Millennials. Let\u2019s face it, we\u2019re mostly struggling when it comes to relationships. And that is despite the convenience of dating apps such as Tinder, or Love Meets Bagel.\u00a0 We have technology that gives us instant communication, yet we can\u2019t express our genuine feelings for fear we might end up being ghosted (when he stops texting without any information given). But how did our parents and grandparents end up staying together for so long?\u00a0 Since Valentine\u2019s day is in less than a week, I decided to ask older couples about their marriage. Here\u2019s what they had to say. 1. Rita and Rufus (Married for 30 years) What was your first date like? Rita: \u201cNot long after meeting him, he told me that he wanted to open a bank account. (Rita worked at a bank). After doing that, he suggested that we have lunch at McDonalds.\u00a0 I suggested that we could go Dutch. But he said \u2018no\u2019 \u2014 he wanted to spend on me. I then told him that I wasn\u2019t sure whether we\u2019d like each other and if we break up, I didn\u2019t want him to think he\u2019s wasted his money on me.\u201d When did you know that your partner was the one for you? Rufus: \u201cWhen I was introduced to her by my future brother-in-law. I knew that as the days went by, I found that she is a caring, capable and strong character. When I first met her, I thought she was very pretty, very confident and strong.\u201d What does Rufus do for you that tells you he loves you? Rita: \u201cHe is a very caring person. Before marriage, I used to live in Shah Alam while he lived in Cheras.\u00a0 During his off days, he would get up very early in the morning just so that he could drive all the way to Shah Alam from his place to pick me up and send me to work.\u00a0 And to this day he still does that. When it's his off days, he will drive me to work and pick me up too.\u201d Rita: \u201cAnother time was when I once took a loan for my brother-in-law and it was from a loan shark. They would harass me and even come to my office. He came and rescued me, and he even settled the loan for me. That\u2019s when I knew he loved me.\u201d What is your fondest memory together? \u201cWe\u2019re still living the memory. We\u2019re blessed to be together for so long with 4 wonderful kids and building a life together.\u201d What is your secret to a long lasting marriage? Rita: \u201c#1 Put God first. #2 Trust. #3 No jealousy. #4 Understanding.\u00a0 #5 Making love whenever we can.\u00a0 It doesn\u2019t mean sex only. WhatsApp or a call or surprising me for lunch or giving gifts for each other not necessary (birthdays or anniversaries).\u201d Rufus: \u201cAs a husband, always keep silent. Happy wife, happy life.\u201d 2. Kaseng & Teresa (Married for 28 years) How did you first meet? Kaseng: \u201cWe got to know each other while working in the same travelling agency. I asked her out on a date one day and we had our first date at The Ship along Jalan Sultan Ismail. After a few months of dating, we decided to move together.\u201d How did you know your partner was the right one? Kaseng: \u201cWe were never right for each other. We\u2019ve always fought, but at the same time we could never live apart from each other. We eventually learned to understand each other as well as appreciate one another.\u201d Teresa: \u201cI learned to appreciate him when he takes care of me especially at times when I am sick. When I need him the most, he\u2019s always there to take care of everything; there will be milk in the fridge, the plants are watered and the kids are sent to school. I know I can depend on him.\u201d Kaseng: \u201cAs a man, there are only 2 rules to a happy marriage: Rule #1: Never say no to your wife. Rule #2: If you think otherwise, refer to #1.\u201d How do you manage to overcome conflict and reconcile over the years? Kaseng: \u201cWe\u2019ve never truly overcome every conflict. Rather, we learned to appreciate one another and agree to disagree. In time, we also learned to respect each other and our differences. My partner is first a friend, business partner second and wife third.\u201d What did you find most attractive about your partner? Kaseng: \u201cShe\u2019s bold. I like that she\u2019s daring and so unafraid to do something not many people would dare to do. But of course, when I first met her, what attracted me the most was her sexy white pants.\u201d Teresa: \u201cI liked that he was very generous and big-hearted. He has always been very generous with his colleagues, and never once complained about a bill he foots.\u00a0 He always gives freely even if he doesn\u2019t have much and he\u2019s very confident. He knows what he wants, so always look for a person with focus.\u201d What is your secret to a lasting marriage? \u201cTill today, we are still learning and still practicing. We can\u2019t say that we\u2019ve mastered it and have been there and done that, but we\u2019re growing together and we always encourage the other person to go on. We always depend on one another and stick together through the good times and the bad. Life is still exciting for us and we continue to give each other space for growth.\u201d 3. Tony & Susan (Married for 41 years) How did you first get to know each other? Susan: \u201cWe were in our late teens \u2013 around 18 or 19 when we first started dating. I knew my husband through my classmate whom I\u2019ve been close friends with. He was her older brother.\u00a0 When I was 23 years old, we decided to get married \u2013 the year was 1979. We just celebrated our 40th anniversary last year.