Sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein is one of the foremost authorities on love.

With a background in psychology and counseling, she decided to become a source of knowledge for those in relationships after working as a family mediator. While at that job, she assisted couples and families who were in the process of divorce, deciding she wanted to do something to help people be happy in their lives and relationships.

Since dedicating her career to helping others keep their romantic fires burning, we decided to ask Dr. Nikki how you can get some fires started of your own this Valentine’s Day.

Nikki Goldstein 3

Do you love or hate Valentine’s Day? What’s your take on the holiday?

On a professional level I love it, because I get to discuss relationships, love and dating, but on a personal level, I struggle with it. When I’ve been in relationships there’s always that pressure of what to do and will the person I’m seeing let me down by doing something that just isn’t me? I’m not into grand gestures as such but more things that show someone gets me and has put thought into something, no matter how small and simple. But what happens when they don’t? Sometimes you’re left on Valentine’s Day wondering about the future of your relationships. I actually prefer celebrating Valentine’s Day with friends and have more fun when I’m single. I find there’s no pressure and we get to celebrate a love of a different type.

How do you suggest couples who have been together for a while spice up their Valentine’s Day?

Make this day an excuse to do something you’ve always been wanting to do, in or out of the bedroom. That can be your present to each other. Maybe it’s a new activity or restaurant or a new toy or sexual position. Your gift to each other can be something you can do for each other, not necessarily purchase over the counter.

Advice on how “new couples” should approach the holiday?

What would this day be a good time to explore? Suss out first of all what Valentine’s Day means to your partner. It’s good to get on the same page with presents and celebrations. It can be very awkward in a new relationship when one person goes over the top and the other is not really into it.

For those who find the day depressing, what can they do to make it fun and exciting?

Celebrating a different type of love. It might not be romantic love, but it could be a love between friends or family members.

What’s a unique way to show love for someone besides cards and candy on this day?

Doing something thoughtful for someone can always mean more than a card or present. It might even be something around the house they have been asking you to do or their favorite meal. Something that shows you have put thought into it and shows them you’re listening and paying attention. The unique part is up to you and your relationship. Red heart cards, chocolate and roses can very much be going with the flow, so try and maybe incorporate a touch of this with something that has a personal meaning to your partner.

Ways to make the magic of Valentine’s Day last year ’round?

Every day choose one small thing to do or say to your partner that shows them you are thinking about them and paying attention to their needs, wants and desires.