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Valentine Feature: 3 Surefire Tips to Keep the Sizzle in Your Relationship

Deanna Brann, Ph.D.,Falling in love is magical, but staying in love can feel like the impossible dream! This Valentine's Day rekindle the fire in your romance with three easy tips offered by Deanna Brann, PhD, Huffington Post Wedding blogger and author of Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law:


1. Schedule at least two date nights a month.
Once a week would be better, but start with two times a month and work your way up to once a week. Insist on two important ground rules for date night: No smartphones or tablets and no conversations about kids or work (unless work is part of your goal setting, which we'll get to in a moment). Find other things to talk about get to know each other all over again. Neither of you are exactly the same person the other first fell in love with. You've both grown and matured. So allow your partner to be part of your personal evolution and allow

2. Discuss your deepest desires by establishing short-term and long-range goals as individuals, as a couple, and as a family.
Once a year, take some time away from all your other responsibilities so you and your spouse can talk about these different goals, the steps you'll need to take to make them happen, and how you can help each other achieve them. Afterall, it's easier to reach your goals if you support each other-and if you make sure you're not unwittingly working against each other, as well. But more importantly, opening up to one another about what you most want in life can be a very emotionally intimate experience. So go for it! Don't hold back.

3. Establish a monthly desire debriefing.
Sit down together (maybe over a nice dinner out) and talk about the headway you're making toward achieving all these goals. Is there something your spouse could help you with that would make reaching your goals easier? Is there something you could help him with? Do you need to re-evaluate your goals? What are each of you feeling good about in this process? Checking in once a month increases the likelihood that you'll reach your goals, and it ensures you'll be regularly connecting at a deep and meaningful level. It certainly trumps talking about your toddler's penchant for putting peas up his nose. Trust me on this.

For more tips on improving your relationship with your partner, or your in-laws, I would be happy to send you a review copy of Reluctantly Related. Dr. Brann is available for interviews and expert commentary, and would be happy to write a guest article. Additional information about Dr. Brann is posted below for your convenience.

Deanna Brann, Ph.D., is a leading expert in the field of mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationships. She has over 25 years experience as a clinical psychotherapist and ran her own private practice for more than 18 years. Based in Knoxville, TN, Dr. Brann is a sought after speaker, author and seminar leader. She is also the author of the new book Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in-Law or Daughter-in-Law and Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law Say the Darndest Things. For more informations please visit: www.drdeannabrann.com.
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