lucy_extra.jpgIt was a romance straight out of a fairy tale. Lucy Torres, a quiet girl from Ormoc, Leyte, had a crush on celebrity Richard Gomez, whom she’d only seen on TV.  Her dream romance turned into a reality after she found herself working with him for a series of shampoo commercials. The crush developed into a full-blown romance, and after seven months of being together, the two lovebirds got married.

More than a decade down the road, Lucy and Richard are still going strong as they face a new chapter in their lives: Lucy is currently a congressional representative for Ormoc, while Richard serves as her chief of staff. After many years of marriage, what are Lucy’s secrets to keeping their relationship stable?

Read on to see what this elegant woman has to say about love and relationships based on her own experiences with her husband.


ON MEN

1. MEN ARE LITTLE BOYS. "Yeah, they’re low maintenance, but they like to be nurtured."

2. I’VE NEVER TRIED TO CHANGE RICHARD. "I will negotiate, but I’ve never curtailed any interests he may have. If a woman tries to change a man, the only thing he’ll change is the woman he’s with."


ON FINDING AND KEEPING YOUR MAN

3. YOU PLAY HARD TO GET. "I really believe that. Richard knew when we were shooting the Lux commercials again, he would call beforehand. He would say, 'When you get to Manila, give me a call.' But I never called."

4. YOU HAVE TO STAY ATTRACTIVE FOR YOUR MAN. "We’re very open about what we find attractive in other people. I think it’s important that you’re still free to appreciate beauty when you see it, and not have your partner feel threatened by it. You just take cues your partner gives you, and you try to improve yourself whenever you can."

5. IT’S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WHEN [MEN] COME HOME, THEY CAN BE THEMSELVES. "A man should feel comfortable with you. A man will always go home to where he is happiest."

6. I DON’T BELIEVE IN MAKING A MAN BANTAY. "You can't be up 24/7. It’s useless, because a man will always do what he wants to do. You really just have to trust your man and pray temptation doesn’t catch him."


ON MARRIAGE AND MAKING IT WORK

7. MARRIAGE IS A TRUE COMMITMENT. "There are no days off. You take it a day at a time. And it’s all in the small details. It’s not about the grand gestures or the big expressions, it’s the day-to-day details that count."

8. THE LONGER YOU LIVE WITH A PERSON, THE MORE YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM.
"I can read already what his mood is going to be, and he knows when I’m not in a good mood. It’s like a dance. I know not to make sabay when he’s in a bad mood."

9. WE ACCEPT EACH OTHER'S FLAWS AND DIFFERENCES.
"A lot of people have this impression that we're so perfect, that we get along a hundred percent. But I think that’s what keeps us together also: the differences, the things we don’t agree on. It’s what keeps the relationship exciting and vital."

10. BEING MARRIED TO SOMEONE LIKE RICHARD HAS ITS OWN CHALLENGES.
"When you’ve been with a person so long, you get used to how he looks. But sometimes when I walk into a crowded room or party, I forget that he can elicit reactions from women. It keeps you on your toes, you don’t get complacent or take things for granted."

11. DEVELOP HABITS THAT KEEP YOU TOGETHER. "If you get used to not spending time together, you won’t miss each other. But if you get so used to being together, you’ll want to stay together. You have to make time for what you choose to have in life."


(First published in Marie Claire Philippines, as “Love and Lucy” by Andrew Paredes in February 2009; adapted for use in Female Network; photo courtesy of PEP.ph)

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