‘Let them put their cold feet on yours’ and other secrets to lasting love

Stock Valentine's Day images | Images courtesy of Pixabay, St. George News

FEATURE — It’s Valentine’s Day and while most people have love on their minds and, hopefully (ahem guys), flowers in their hands this day, true and lasting love goes beyond a single holiday and into every one of the 364 other calendar days.

For this special Valentine’s story we asked real life Southern Utah couples how they define love and what their secrets to lasting relationships are. Their answered ranged from simple acts of kindness to having a healthy sex life and everything in between.

So don’t worry if you forgot to get that perfect Valentine’s gift, just take a cue from our experienced couples and have a love that lasts every day of the year. But also … buy the chocolates.

Meet the couples

Jennifer and Patrick Amico

  • Relationship status: Married.
  • Years together: Eight; seven-and-a-half married, six months dating.
  • Kids: Three.

Brett and Isabel Barrett

  • Relationship status: Married.
  • Years together: 29.
  • Kids: Three kids, one grandkid.

Raven and Diane Cain

  • Relationship status: Married.
  • Years together: 17.
  • Kids: Two.

Adam and Tonja Mast

  • Relationship status: Married.
  • Years together: Celebrating their 24th wedding anniversary April 1.
  • Kids: Four.

Chris and LaRae Nelson

  • Relationship Status: Married.
  • Years together: Married 21 years, together for 22 years.
  • Kids: Yes.

Marva and David Zwahlen

  • Relationship status: Married.
  • Years together: Married for 44 years, engaged for 14 months and dated off and on for one year.
  • Kids: Yes, and grandkids.

How do you define love?


The definition of love is always putting someone else’s needs and wants before your own. Sacrificing anything and everything to see the other person happy. (Jennifer)


Sacrificing to be with the person you love, being together for each other in hard times and celebrating triumphs together. (Isabel)


Friendship and devotion. (Raven)


She’s the last thing I think of when I go to bed and the first thing I think of when I wake up. (Adam)


Still loving someone even when they’re unlovable. Forgiveness. Respect. (LaRae)


When someone else and their needs come before your own.  When you can’t even imagine breathing without them. (Marva)

What are the secrets to lasting love?


Say you are sorry often. Always do things together; you can’t grow apart if you are together. Have fun, don’t take life too serious. Enjoy each other and the kids.


Love and respect.  Laughter … that’s a big one. We laugh a lot.

“Both of our parents have been married for 55 years and have been good examples to us both about how to honor our marriage vows and have shown us that it isn’t always easy, but you’re there for each other in the good and the bad,” LaRae Neslon said.


Listening is important and so is compromise. Also, it’s good to fight on occasion because making up is always fun.


Communication and commitment.


Make sure your significant other is always happier than you are. Know how to forgive, know how to put up with each other’s quirks and look past defects. Random acts of kindness … and if possible do them sneakily.

“Let them put their cold feet on yours,” Brett Barrett said.


Have lots of sex. But really, make time for each other, even when it’s hard and there are a million things that need to be done. Make every second count. Make each other the top priority. Forgive and forget.

“Don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the end, it’s all small stuff,” Jennifer Amico said.

<3 <3We want to hear from you. Share you best tips for lasting love in the comments. <3 <3

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