Silhouette of an affectionate couple standing behind an umbrella
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March 20, 2017 9:27 AM EDT

For my last column, I wrote about heart health and the importance of keeping your heart in tip-top physical shape. But your heart doesn’t just beat — it also feels, and that’s just as important. Let’s assess: How are you feeling in the love zone? Are you giving as much as you can? Are your needs being met?

When you think about your partner, if you have one, do you feel a deep warmth? Don’t get me wrong: We all do things to piss each other off. But in general, I want to know if you’re getting the warm fuzzies. If your answer is yes, fantastic — we can move on. But if your answer is no, here are some things to think about:

The conversation

You might need to communicate more clearly what’s going on in your head. As much as they love us, our partners will never be able to read our minds. Most everything you need is something all people need, so don’t be shy about looking for attention, affection and love. It’s all in the delivery — take a gentle, kind approach, and communicate in a way that allows the other person to hear you without putting up defenses. Bonus: Have the conversation over a carefully planned dinner at home. Home-cooked meal, candlelight, no cell phones.

The giving department

It’s never a competition to see who gives more. One thing I know for sure is that nothing feels better than appreciating it on both ends. If you are giving your time and your energy to your partner, be sure you are getting respect and appreciation back. This is one of my downfalls as a partner (brutal honestly alert): Sometimes I fall behind on the giving. But I know I can always catch up. So, just have some awareness, and take the time to recognize each moment when you are in it.

The bedroom

We don’t need to go Fifty Shades of Motto here, but let’s be honest: You should be feeling good in the sack. If you’re not, you need to have a conversation about that. My grandmother is 98, and up until she was 83, she was having sex. And she was married four times. Talk about making sure she was happy! I hope you are OK in this area with your partner. If you aren’t, talk about it. Thoughtful conversation generates intimacy. #Fact.

Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music — all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

MOTTO hosts provocative voices and influencers from various spheres. We welcome outside contributions. Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of our editors.

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