Wilmington sex and relationship therapist Debra Laino, in true First State style, frequently sounds more like your filterless best friend than the stereotypical shrink. That made her a perfect source for a few pointers to help couples keep the spark alive for Valentine’s Day—and throughout the year.
“Slow down and start to think about your partner’s needs and what they want. There’s nothing better for a relationship than to let someone know that you think about them.”
“If you’re going to have emotional communication with your partner via text, make sure that it’s only positive and that this is the only place where emotional texting is allowed. That’s a great use for texting instead of arguing.”
“In my world, you have to have a balance of erotic and nonerotic touch, and if one of those is off, there’s a problem. You need to offer your partner some kind of nonerotic touch that’s not connected to sex.”
“Everybody needs to relax these days. Make sure you are making enough time for yourself to make sure you even have the energy to have a spark in the relationship.”
“If every time you go out on a date, you go out for dinner and have some drinks … boring! Figure out ways to bring some diversity and creativity into your relationship behaviors. A good option for breaking yourself out of a rut is to utilize the sources that are local. Scour discount coupon sites for ideas. There are always events and fun things to do, so go to the next towns over to see what’s going on. You utilize these events and you get them for really cheap.” —Scott Pruden