THE BLOG
01/25/2016 04:30 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2017

5 Secrets to Rekindling the Flame Before Valentine's Day

How do you get your partner to be more emotionally available? And how to you inspire your partner to demonstrate physical affection more regularly? These are just some of the main questions my clients and couples ask me in my office. So if you are feeling lonely, neglected or disconnected from your partner either physically or emotionally, the following 5 tips will get you started down the path towards greater emotional and physical engagement just in time for Valentine's day.

Fulfill your emotional or physical needs individually too: So often we rely only on our partner to give us what we need while neglecting to prioritize ourselves on an individual basis. Where in your life are you not honoring yourself? In what ways do you deny yourself down time? How are you currently being unloving or unsupportive of yourself? Think about which aspects of your day-to-day life lack self-affirmation, affection and a physical connection with your body and begin nurturing those areas of your life.

Be conscious of how present you are: In my own relationship, quality time is a high priority to both my husband and I. However, when we lived in Italy we would regularly work in our office on projects until 6 or 7pm. We easily lost track of time and although we were in proximity to one another we were not fully 100% present with each other. In order to break out of this pattern, we had to made sure to consciously incorporate date nights on a regular basis as well as outings and trips with friends so our life and our relationship were not passing us by.

Create safety in your relationship: It is important that your relationship feels like home and that you can fully let go and decompress. Life sometimes feels like you are walking on a tight rope, so it is important that your partner feels like a gentle place to land when you need physical or emotional comfort. Also being a safe loving and secure place for your partner opens up a space for emotional and physical connection to occur.

Don't settle for processed food or a processed relationship: When we are in a rush we may throw a TV dinner in the microwave just to tide us over, but when you make it a habit your body will lack adequate nutrition and you will be left feeling hungry again in a couple of hours. In our relationships, we may fall into unhealthy patterns such as settling for pornography instead of physical and emotional intimacy or adapting to stagnant and superficial conversations rather than dedicating the time and energy to learn a more effective way of communicating. Setting aside quality time for real bonding and removing distractions are key to deepening your emotional bond with your partner.

Wake up and smell the coffee: If you realize you and your partner are off track, be proactive about it. Don't wait and become apathetic or complacent. Life is too short. If you see you and your partner floating away in two separate directions, recognize it and steer in each other's direction again. Several years ago my husband and I got into the habit of having tea time on a daily basis to check in with each other about our day and important topics of conversation. We figured if it works for the Brits it can work for us. By dedicating just 30 minutes to teatime on a regular basis we found that we were able to create ongoing opportunities for emotionally and physically intimacy to grow in our relationship.

How do you reconnect with your partner? If you found this article helpful, please let me know! You can also improve communication, understanding, intimacy, love and harmony in your relationship by taking my free 14-Day Love Challenge. Join 10,000+ couples who are taking challenge and rekindling the flame just before Valentine's Day. Click here to sign up today. Free offer ends February 29th at 11:59pm.

Andrea Cairella is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and owner of TruePotentialCounseling.com based in Long Beach, CA. She works with adults and children and specializes in couples issues, trauma, addiction, anxiety and self-esteem and is the creator of Create A Relationship You Love ™ an online psycho-educational program for couples. Andrea is the author of "Transforming Relationships in 8 Weeks or Less" has been featured on The Huffington Post, NPR, ABC, FinerMinds, Happy Wives Club, Women for One, Owning Pink, and AZTV.