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Reconnect Before Valentine's Day
A little ad-libbing can go a long way. Reconnect using these five simple steps.

Reconnect in your relationship before the calendar strikes February 14.

Marriage? Sure, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. When we were young and thought about marriage, didn’t we think we would be in love forever? Well, the truth is passion and interests die down after awhile. The question is: How do we revive them when they seem dead.

First, ask yourself if there is hope? Did you used to talk about things and do things together? This would be important to know because—guess what—you can do them and talk about them again. There is hope!

So, let’s start at the beginning. Perhaps you’ve become somewhat estranged. You have to first set the tone by getting to know each other again. This might seem a bit awkward, but we can make it fun.

Step 1: Reintroduce yourself to each other. You could do this some morning when you wake up, over coffee or even dinner. When you reintroduce yourself, tell your mate some truly special things about yourself. Say, "Hi, I’m _____ and I’m someone who is _____. During the day, I do _______, but on my own time, I love to _______." Then switch and let the other partner share. In this activity, you’re getting reacquainted and remembering some of the things you love about each other.

Step 2: After introducing yourself, take an opportunity to share what you love about your spouse. You might say, "You’re so very special to me! I love the way you _______ and I love that you _______." And then switch again.

Step 3: Once you feel reconnected, either the same day or some other day soon after, go on a date (see Date Nights for ideas). In fact, one of you should plan the date and surprise the other with the where, when, etc. Start out easy; don’t overwhelm your partner with too much. Even a trip to a bowling alley would be different. The point is to do something different. For example, if you regularly go to movies, go to a comedy club on your date. Afterwards, go to a coffeehouse or out for ice cream and sit and talk about where you went, how you enjoyed it and make plans for next time.

Step 4: Let your partner plan the next date and this time make it more "out-of-the-box"—take a chance. Really plan an evening your spouse will love. The giving, surprising and seeing the reaction is a big part of the whole evening.

Note: On your dates, do not talk about everyday stuff like work, kids, money, etc. These are totally off-limits!

Another note: Do all of the above before Valentine’s Day and save Step 5 for February 14th or close to it.

Step 5: When you’ve gotten through the first couple of dates, you really want to take a bigger step, e.g. plan a weekend away without the kids. Depending on finances, maybe you’ll just be able to check into the Motel 6—that’s okay—you still don’t have to make the beds. Or, maybe you can check into the Four Seasons or spend the weekend away or fly to Cancun or someplace exotic. The point is to have a change of pace and environment, where you can be alone and be sexy with each other.

Congratulations, you’ve made it through the five steps. You’re probably talking about a whole lot of "stuff" now and also having a really fun time doing it. The true test will be: Can you sustain this new relationship?

So, the goal for Valentine’s Day this year: Reacquaint and reconnect and fall in love with your spouse all over again. Cupid is in motion in your lives.

My motto is, "The couple that plays together, stays together!" So, keep on talking, keep on playing and you won’t drift apart.

Ann Fry, MSW, is a speaker and a coach. She’s the one people go to when they want things to be different. Check out all of her interests and talents at www.annfry.com.

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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.

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