Coming up to Valentine’s Day, what do we really need for a lifelong partnership?

Is love enough?

And what does that mean?

Well, looking at it from the cynical viewpoint of a divorce lawyer, it doesn’t mean moon in June, fancy weddings, promises of devotion, or dreams of happily ever after.

Romantic gestures are lovely and always appreciated, but they are the icing on the cake.

The love that matters is the verb, not the noun – doing, not saying.

And that goes for the small details of life as well as the big stuff – so doing the washing up as well as sharing finances together.

Choosing to share your life with someone is a huge decision, whether or not you marry or have a civil partnership. And yet so many make this life-changing decision based on a romantic illusion of what they think the other partner wants, and all the trappings of weddings and honeymoons, etc which can cloud their normal sensible decision-making process.

For love to be for life it must be an active commitment to do things together and for each other.

So, buy the flowers and chocolates, or aftershave as the case may be. But also talk about how you can work together to make a better life for both, how much you expect to pool your resources, and what you expect from your partner.

Make it real, not just romance.

Happy Valentines.

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