The End of the Paua Series

The Paua Series took a lot longer than expected. But it has been a rather interesting experience. Only a few really knows about my love life and those who knew would say that it's like a romance novel or a movie. There is so much more that I would like to share and advise but if I do, the series may never end. 

I called it the Paua Series because of my first true love. He gave it to me the first time he said the three words to me as a token for his love. The story behind the Paua shell was that he waited eight years to give it to somebody who was special to him and so, I am very honoured and always grateful for his sincerity and love that he had for me (and yes, he had also drew the picture of me). 

This blog post is special because not only is it the last blog post for the Paua Series, but I got advice from other couples as well as the boy who gave me the Paua shell. 

Antonia & Adrian (Long Distance):


What makes a successful relationship? Communication, love, trust and respect

How do you guys go about overcoming difficulties/ differences together? We talk it out. We communicate and discuss our feelings to try and come to a solution. It’s okay to have disagreements but it is of paramount importance to be able to have an honest, open conversation with your partner about those disagreements.

What is love to you? Knowing that you would do anything to make someone happy. Knowing that having them away from you carries a different kind of pain that stings you hard.

Any other advice or tips on relationships? Just be honest. Seriously, lying and mistrust is, in my opinion, the number one relationship killer. I have nothing to hide from Antonia and I honestly just tell her everything. There is no point in lying to someone you love.


A successful relationship is all about balance. Balanced discussion, balanced emotions balanced acts of love. Give and take is important lest one of the pair feels out of the loop!

Overcoming differences and difficulties is different for a long distance relationship than a normal one where you see each other every day. We try to talk out everything we feel. Solving issues as soon as they arise! Communication is crucial and you learn to be intuitive with each other's moods.

Love to me is being able to trust that no matter what, the other person has your back. You know that they would love you no matter what. No problem is too huge that they will lose their love. Love is being best friends with your partner - having a sense of humour and laughing at and with each other

Other Advice: -Don't play games with your partner -It's easy to hold a grudge or not talk to them but sort out problems as they arise -Communication is the best -Hopefully you can talk about anything with your partner. 


Anonymous Sweethearts:

What is love to you? Love is spending time with my best friend in both a friendship type of way and relationship where there is a strong sexual attraction. They also feel comfortable around you and willing to share anything and always be there for each other. When you see that person after a long day, all the stresses just melt away with their smile and you just feel at home with that person.

Overcoming difficulties: We haven't had any real differences or difficulties. It is just about keeping up the contact especially when we are far apart. But other than that it would have to just be accepting of each others differences especially if she really cares for him.

Other advice: sometimes the best things in a relationship are all the silly things you do together.

Musa and Marie: 

Who we are: Turkish & French Canadian (Québécoise) - 5 years together! Time flies! :O


What makes a successful relationship? Communication and patience.
How do you guys go about overcoming difficulties/ differences together? By communicating and finding common grounds and realizing that the situation might be the problem, not the individual.
What is love to you? Baby don't hurt me!! Combination of many things, well treatment,  honesty,  respect is very important, and understanding.
Any other advice or tips on relationships? Advices are endless, but sometimes relationships can be a mismatch, therefore no matter what you do it won't work!!


According to me, it is important to communicate well and be understanding. For me, to communicate well, I can ask to clarify something when I’m not sure that I understood well. Also, it is important not to jump to conclusions and assume things… or to make scenarios in my head about something that doesn’t exist.  Also, I think it is important to be able to make compromises and to know that you can’t win all the little battles. Patience is also a key to relationship success.  Things are not always as we like… We all have flaws and make mistakes.  So, we have to be patient and understanding and really avoid to get angry and get into fights and yelling. Obviously, respect is primordial in a relationship. Respecting your limits, stay true to yourself and respecting the differences we may have.

Overcoming difficulties is something that is essential to learn when you are in a relationship.  First, you have to assess that both partners have different ways of dealing with problems.  Some are getting distant and stop talking to the other, others can get angry and emotional… It can be hard to deal with a problem and also the reaction of the other.. So here again, the secret is to be patient and to forgive yourself and the other.

Being in an multi-cultural and interreligious relationship can sometimes lead to different types tensions.  Language, traditions, values and education can enter in conflict. But again, I think it is important to make compromises.  Fight for what’s the most important for you and respect yourself in your actions, but also be flexible and ready to be in situation that is different from what you know. Moreover, we have to be careful not to generalise and assume that who the person is is a true representation of his or her tradition, culture, religion...Sometimes, it is just a personal preference or way of doing things.

Ex: For me, it is really important that my boyfriend comes for Christmas in my family.  Even if at first, he was not too comfortable to meet my family and all that, I insisted and showed him how much it means to me.  So, finally, he’s coming for Christmas every year, but I’m not pushing hard for other occasions.

Love… I don’t really know how to describe it… But I guess that it is when you really care about someone and want the best for him or her.  It’s really about mutual respect, sharing time together, small attentions, etc.  It’s also when you have something important to say or a big decision to make and you go ask this person for their opinion or help, and you really trust and consider what they will say.  It’s when you’re comfortable being yourself… even your ugly self, your exhausted self, your sick self… It can sound cliché, but love is also when you know that you can call this person at anytime and they will do their best to help you.  Love is about laughing, being crazy… It’s about dancing like monkeys in the livingroom, watching series together, going for a walk, waiting for the other to come back from work (even if it’s at 11:30pm) to have dinner together… So, for me, love is in everything... it’s is trust, respect and compassion.

