Tips for rekindling your romance on Valentine’s Day

Written by Amy Quinn and CK Kemp

As we draw closer to Valentine’s Day, couples often evaluate the passion in their relationships. We all lead busy lives and passion can sometimes fall to the wayside. Here are some ideas for taking your romance up a notch. The following tips include ideas in the Fort Collins area, but you can apply them to wherever you happen to live!

photo of a couple1.) Use humor to bring you and your partner closer together. John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, stated, “A wonderful thing about true laughter is that it just destroys any kind of system of dividing people.” Humor is more than just laughing and having a good time; when couples use humor in their relationship, it can lower tension and help repair the relationship from those daily small arguments and issues that can build up over time. Catch a funny movie at the Lyric Cinema, play some putt-putt golf at Fort Fun, or take advantage of the board games at Equinox or another local brewery.

2.) Next, get serious! Even when we spend a lot of time together, we may still feel emotionally distant from our partners. We talk about our likes, dislikes, hopes, and dreams in the early stages of our relationships, but we often don’t have these same conversations further down the road. John Gottman, the foremost researcher on relationships, suggests that we build “love maps” of our loved ones lives about all the little details that make our partners “tick.” So set aside time away from your kids and/or work and build up your love maps of each other. Ask each other questions like: What is your favorite way to spend an evening? What is your favorite getaway place? What are some of the important events coming up in your life and how do you feel about them? What are some of your favorite ways to work out? Who is one of your major rivals or “enemies”? What would you consider your ideal job? What is one of your favorite novels/movies?

3.) Break a sweat together! We all know that exercise provides the brain with increased endorphins which often results in feelings happier overall. So why not experience these feelings with your partner? Another positive aspect of exercising is that you often do not need to spend any money in order to increase those endorphins. Get outside and walk around City Park or take an evening walk around Old Town. Take a yoga class together at Old Town Yoga or hit the gym and grab two treadmills next to each other. Dust the winter grime off of those bikes and hit the Spring Creek Trail this weekend.

4.) Take a trip down memory lane. Where did you go on your first date? Where were you when you first said “I love you”? What are some local landmarks that have special meaning for you and your partner? Plan a surprise outing for your partner, taking him/her to one or more of these places. When you get there, spend some time reminiscing together about the reasons you were initially attracted to each other and about the ways that your love continues to grow. Try and remember as much as you can about these memories – what were you wearing? What was the weather like? What was that funny joke your partner said that made you laugh? Have fun and enjoy one another’s company.

By Amy Quinn, M.S., and CK Kemp, M.S., graduates of the Marriage and Family Therapy Program and students in the Applied Developmental Science Ph.D. Program in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Colorado State University’s Center for Family & Couple Therapy is affiliated with the MFT Program, and provides high-quality therapy services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents, and children. The CFCT offers services to all members of the Larimer County community, as well as to students, faculty, and staff on campus.¬†For more information, see