Catch the Love Bug — and Keep It

Valentine's Day Tips for Keeping Your Love Alive

Feb 4, 2009


Love is in the air, but Valentine's Day shouldn't be the only time to express love for your partner; rather, it should serve as a reminder to devote time and energy to your relationship every day. Dr. Catherine Birndorf, clinical associate professor of psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, emphasizes the importance of working at your relationship all year round. "Most people don't realize a relationship is effortful and not static. It's a dynamic evolution," she says.

"A genuine interest and curiosity about your partner is essential — take the care and make the time to keep up with him or her," she adds. Dr. Birndorf suggests the following tips for keeping your love alive:

  • Let the past repeat itself. Recall favorite memories of times spent together and try to find similar activities. Whether it's a nice dinner out, a night at the theater, a day spent walking around town or a vacation, think about some of your best times together and create opportunities for them.
  • Take time out. Try to connect at least once a day, and set aside quality time once a week to do something you both enjoy.
  • Be a thoughtful gift giver. The best gifts aren't the most expensive ones, but the ones that really say "I know you well" and make the other person feel special. Go the extra mile — beyond flowers and candy — to get something that is really unique to your partner.
  • Give in once in a while. On special occasions, let your partner choose something he or she enjoys but you may not. You may be surprised how good it feels to give selflessly and end up having a great time.
  • Share your thoughts. Leave a note for your partner in the morning, send a flirty text message or e-mail, or leave a sweet voicemail when you know he or she is away from the phone. These tiny acts of appreciation are sure to brighten your partner's day.
  • Schedule in sex. In today's world, you can't always expect spontaneity. Make a date for sex and be strategic — schedule play dates for the kids or set an alarm for the early morning. Having it on the schedule will give you something to look forward to and may allow the excitement to build around it.
  • Never underestimate the power of a compliment. Taking a moment to tell your partner that he or she looks nice today can go a long way. Allowing him or her to start the day with an extra confidence boost will make you feel good, too.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, located in New York City, is one of the leading academic medical centers in the world, comprising the teaching hospital NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical College, the medical school of Cornell University. NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell provides state-of-the-art inpatient, ambulatory and preventive care in all areas of medicine, and is committed to excellence in patient care, education, research and community service. Weill Cornell physician-scientists have been responsible for many medical advances — from the development of the Pap test for cervical cancer to the synthesis of penicillin, the first successful embryo-biopsy pregnancy and birth in the U.S., the first clinical trial for gene therapy for Parkinson's disease, the first indication of bone marrow's critical role in tumor growth, and, most recently, the world's first successful use of deep brain stimulation to treat a minimally conscious brain-injured patient. NewYork-Presbyterian, which is ranked sixth on the U.S.News & World Report list of top hospitals, also comprises NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of NewYork-Presbyterian, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/The Allen Pavilion. Weill Cornell Medical College is the first U.S. medical college to offer a medical degree overseas and maintains a strong global presence in Austria, Brazil, Haiti, Tanzania, Turkey and Qatar. For more information, visit

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Lezlie Greenberg 212-821-0560