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10 Ways to Maintain Long-term Romance

Holiday is perfect time for relationship tuneup

Valentine's Day is a very different holiday for couples. You are in a committed relationship, and you probably have stopped wooing each other on a daily basis long ago. There may be a certain disappointment and even resignation about this.

This means that grand gestures on Feb. 14 may be appreciated, but not necessarily expected. Still, you know what they say in business: exceed expectations. It works everywhere … even with love!

Valentine's Day is a great day to play patch up and catch up and do something special for the one you love. Still, Valentine's Day splurges have a potential downside for ordinarily unromantic couples. Sometimes the grand gesture — a dozen red roses and good champagne or dressing up for a fancy restaurant — is somewhat aggravating to a spouse precisely because it never happens the rest of the year.

So, here's the issue: how do we do our Valentine's Day tap dance without drawing too much of a comparison to our lack of seductive romanticism most of the year?

I hereby present some simple, doable romantic touches that you can do year-around, if you start a little bit before Feb. 14, I guarantee you that Valentine's Day will just be the cherry on top of your rejuvenated relationship. Your one day splurge of emotion and sensitivity will fit into the larger context of your generally loving ways and you will get all sorts of romance points.

Don't be intimidated because it's not to late to start now. We all need relationship maintenance, and if we have to pay catch up, so be it.

10 quick ways to maintain romance in your relationship:

1. Greet each other at the doorway. Don't stay at the computer or television when he/she walks in.

2. Give a hug at the door. Even a kiss. Make the kiss linger a few seconds.

3. Don't start your greeting with bad news.  Say something nice and welcoming.

4. Hold hands when you talk, sit at the TV, walk to the door together. Even better, hold hands when walking the mall or at the movies.

5. Occasionally, light a candle (or candles) in your bedroom, bathroom, tub. Dim the lights or turn them off.

Turn up the romance »

6. Spray perfume/cologne on your sheets, make sure you pick a scent you both like. Have soothing, romantic music playing throughout the house.

7. Have pictures of each other in memorable moments in your bedroom and living room.

8. E-mail "I love you," and every so often text something seductive.

9. Get matching soft robes and wear them for baths or showers together.

10. Have a glass of wine, or hot chocolate or tea in bed, or cuddled up on a sofa, late at night. Don't talk shop. Discuss intimate things or exciting plans.