With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it’s likely that you’ve got love on the brain.

After all, the department stores aren’t about to let anyone forget this holiday!

The fluff that often surrounds this romantic season can sidetrack many couples. In fact, it can easily create unrealistic expectations for both partners. Unsurprisingly, disappointment often follows these types of expectations. Rather than allowing Valentine’s Day to impact your relationship negatively, aim a little higher. Or rather, go a little deeper. Build an emotional connection with each other that will sustain you past the holidays.

Here’s how.

1. Be Your Own Whistleblower

Every couple faces conflict. The key is to manage the conflict while still maintaining that special connection with your partner. It’s one of the deepest forms of genuineness in a relationship.

If you’re like most people, you want expressions of love to be authentic on Valentine’s Day or any day, really. A big part of that is simply being honest with and about yourself.

For instance, if you’re feeling defensive or reactive, then say it. Blow the whistle on yourself. Once it’s out in the open, the negative feelings will be much easier to handle. Not only will this make your connection more genuine, but your partner will embrace the open line of communication as well.

2. Learn What Really Speaks to Them

Every person speaks a slightly different language when it comes to love. The difference is in the way you receive and express it. Misunderstandings often occur because of a language barrier or breakdown between partners.

To really vamp up this year’s Valentine’s Day and beyond, learn your partner’s language and then speak it. Find a unique way to express your love to them every day. This means not always relying on the words, “I love you.”

Make your expressions of love as large or as small as you like. Just be sure it’s specific to your relationship. The effort you put towards learning what truly speaks to your partner will pay off in authentic connectivity. One really good way to do that is for each of you to take the free quiz at www.fivelovelanguages.com.

3. Fill Up Their Emotional Reservoir

Although we humans aren’t machines, like a car or truck, we still have tanks. Emotional reservoirs, if you will. You’re probably familiar with the feeling of depletion or as if you’re running on fumes. It’s almost like you just don’t have anything more to give.

Your partner has undoubtedly felt that way, too. It might have even affected your relationship negatively.

When there is so much in life possibly depleting the both of you, make it a point to refill your partner’s emotional reservoir. The best way to do this is to be specific about what you appreciate and love about your partner. It may seem simple, but it has a powerful effect by creating a sense of closeness.

4. Never Underestimate the Power of Touch

Emotional connection isn’t only achieved by words. You can connect with your partner through physical touch as well. This doesn’t only mean sex.

Touching each other could mean hugging, holding hands, sitting close to one another, or one of many other simple expressions. The important thing to take away is that each physical touch transfers emotion and energy.

It’s up to you to determine what your touch means.

Valentine’s Day is often forced into being this romantic pinnacle that quickly drops off. Rather than a temporary high, rely on a daily dose of physical intimacy to maintain your connection.

5. Become Masters of the “List Three Things” Game

Being emotionally connected isn’t only about being serious. More than anything, it’s about being authentic. And, authenticity can be fun!

Much like a Valentine’s Day card proclaims the attributes you appreciate in your partner, so should the “List Three Things” game.

The point of this game is to take time each day to list three positive things relating to your partner or relationship. For instance, name three places you’d like to go with your partner next month or three of your favorite moments together.

You’ll soon look forward to this little game as it helps you to establish a stronger emotional connection.

Take the first step…

If you’re ready to take a step toward changing your life and relationships for the better, I would like to help. Please contact me by phone or email so we can discuss how we might work together to achieve your therapeutic goals as quickly and effectively as possible.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Linda K. Laffey, MFT

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