By Alissa Sheppard
Staff reporter

As romance fills the air, couples being to prepare for this time of year. Building a relationship has to start somewhere, and there needs to be a strong foundation for any relationship to last.

Working with people for a living, Mary Ann Smith, wellness coordinator for Southwestern, says she has dealt with students in and out of love.

“I think you have to build a relationship slowly and gradually, be respectful to one another, and take account into their interest” said Smith. She says taking it slow will help people get to know each other better. “Communication is one of the most important things when it comes to being in a relationship” said Smith.

Talking things out is very important. She said to share everything with one another like your hopes, dreams and future goals. The second thing she said to work on is establishing trust.

“It is important to know upfront that you can disagree and agree and be able to accept those differences” said Smith. The third and last thing she said is be honest.

During this time of year there are little reminders that Valentine’s Day is coming up. Different couples do different things to make their relationship work.

Krystal and Brendt Winn met in high school. Although they have been together for ten years, they have only been married for one and a half years. “Learning how to forgive was one of the first things we had to learn how to do” said Krystal Winn, multi cultural admissions counselor, she said not only your significant other, but forgive yourself as well.

Taking time out to continue growth with one another is one of the small things that can keep a relationship going. “We have date night, we turn off all the phones and facebook and every distraction and just focus on each other” said Winn.

Spicing things up is very important. “If we want our primary relationship to be a success we have to put in more hours than work and school” said Winn.

Having been together for 45 years in July, Cherly Barnett knows a little on how to keep a relationship going. “We met in college and dated for two years before we got married” said Barnett. She said there is one thing and one thing only to know about having a successful relationship. “Marry your best friend,” said Barnett. “People always say they do not want to spoil their friendship, but I think your friend is the one you should marry.” She said passion should never fade completely, but it loses some of its intensity.

Every bit of relationship advice is helpful, but to get the perfect realationship, find what tricks work best for you.

Alissa Sheppard is a senior majoring in communication, you may contact her at