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Nurturing a loving relationship beyond Valentine's Day

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For many couples, their focus on love goes into one single day - Valentine's Day. But a husband and wife team of therapists say you can keep that Valentine's feeling of love throughout the year.

Dr. Mark Malan and Colette Malan from the Relationship Health Clinic in Ogden share five important tips for maintaining that loving feeling.

  1. Have a caring attitude: Make every day Valentine's Day Valentine's Day is the day we all focus on, and prioritize our love relationships. But life can get very demanding. After the roses have wilted and the chocolates have been eaten up, many of us move on with our lives and lose focus on our relationship. Couples with great love relationships are ever mindful of the quality of their love relationship and make daily investments into the well-being of their partner. They prioritize kindness and caring.
  2. Schedule time together with boundaries Love and passion are the by-products of a well-nourished relationship. To keep your relationship thriving, you need to invest regular quality time into your relationship. Make a date to spend time together. Put that love date on the calendar before anything else. If not, other things can take priority. Spend at least four hours or more together. Sometimes it takes a few hours to warm up to each other. The longer the time together, the better. What you're doing is creating a positive association to each other. Also put strong boundaries on this time. Turn off phones and computers. Don't talk about problems. Focus on love and pleasure. Do things both of you love to do.
  3. Listen to understand your partner's wants Communication is a crucial skill for an enduring relationship. Most people don't realize it, but being a good listener is most essential for healthy communication. The goal is to listen to understand what it is like for your partner. You don't have to agree. But if you can understand what it is like for your partner, you will be more skilled in navigating through the relationship. Listening to your partner will make your partner feel loved.
  4. Make your partner's wants happen If you've been a good listener, you will know what is most important to your partner. The best partners are those that tune into what is important to their partner, and they facilitate it. Create a win-win relationship by caring as much about your partner's wants as your own.
  5. Continually invest in developing relationship skills Be continually learning relationship enhancement skills. Attend a relationship retreat. Do some couples counseling. Read a good book on relationships. Many people schedule couples counseling alongside their gym, hair, and nail appointments, as a part of their regular health routine. Don't wait until your relationship has broken down to invest in it. Do regular maintenance on your relationship, so that it is always running in optimum condition and never breaks down.

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