How Real Couples Keep The Love On This Valentine’s Day

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we sit down with three couples — Vanessa Tevi and Ismael Ma; Shalma Ainaa and Wan Imar Izzat; and Kittie Yiyi and Sean Khor, local fashion and lifestyle ambassadors, to discuss how they express their love and how they commemorate the special occasion.

It is often said that love is not in the grand gestures, but in the little things in between. In a special collaboration to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we join forces with friends at LSA to talk about how they celebrate the special occasion and how they manage their relationships as they grow. together.

In this exclusive Valentine’s Day report, we sit down with three Malaysian couples: entrepreneur and content creator Shalma Ainaa with her architect husband Wan Imar Izzat; Vanessa Tevi, Miss Universe Malaysia 2015, with her boyfriend, Ismael Ma; as well as fashion designer Kittie Yiyi with her boyfriend, musician and lead singer of babychair, Sean Khor.

Shalma Ainaa and Wan Imar Izzat on passion driving a relationship

Wan Imar Izzat and Shalma Ainaa

Celebrating their sixth year of marriage and a love that blossomed while studying in the City of London, entrepreneur, TV host and content creator Shalma Ainaa and her husband Wan Imar Izzat, music artist and architectural designer, share their secret to keeping romance alive and sizzling.

“I think passion and trust is what keeps a relationship healthy and happy,” says Ainaa, “and it all comes down to communication. Love is a marathon of good memories, and as long as you and your partner can run the distance between good and evil, eternal love and happiness are waiting for you.

The couple plans to keep it simple for Valentine’s Day. According to Ainaa, just being in the presence of her loved one is more than enough, regardless of the setting or planning. Since we are currently going through many uncertainties, Ainaa expresses that being in each other’s arms on this romantic, healthy and happy day is already the ultimate celebration and gift. Nothing else matters.

Ainaa recalls her favorite memory of that special occasion, just weeks before their engagement in 2016. “It was on the way to our Valentine’s Day dinner, and he surprised me with a bouquet of flowers with the note. of love, filled with these beautiful wishes, on our way to our married life. Little did she know that Imar was about to pop the question!

Ainaa and Imar each have a dedicated song from which they derive their take on love. For Imar, he chose Westlife’s “Us Against the World” as his love anthem. Ainaa, on the other hand, draws from the Celine Dion classic, “Because you loved me”, more precisely the lyrics: “I am all that I am, because you loved me”.

Vanessa Tevi And Ismael Ma Tackle The Deep Questions Of Love And Understand Each Other’s “Love Tank”

When asked how Vanessa and Ismael will spend their Valentine’s Day, Vanessa confessed: “Honestly, give me good food, wine to make it more ‘festive’ and a deep and meaningful conversation – I will be a very happy girl. .”

Vanessa Tevi and Ishmael Ma

Malaysian model and Miss Universe Malaysia 2015 Vanessa Tevi and her adventurous boyfriend Ismael Ma have been together for over half a decade now. As two people who share the thrill and love of travel and exploring the great outdoors, it’s a pleasant surprise to learn that the couple prefers to spend their Valentine’s Day with a day of relaxation, with a home cooked meals, wine and great conversation.

“By tradition, Ismael and I prepare a more refined meal at home, which is usually a good steak,” Vanessa reveals. “Maybe this year I’ll also release a book that a friend recently gave us, ‘The Hard Questions’ by Susan Piver. In the book, Piver lists 100 essential questions to discuss with your partner to see if you’re a suitable match and if you’re on the same page in your life.

For Vanessa, maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is all about back and forth; give-and-take. As someone who practices mindfulness, Vanessa compares the work done to maintain the relationship to filling the “love tank”, whatever that may sound like. Alluding to the theory of Gary Chapman, author of “The Five Love Languages”, each person has a reservoir of love. By communicating and really listening, you will be able to know what fills your partner’s love reservoir and vice versa.

“To say that ‘communication’ and ‘listening’ makes a relationship last may be cliché, but it’s true for several reasons. I sincerely believe that there is no adversity that cannot be resolved between two people as long as they listen to each other carefully, communicate openly and consciously choose each other every day,” says Vanessa. “These tough, honest conversations are often the hardest to spit out, but they’re also the ones that speak to our hearts the most.”

Vanessa and Ismael also reveal that what started the tradition in the first place has since become their most memorable Valentine’s Day celebration yet.

“Let’s just say the very first Valentine’s Day steak I was served at home was really tough and chewy. The taste was delicious, but it was just impossible to swallow! Vanessa remembers fondly. “An absolute fail of a steak…but hey, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?”

Vanessa quotes author Brené Brown to reflect her own philosophy on love: “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offer with trust, respect, kindness. , and love.”

In sum, Vanessa believes that we will only ultimately get love as good as what we give – it’s a strength that you must nurture and grow together. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal and denial of affection damage the roots from which love grows. And so, love can only survive these wounds if they are first recognized and communicated, before they are healed.

Ismael quotes writer and fellow photographer Justin Wetch, who expressed the following sentiment: “Love begins as a feeling, but continuing is a choice. And I find myself choosing you, more and more every day.

Kittie Yiyi and Sean Khor on honesty and communication as keys to overcoming challenges

Kittie Yiyi and Sean Khor

Inventive and artistic Kittie Yiyi, a KL-based fashion designer and social media influencer, finds her perfect partner in Sean Khor, lead singer and songwriter of indie band babychair. A match made in heaven, it seems, as the two have also teamed up creatively, such as the release of babychair’s latest single, “Cross The Line,” a collaboration with “Cross The Line” liquid eyeliner. Line” by Kittie Yiyi during her recent debut in the beauty industry.

As artists, Kittie and Sean are adaptable souls. When asked how they’re going to spend their Valentine’s Day, Kittie replies, “To be honest, we don’t have any concrete plans. We’ll probably follow the flow and see where it takes us for the day.

Kittie confesses that she can’t identify a single favorite Valentine’s Day memory. For someone who loves spontaneous displays of affection, Kittie considers every Valentine’s Day celebration that comes with a surprise her happiest moment.

“Honesty in a relationship is important,” says Kittie. “Communication is the key. Don’t expect your partner to know what you’re thinking if you don’t say it out loud. Just do your best to express your feelings and listen to each other’s thoughts.

Sean shares the same sentiment, picking a quote from “FUEL” by Jeremy Chin: “Love isn’t perfect. Love is overcoming obstacles, facing challenges and continuing to hold each other.

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