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French couples share their secrets to lasting love

French couples share their secrets to lasting love
Are you looking for someone to grow old with? Photo by Lucas Cleutjens on Unsplash
Finding your one true love can be tricky, but in truth is only half the battle - it's making love last that's the difficult bit. In honour of Valentine's Day we asked a selection of our French friends for their tips on creating lasting love.

And for a nation that have something of an international reputation for l'amour a lot of their advice was surprisingly practical.

Even in Paris – international capital of romance – grand gestures, hearts and flowers were out and communication, trust and honesty were in.

READ ALSO What French women are looking for in a lover – according to their tweets


Yes, very romantic – but will they make it last? Photo: AFP

So next time you see a couple serenading each other at the Eiffel Tower or presenting diamonds over dinner you'll know that they're probably tourists.

(And if they're locking heart-shaped padlocks on to city landmarks they're definitely tourists).

Here's what our French friends had to say about creating a love that lasts a lifetime.

Véronique, 37, said: “For me it is the small things, listening to me talk about my day, remembering things I have said, I don't think things like flowers or presents are important. I think in France we tend to celebrate Valentine's Day less than perhaps in America – maybe dinner out for a couple but no big presents.

“And for me that shows that we value what is truly important in a relationship – trust, honesty – rather than big gestures.

'Having honest conversations with your partner is the most important thing.”

READ ALSO The A-Z of getting a date in France


Honest conversation is more appreciated in France than soppy sweets. Photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

François, 38, said: “I want a person I can have honest conversations with, that is how you make a relationship last. It's nice to buy presents for each other sometimes but that is not the most important thing.”

Lucile, 22, said: “There's no miraculous solution. Every couple is different and the important thing is to talk openly together and ensure that every decision is a compromise that both are happy with.

“[French author] Saint-Exupéry wrote that love isn't about looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction. It's a cliché and of course you need to look at each other sometimes too, but the basic idea is solid, I think.”
 
She added:  “It also helps to have regular sex.”
 


Adding padlocks to one of Paris' bridges is not the secret to true love. Photo: AFP

Fiona, 27, has been with her boyfriend, Antoine, for eight years.

She said: “The most important thing for me when it comes to love is trust. It’s even more important than love itself. Trust is what makes you able to show each other your true, unpolished selves.

“When you trust someone with your heart you risk getting it broken, but it’s proof that you believe the person to be capable of taking care of it. That’s what makes you able to keep together and not give up as soon as things get difficult.”

Julie, 25, said: “The secret is that your lover is also your best friend. It's not necessary for all kinds of love, just for the one that lasts. It needs to be the person you want to tell about your day.”

But Julie's boyfriend Louis, 24, had more elaborate ideas.

He said:  “I think the best way to make love last is to think about the other person. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t think about yourself, but it’s a way of enjoying every moment with the other to the fullest.

“I always try to ask myself, ‘how can I make her happy? How can I make her day even better?’ I try to make her laugh.

“I don’t know if I always manage, but I try. It doesn’t matter if she knows that I’m doing it or not. I just want her to feel loved, appreciated and important.”

Marie, 30, added: “It's all about trust. If you don't have trust then you don't have a relationship at all.”
 

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