But in herself alone she is more important than all the hundreds of you other roses: because it is she that I have watered; because it is she that I have put under the glass globe.

The time and care that the little prince has put into looking after his rose makes her more important to him than the flowers he hasn’t put time into. The health of his rose, and the strength of their relationship, depends on his efforts to keep her fed, to keep her safe, and to get to know her as an individual. Because he has chosen her to water and protect, it is his responsibility to continue doing so, or their relationship will fail.

"It is a question of discipline," the Little Prince said to me later on. "When you've finished your own toilet in the morning, then it is time to attend to the toilet of your planet, just so, with the greatest care.”

Caring for something is a responsibility that requires ritual and discipline. It is not always fun or exciting to look after something, but it is necessary and essential. The little prince knows that he must weed the baobabs and clean out his volcanoes and water his rose, otherwise his planet and its inhabitants might be destroyed. Even though he doesn’t enjoy these tasks, he knows he must complete them to protect what he loves. Caring for a home or a partner can sometimes feel monotonous, but failing to look after the daily necessities can cause small problems to build up over time and cause serious damage.

One runs the risk of weeping a little, if one lets himself be tamed.

Having a bond with another person is beautiful and joyous, but it also comes with the possibility of terrible grief and loss. But the sad parts of loving someone else can be important teaching moments. From grief, we learn to keep the memory of a loved one alive, and how to appreciate every moment with them. From the ending of a relationship, we learn to take responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and how to not make the same mistakes with a future partner or friend.

"What must I do, to tame you?" asked the Little Prince. "You must be very patient," replied the fox. "First you will sit down at a little distance from me-- like that-- in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day."

A strong relationship doesn’t just appear out of thin air. It takes time and effort to build a real friendship or partnership with someone. To tame the fox, the little prince must come to the same spot every day, and move closer and closer to the fox over time until he gains the fox’s trust. In that same vein, to build and maintain a relationship, people must spend time with each other often, show each other love and affection, do thoughtful things for one another, and so on.

"She would be very much annoyed," he said to himself, "if she should see that... she would cough most dreadfully, and she would pretend that she was dying, to avoid being laughed at. And I should be obliged to pretend that I was nursing her back to life-- for if I did not do that, to humble myself also, she would really allow herself to die."

Part of the prince’s responsibility when caring for his flower is also to care for her emotional state, not just her physical one. He must water her and put up her screen to keep her healthy, but he must also give her grace when she says something embarrassing, forgive her when she is careless, and comfort her when she is upset. These emotional responsibilities can be even more difficult than the physical ones, but they are a reality of maintaining a long-term happy relationship.