\u201d How did he first ask you out? Susan: \u201cWe were Catholics. When we first started dating, we would go to Novena together (sunset prayers). Reason being is because Tony used to work in a timber estate where he would grade timber in the jungle so he would be away for most of the days.\u00a0 When he came back for the weekend, he would call me up to meet up at church and go for the Novena then we\u2019ll go out for dinner after that.\u201d How did you know your partner was The One for you? Susan: \u201cActually we would not have gotten married earlier if it wasn\u2019t for my parents. They did not approve of our relationship and we were afraid they might try to break us up.\u00a0 Popo (Tony\u2019s mother) however, liked me and so she proposed that Tony come over to ask for my hand in marriage.\u00a0 I came to know that Tony is very kind, and gentlemanly. He may be hot-tempered sometimes, but he\u2019s always been kind.\u201d Tony: \u201cI knew she\u2019s very beautiful. Even today she\u2019s always been beautiful to me. I love her because she\u2019s kind, very helpful and a very, very good cook. She would always feed me the best food and I love that she\u2019s gentle and patient.\u00a0 Even though I may be hot-tempered sometimes, I like that she has always been patient with me and would often say encouraging words.\u201d What advice can you give young people for a lasting marriage? Tony: \u201cAnybody can easily fall in and out of love. My number 1 advice is this. Be patient, patient, patient. You are loving someone outside of you, and accepting another person\u2019s life is not easy.\u201d Tony: \u201cThat part is tedious because the other person\u2019s way of life may be different from yours. You have to accept and be patient if you love that person, and never be angry at the same time your partner is angry.\u201d Susan: \u201cWait till it\u2019s the right time before reaching out to reconcile.\u201d Susan: \u201cCommunication is important. When communication dies, the relationship also dies. And when you start a relationship, you must always start honestly. Because when you start a relationship with a lie, it will slowly build into a cancer and it can destroy any relationship.\u201d 4. Catherine & Raymond (Married 35 years) How did you first get to know each other? Catherine: \u201cWe met through a close friend in college. Back in 1978, I was just a student and Raymond was about to study in England. We were just friends at that time, but there was definitely some chemistry. We came to agree that we will meet again when he returns back to England, and we would correspond through letters.\u201d What happened when you met again after he came back from England? Catherine: \u201cHow we met again was purely coincidental. At that time, I was pursuing my career as a singer and sang at a lounge by the bar. It was one of those nights when a friend of Raymond\u2019s invited him for a night out and they happened to visit my bar.\u201d Raymond: \u201cWhen I saw her singing at the bar, I immediately recognized her. I then sent for a song request, asking for the song \u2018You Light Up My Life\u2019, and specifically signed \u2018from Raymond Loh\u2019. I knew she used to sing this song quite often in the past and so she remembered me. That night I asked her out right away.\u201d How did you know your partner was The One for you? Catherine: \u201cWe did not really know. We just knew that love was in the air, that\u2019s all. We were together for about 3 years before deciding to get married.\u00a0 At that time, I was at the height of my career; I was making records, I was filmed in advertisements and often made appearances on TV.\u00a0 When he heard about my engagement, my manager was upset, asking why I would get married when I\u2019m getting so popular. But in the end, love overcomes all and we got married anyway.\u201d What is your favorite thing about your partner that he\/she may not be aware of? Raymond: \u201cThat\u2019s a tough question. Everything she does every day is my favorite. But if I were to specify, I would say that I like that she is modern, yet conservative at the same time. She always manages to keep up with the times and evolve with it. Yet, she\u2019s able to carry out the traditions and put the family first. She always takes care of the family and is very respectful to the elderly. And most of all, she is wise. She\u2019s full of wisdom and that\u2019s my favorite thing about her.\u201d Catherine: \u201cMy favorite thing about him is that he\u2019s a very good person, very kind. He\u2019s always been very supportive in whatever I do and what I pursue, and that\u2019s very important to me.\u201d What is your advice for young people in maintaining a lasting relationship? Catherine: \u201cPatience. Don\u2019t try to change others and let the person grow. You must accept the person as they are and never try to change them. Also, what\u2019s important is prayers. Because a family that prays together, stays together.\u201d Raymond: \u201cWhat\u2019s most important in a relationship is to have trust and be transparent. You should also have respect for one another. Lastly, have fun and enjoy your time together. When you\u2019re together, every day is Valentine's day, so don\u2019t wait for the moment. Smile and greet each other every day and savor the moment.\u201d What do you think are the secrets to a happy marriage? Let us know in the comments! For more stories about marriage, read: Marrying Young \u2013 What Other Malaysians Should Know Before Making the Leap and Making a Relationship Work for 30 Years; What I Wished I Knew Then.