I remember love in my 20s was fleeting. Many of us are familiar with that brief spark that flares, only to be snuffed out in darkness. Then I thought, how could I possibly love someone truly if I didn’t love myself ? Like most young women, I was plagued with the usual insecurities. I wanted to be taller, prettier, the list goes on.

Today, two decades later, I look at myself in the mirror, and I don’t want to look like anyone else but me. It is because I have come to love myself (again) and be grateful for the life I have. That very confidence has allowed me to love my partner better as I trust him completely. The mutual trust forms a great foundation to our happy and fulfilling relationship.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Self-love is one thing, but all relationships need work and that’s what I’ve learnt over the years. My husband, Rupert and I, for example, make it a point to go on dates every Friday, where we’ll head to one of the many amazing restaurants in Singapore, and chitchat over nice food and drinks. We both love good food!

It’s important to share common interests and values, too. And, it’s equally important that you find your partner attractive. Now, what’s attractive to you? Is it a great smile, kind eyes or dimples? It’s hard to say, isn’t it? Well, it’s something you can’t always put your finger on, but you sort of know deep down.

Having said that, looks aren’t everything. You fall in love with someone because of who they are and their character. Marriages work better when two people are attracted to each other in many ways, and they work together to keep the spark.

I knew Rupert was the one when I observed his actions and how he treats everyone around him. He’s decent, fun, intelligent and, most of all, a kind soul. Of course, I think he’s devastatingly handsome, too!

I know that it’s difficult to find someone that ticks off all the boxes but believe me, that person is out there. Most of all, one shouldn’t forget to work on oneself and practise self-love to look and feel good on the inside and outside – and make the effort to change for the better.

Don’t fuss over material things that don’t matter; love life and live it honestly and authentically.

This article was first published in our magazine’s February issue.