Secrets to a love that lasts

By Dr. Anna Settle

February is the month to celebrate love, and we could all use a refresher on how to keep things romantic with that special Valentine in our lives. It’s no surprise that getting comfortable in a relationship can be comforting, but it can also be boring! So, we need to remember to continuously work on being a better partner (that means never stop working on it!), because relationships are most certainly a work in progress. They change, they grow, they fall, and they recover. And, they undoubtedly need nurturing in order to survive, so make sure you are following these simple tips for being happily in love:


Openly. Daily. This sounds simplistic, but it is the number one complaint for those who come to me seeking marital support. Communication is vitally important because, without it, how do you know how your partner is feeling? And, how will he know what your needs are? By the way, communicating includes fighting. Fair fighting, that is. Friction is needed in a relationship in order to effect change, so speak up if there’s something worth fighting for. But, don’t use personal attacks or score keeping. Simply state how you feel.


Just because you’ve been together since high school or have been married for ages, it doesn’t mean that you no longer need to romance your partner.  In fact, this becomes more important as the years go by, because life tends to get in the way of those initial euphoric feelings that you felt at the beginning of the relationship. So, buy her flowers just because. Plan a trip and get away. Surprise him with take-out and his favorite movie. Make him/her feel special and desired.


This is a big one because it is difficult to do this; especially when you have children. But, if your partner comes in second behind your kids, then your kids hold too much power in the family structure. And kids that have too much power tend to feel scared. It’s a huge responsibility to be the head of the household, and not a job that a child can handle.


Secrets are hurtful. They break trust and, honestly, if something needs to be kept a secret, then it is probably something that will damage the relationship. Your partner should be the one you tell your secrets to, not keep your secrets from.


Keep yourself healthy—both physically and emotionally. This is vitally important because, if you aren’t happy, then you certainly can’t be happy in a relationship. Know who you are without your partner, and don’t give up those things that you enjoy doing alone or with friends (as long as they are healthy!). And, if you are physically healthy, then you are feeling your sexiest while your serotonin is pumping. And that makes for some serious sparks to boot!

We’d love to hear from YOU!  What do you do to keep the love lasting at your house?

Anna BW

Dr. Anna Settle is an award-winning psychologist and relationship expert who has a private practice located on Music Row in Nashville, TN.

Follow her on twitter @DrAnnaSettle or visit her website at for more information.


{Image found via Pinterest, original source unknown}

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