That’s how to keep the fires burning, say Sunshine Coast couple Nicola Holland and Tyron Hammond.
That’s how to keep the fires burning, say Sunshine Coast couple Nicola Holland and Tyron Hammond. CONTRIBUTED

Keep the home fires burning daily

"GOOD morning, beautiful," he says to her as she rolls over under the blankets. She wakes to the inviting aroma of a freshly cooked breakfast and him standing by the side of her bed with a single flower picked from the garden.

"I've made you pancakes for breakfast with jam or lemon and sugar," he says, inviting her to follow him to the kitchen table.

On the table, standing proudly on her plate, is a note written in his neatest handwriting, surrounded by what are his best attempts at drawing love hearts.

The note doesn't read "happy birthday", "happy Valentine's Day" or even "happy anniversary".

It simply says, "Hey gorgeous. You are the most beautiful girl I have even seen. I'm so glad that I have you in my life and you're the only one for me. I love you so much! xxx."

While couples are more likely to express their hopelessly romantic side on certain dates on the calendar, there's no reason why we can't keep the love flame burning 365 days a year. Some people express love in random, heartfelt gestures on almost a daily basis.

The Sunshine Coast Daily's Love Doctor columnist Gabrielle Morrissey said relationships were like house plants.

"Like house plants, relationships require looking after all through the year so they don't wither and die," she said.

"Nurturing is important because if you neglect your relationship, come Valentine's Day, there's nothing to have a grand gesture about.

"There's a lot of importance in those everyday little things, because that's how we stay connected."

Attention to detail and your partner's likes and dislikes can turn the flame of love into an inferno of passion.

Dr Morrissey highlights the importance of discovering what your partner is happy with early in your relationship, which is "the most exciting part".

She said the question was not how often you should do things for your partner, but rather if they needed more from you than you were already giving. No formula existed and individuals should not listen to their friends or do exactly what they were doing.

"Figure it out for yourself and you'll know it's working if you're both happy," she said.

Dr Morrissey said keeping the flame burning was about the little things you do for each other, the importance of give and take, and communication in the relationship on a daily basis.

"It's not a competition," she said. "As long as you're both happy, your relationship is fine."

Telling your partner, "I saw this and thought of you" showed they were on your mind, Dr Morrissey said.

Touch also was an important physical gesture - the most intimate way of expressing your feelings, she said.

A simple warm embrace, kiss on the forehead or night-time "snuggles" could go a long way.

A quick poll of Coast couples showed that simple words and phrases and small gestures could mean so much.

Individuals were impressed when their partners left short love notes, sent flowers and acted on impulse while out together.

Sunshine Coast couple Nicola Holland and Tyron Hammond have been together since the end of last year.

Nicola said Tyron used small, thoughtful gestures to show his feelings towards her, which slowly had won her over.

"He did a lot of chasing a broken-hearted girl, but he built me up and made me feel wanted," she said.

Since then, random gestures had made their relationship stronger than ever.

Tyron works away and is often gone for more than a week at a time, but still finds a way to do those everyday little things to let Nicola know he's thinking about her.

"I got a Hey Tell (smartphone app) message from him the other day saying, 'Every second of the day, I'm thinking about you baby ... I love you'," she said.

"The sincerity in his voice made me melt."

Dr Morrissey said one important point to remember was that gestures do not always need to be expensive or time-consuming.

As another woman in a long-term relationship added, "As long as you keep each other happy and laughing, the romance just follows."

KEEP THE FLAME ALIVE FOR 365 DAYS A YEAR

The following are real-life gestures Coast couples have done for their significant other.

"I once woke up and found a heart made of pebbles from the garden at my front door."

"He flew back from Bali for Valentine's Day to surprise me. Two hours later, I received flowers and a teddy that he had planned for me for when he wasn't going to be here, and forgot he was getting them delivered."

"I got my favourite flowers delivered to work, with a 'just to make you smile' in the card. I grinned for days."

"I used to travel three-and-a-half hours on impulse just to spend a couple of hours with him."

"My husband often sends flowers to my work on a Friday with a card saying 'Friday flowers'."

"I forgo watching my favourite shows so he can play Xbox and release steam after a hard day's work."

>> Read more lifestyle stories.



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