmas but I know moghel Sue too well. She is not afraid of killing her darlings, she will kill off the character you love the most and as I had Covid, I just wasn’t strong enough to cope with that. I am thoroughly enjoying the story of the Mafu family and what’s really exciting for me is that after 18 odd years of writing for black TV shows, I realized that I know quite a lot about lobola and I feel like I could be part of the group of old aunties that gives the bride advice about marriage.  

Film/TV recommendations: Lupin. He is totally gorg and the story is thoroughly charming. Movie-wise: I did watch George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky. Pretty good but oh my sweet Lord, beyond depressing. Don’t watch it on a Sunday night like I did.

It will come as no great surprise that I recommend buying books for Valentine’s Day especially from Love Books, they also have delish wine if books are not your thing. Whatever you do, buy local – support local restaurants, buy local chocolate or SA wine, go to the movies. Let’s all help each other get through these tough times and if you’re on your own – spoil yourself, you deserve it.

Ideas for Valentines or Galentines Day from Love Books 1
Ideas for Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day from Love Books

Happy Galentine’s and Valentine’s Day! Much love to you all xxx