A little advice: To keep a balanced life..even when you are in a new relationship. So, don't stop hanging out with your friends, seeing your family, working, traveling, doing your activities… I'm always sad when I lose friends because they can't make time for their friends.

Zaffique and Dya (Newly Weds)

Advice from Zaffique:

Love is blind -you don't judge, you support -you don't humiliate, you compliment -you don't do it alone, do it together - is not you or me or I, it's we and us. Love needs sacrifice -don't be afraid, too much fear makes love go bad - don't assume, find out or ask ur partner about things u want to know

Advice from Dya:

Successful relationship: - trust for one another - communication is the key (so so important) - having knowledge in agama is very important (for us) because we can then lead one another - not take things for granted (appreciate one another) - compliment your spouse and be understanding.

Overcoming difficulties: - discuss about the problem - compromise - give some space to think about what we have said etc - kene pujuk (make them feel better).

What is love: - being comfortable with your partner - wanting to take care of each other's feelings, wellbeing, family - supporting one another - the need to be around each other (not to say u need to be needy - but a good kind of needy that makes u feel happy to be around each other every time).

Jamie-Lee and Herewini

What makes a successful relationship?
Being each other's best friend as well as a partner is everything. Aside from loving each other, being able to genuinely have fun and joke around together is so important. I think having the same core values helps as well. Knowing they feel the same way about things that are most important to you means that things that are close to your heart will always be supported and uplifted by the other. Not comparing yourself to other couples is important too, if you're happy then that's all that matters.Everyone's unique so everyone's relationship is unique also. If you're with someone who loves and takes care of you both physically and emotionally, be happy and just enjoy life and enjoy it together. There's no one definition of a successful relationship in my opinion, because success means different things to different people. If you feel at home with one another and your partner encourages you to be truly yourself and follow your dreams you're on the right track I believe!

How do you guys go about overcoming difficulties/ differences together?
By understanding it's normal to not always agree, you're not the same exact person so your opinions on things won't always be completely the same. People can have different opinions and even if you disagree try to be as understanding as possible. Difficulties are inevitable too but never forget that it's your love that brought you together in the first place. Focus on that and know you'll come out of a hard time much stronger. Things will always get difficult at some point, but you've got to make the best of sometimes a really rough position to get the better, easier days. Try see life from their perspective and work together to resolve it- often it's good to sleep on it and in the morning it doesn't seem half as bad.

What is love to you?
Love is unconditional. It's being home to the other person, their safe, comfortable, happy and most joyful place. A lot of what I believe love is is finding that person who you connect with on a deeper level. It's supporting their dreams too and really being someone's best friend. If I'm going to be honest with you though, I really struggled to find the words that even do it justice. It's just a feeling I really can't even describe. But when you know, you just know.

Any other advice or tips on relationships?
Have fun and never stop flirting with the other. Sometimes as time goes on and people get comfortable, people forget that their significant other still needs that same love and attention. Be happy and enjoy love. It's really not all that complicated, life is so unpredictable but love isn't. If you've found someone you genuinely enjoy being with and they treat you well, be thankful! People spend so long searching for satisfaction in material things, more of this more of that. But there's really no satisfaction like the love of family, friends and love in a relationship. Don't take yourself and someone else to seriously. Be silly, love hard and never forget that you're doing life together so obstacles will pop up, but don't let one small thing be impossible to fix. If it's not half as bad after good nights sleep, it's probably not worth the drama. Love is to be enjoyed, so enjoy it.

The Boy who gave me the Paua Shell:

What makes a successful relationship? Trust, honesty, respect and knowing when and when not to make sacrifices for the other person.

How to overcome difficulties? Talk about it and come to an agreement. You have to remember to keep things in perspective and not make a big issue out of something very small.

What is love to you? Not sure. It's not like a switch is flicked and I suddenly realise it. It's a gradual thing. The easiest way to find out you were in love is to break up with someone lol. But to me, I guess it's a feeling I get for someone I want to share my life with so when it's taken away it's like a huge part of you is taken too.

Other Advice: don't rush into a relationship. Take your time getting to know the person first. Having similar interests can be more important than you think. And try not to be insecure in yourself as it can lead to jealousy and distrust which can easily ruin any relationship

My Final Thoughts and Advice: 

What makes a successful relationship? What makes a successful relationship to me is respect, trust, communication and unconditional love for one another. I think taking things one step at a time and taking things slow is the best thing to do. Don't make big things out of little things. Show that you appreciate them. Don't take them for granted. Get to know them really well, be friends with them first and make sure that you like the person for all the right reasons. Do they make you want to be a better person? Are you guys on the same wavelength or have a deep connection? Does it feel like you can talk to them forever? Do things just flow or are there always obstacles in the way to be or stay with them? 

How to overcome difficulties? Lower the ego. Communication and compromise. Listen to them with the utmost respect and talk to them nicely. Make your boundaries clear from the very begginning so the other person knows what is expected of them. Learn what their love language is so you have an idea of what makes them feel better. Take the 5 Love Languages test here. 

What is love to you? Love to me is adoring the other person and wanting the best for him and wanting to be the best for him too. True love is having a true and deep connection where they give you another perspective in life and make you want to be a better person. When you are in love you are suppossed to feel happy, contentment as well as peace with them.  

Other Advice: Don't be with someone for the sake of being with someone. Know your standards as well as boundaries. Remember you are phenomenal. Know yourself, know your worth. Everything has already been written so the one for you will always find their way to you. And as always, love yourself first.

Read More of the Paua Series Here. 

Nurul Shamsul