Get the lowdown on the dos and don'ts of dating at any stage of relationships

Valentine's Day can often lead to stress planning a date at any stage of a relationship, including marriage. News 12's Elizabeth Hashagen sat down with psychologist Dr. Karen Sherman to discuss some dos and don'ts for Valentine's Day and beyond.

If your first date is around Valentine's Day, Sherman suggests maybe skipping the actual day and doing something around the holiday. She also recommends keeping a first date casual, such as coffee or a drink. She says to keep dinner or dancing until dates two or three. She adds that you should always schedule a first date over the phone or in person and leave texting for details and specifics about where you might be going. As far as a kiss on the first date, Sherman says, if it feels right, then do it.

Once you start dating, Sherman says keep your cellphones and talk about an ex out of your dates. However, she does say it is OK to text to follow up with your date that you had a nice time. She adds that it is OK for a girl to text first.

"If he likes you he's not going to mind. And if he doesn't then it's not going to matter," says Sherman about a girl texting a guy after a date.

And when you have been together or married for a while, it is equally important to keep that romance alive.

"You want to make sure that you leave some time for each other," says Sherman. "You know, so often life gets in the way, and when life gets in the way your relationship goes away. Schedule time in for each other. That way it is in the planner and you actually make the time for each other."

For Valentine's Day, if life is hectic, Sherman says just staying in and keeping it low-key is fine. "You want to make it about the two of you," she says. Little things like feet and back rubs and even pizza by candlelight can help you relax and keep the spark alive.

For more relationship advice, click on the videos on the left or go to Channel 612.

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