Most of us can start a relationship.
Keeping it? Well, that’s a whole different story.
But it’s a story that 33 year-old Edwina Bartholomew is determined to write. And she’s doing a bloody good job.
Between a 3.30am alarm, a high-adrenaline job, domestic and international flights, a big loving family and more friends than most of us put together – Edwina and her partner of six years, and fiance, Neil, are still going strong.
But it wasn’t always easy.
Edwina confesses, “[Neil] did say something to me a few years ago that really stuck with me.
“This was at a particularly low point where I’d be away all the time and I’d come home on a Friday, fall asleep on the couch … and he said “it’d be nice if you saved some smiles for home” and my little heart just broke.”
So, things changed.
These days, they keep it together thanks to a few old-fashioned love lessons.
1. QUALITY, NOT QUANTITY
‘Little time’ has become ‘precious time’.
Edwina says, “it stopped being about who took out the garbage and who did or didn’t do the washing. It was just about spending quality weekends, having some quality time together. That really changed things for us”.
2. WRITE LOVE LETTERS
Or at least ‘love notes’.
“We set up a noticeboard, like a blackboard, in our kitchen so that when I leave for work I leave him a note and when I wake up there’s something there … It can’t be a chore. It has to be something nice”.
3. SWITCH OFF
And start by looking at your phone. Or not. “On Sundays, we both try to have our phones off”.
4. SEPARATE BEDS
This tip is one all shift-workers and their lovers will understand.
Edwina admits, “the secret to our relationship is, we sleep apart. During the week, he sleeps in one room and I sleep in the other because for the first two years I would wake him every morning at 3am … so we decided that [sleeping separately] was the best solution for us to be able to function as a couple”.
5. CUT THE BOOZE. BIG TIME.
With a hope to spend more quality time together, Edwina and Neil decided that none of their ‘couple time’ would be spent hungover.
Together, they gave up alcohol for a whole year. (Four years on, Neil still hasn’t touched a drop).
She says, “we decided … that while I was away [working on the road with Sunrise], we wouldn’t drink so that on the weekends we would have 48 hours of quality time, it wouldn’t be us eating Cheezels on the couch, watching movies – we’d actually be able to function and do stuff”.
Perhaps Edwina’s relationships work because she’s honest – with herself and her loved ones.
Beyond the sparkle of TV, the free flights across the globe, the stories from the Oscars and the Olympics, the magazine shoots, the free blow-dry’s and the interviews with the world’s most rich and famous – Edwina keeps it real.
Nothing is more important to this woman than her friends, her family and fiance Neil.
And that is the most revealing story of her success.
Listen to the full interview with Edwina here:
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