An interview with Flora Isabelle
Couples nowadays complain of not having enough time to spend with each other. Hectic working lives and various other time consuming commitments have sapped the zest out of marriages. However, we have managed to track down one spouse who has strived to dispel such notions. She maintains an insightful and active presence on social media platforms online, and shows her readers how she navigates married life, injecting lots of fun and romance into it. We here at Parenting United interviewed Flora Isabelle, travel enthusiast, a loving wife and author of the blog FloraIsabelle (http://floraisabelle.com/) to get her views on marriage. How long have you been married for? Coming to two years! 1 June will be our second anniversary. Have your views on marriage changed since? Like what I always tell people, marriage doesn't change ANYTHING. You cannot expect whatever shortcomings and differences to miraculously disappear the second you say I do. It took me about a year to finally realise that and now we are a lot happier than we were in the first year of marriage! Haha How did you two meet? Describe the first date! You won't believe it but he actually picked me up at the driving school cause we happened to be taking our driving test on the same day! I posted a video about it here Our first date was very 'safe' – we had lunch at Clarke Quay followed by coffee. All I could think was – it's such a HOT day why did he choose outdoor seating?! What traits do you love in your partner? I love how he is so funny and how he makes me laugh every day. And he's a very easy-going person who can put up with my nonsense. Most importantly, he brings out the best in me :) What made you decide to get married? Errr the fact that I'm of marriageable age? Hahaha, joking! Hmmm I think what made me realise that he's the one was how despite all the fights we went through, we were never fighting for the sake of fighting. It was always about resolving issues and differences and how we can move forward – together, as a team. Did your routines change after living together? Definitely! Until today we still can't agree on aircon temperature and what time to get up on weekends (I'm an early riser, he can sleep all the way until the cows come home.) But these days, we're working it out! Long way more to go though... Tell us about the proposal! It was actually very private – thank goodness! I would have DIED if he had done a public thing with a flash mob and all that. We were at a staycation and he INSISTED we piece together a jigsaw puzzle even though I was so sleepy and was incredibly grumpy... but I did so anyway and at the end, it read, “Will you marry me?” Preparations for wedding – nightmare or fun? I'll say fun for me and nightmare for him. Hahaha. We did TWO weddings so it was double the nightmare for him! But it was absolutely the best night of my life and if I could do it again, I'll agree in a heartbeat! Any advice for other couples out there who are planning their own weddings? Agree on a budget and don't let it get out of hand. The best advice I got when planning the wedding was “A wedding is a day, a marriage is a lifetime.” Don't be too obsessed about the wedding that you end up forgetting WHY you're marrying in the first place! How do you keep that “spark” going? So far so good for us! Fingers crossed it'll remain like that forever. We still put in lots of effort to date each other – you know, put on a fancy dress, apply makeup and go to a nice dinner where we'll just chat the night away with plenty of wine :) Alright, we've all heard stories of “monster in laws”. How do you deal with your husband's in laws? How have they treated you? I LOVEEEEEEE my parent in laws!!!!! Maybe I'm lucky to have been blessed with parent in laws who treat me like their own daughter. My friends don't believe it when I tell them that mother in law makes me breakfast every day and sends me to work on days that I don't drive! I think our relationship with our in laws is a two way street – I love them like how I love my own parents. How do you make time to spend quality time together? Friday night is strictly reserved for each other. We never ever make plans on that day so no matter how busy we are, there is always that one day a week that we “connect” with each other. Either of you romantic? I think I'm a traditional romantic – you know, presents and flowers. The husband is romantic in his own hilarious ways. For goodness sake, he got me an epilator for my birthday!!! But he also does terribly sweet things like whipping up an entire meal, packing in a picnic basket and whisking me off on a picnic by the beach. How do you resolve squabbles and arguments? We used to shout our lungs out...but then we (finally) realise that in a shouting match, everybody is trying to say something but nobody is listening and we get nothing out of it except hurt feelings. Now we try our best to talk things out... or even to sleep on it for a day or two to see if it's something that's REALLY bothering us or were we just being difficult/ irritable at that point in time. Describe a typical day in your life. I wake up, look through Facebook and Instagram... have breakfast and then head to office or whatever appointments I have for the day. I usually have lunch on-to-go since I have different meetings and events to cover and in between if I have time, I'll either plonk myself at a cafe and clear emails or go for yoga lessons. Is it hard to juggle blogging, work and marriage? Hmmm.. everybody who is married has to juggle work and marriage! But blogging.. well, I think sometimes I might get too obsessed with trying to rush out posts or edit photos and end up not spending quality time together. I generally try to write my posts/ edit photos on days during the day when he's at work or when he has to work late or when he's away fishing hahaa. We both have to travel quite a bit due to our job nature so as much as possible, I'll try to time my trips to coincide with his so we get as much time together as possible. What’s the best thing about being married? Never having to go hungry! Hahaha I kid. I guess it's knowing that no matter what, I'll always have someone there with me through life's thick and thin. Who is the more spontaneous one between the two of you? Definitely me! The husband doesn't even like to try out new restaurants (“what if the food sucks?!”) let alone go on a holiday like right now, now. What’s the most exciting thing you two have done together? We're such boring people... maybe the most exciting thing for me will be riding on a rollercoaster with him at Disneyland hahaha. I hate hate hate rollercoasters and have never sat on them again since I was 9 or 10 but that was our first trip overseas and he had suggested it while we were at the theme park and because we had just started dating, I didn't dare to appear too cowardly so I agreed. Till today I still regret that decision - I swear I almost died. How was the honeymoon? Where did you two go? Any funny stories? Oh! We headed to Japan :) Haha there's this picture where you know how everybody when they go on holiday they have all these romantic, lovey dovey photos? My husband looked like he was FORCED to kiss me!!! But this is SO US that we decided to print this photo and hang it in our bedroom haha. Who has better direction sense? I'll say me but he'll say I can't drive... so.... Who is a better cook? Him definitely. It's a miracle if I don't end up burning down the kitchen and the entire house along with it. Who gives in quicker after an argument? Him also hahaha. I can be very stubborn. Do you both have a system when it comes to household chores? Hmm.. we have a helper in the house so thankfully we don't have to do much housework. But things like if he cooks, I'll help to chop and prepare the ingredients and wash afterwards :) Do your blog readers turn to you for advice about their own marriages? Sometimes! Mostly wedding planning advice haha but since I wrote this blog post http://floraisabelle.com/how-to-make-your-relationship-work/ I do get emails from readers about their relationship. What advice would you give to couples looking to get married? Don't settle. What advice would you give to couples that are already married? Continue to date each other! Even if you're old(-er) and with kids, it's important to keep the romance alive! On that note, will we be hearing the pitter patter of little feet anytime soon? Definitely not now. We're looking at maybe in another 5 years or so? I feel that I need to be financially and emotionally ready to have a child before we plan for one – you know, it's the least a responsible parent would do.
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