Winter has come. You’ve been thinking about how to take on a new chapter in your relationship. As you settle into the season, you wonder if this could be the year you both take the next step. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and it’s the three words you’ve been longing to hear your significant other utter.

“I’ll teach you.”

If you’re anything like me, a true New Englander born and raised in the Granite State, then you know winters are for being outside. Hitting the slopes can be intimidating—and costly—if you’re new to skiing or snowboarding. But alas, having a significant other who has been shredding since they could walk is an obvious wan to be introduced. And when your partner extends that offer to be your teacher, how can one resist?

Before you order your personalized Apres Ski mugs, here are some tips to successfully learn from or teach your significant other how to ski.

Credit: Tim Peck

1. Have a Plan in Hand

Before you even set foot outside, have a conversation with your partner to set clear goals of what you both are looking to accomplish. Does your partner just want to know how to use the equipment, safely load and unload the chair lift and make it down the bunny slopes? Or are they looking to be hitting the big-kid trails by the end of day one? Have a clear idea of what your student’s goals are and be realistic if it’s too lofty. As the teacher, be honest about what challenges to expect and personalize them if you can, based on how well you know your partner. After all, you want your partner to enjoy the learning process as much as possible, and having a goal in mind will set up expectations on both sides.

2. Identify Learning Style

Understand how your partner learns. Some of this may be familiar territory but talk it out so everyone is clear. Is your partner going to pick up the basics by watching you, listening to you or by physically trying the task? Likely, it’s a combination of more than one.

3. Identify Teaching Style

How do you teach? Are you prepared to repeat the same physical task over and over without getting frustrated? Can you explain the same concept in more than one way? Be prepared to adapt your teachings to your partner’s needs so you can both successfully communicate through the learning phase.

4. Have Fun

I know, you haven’t even been outside yet, but these serious conversations about expectations and learning styles should still be fun! You’re going to get outside, with the one you care about, having a blast while learning. Make sure to enjoy the planning stage too. Sort out which mountains make the best place to learn together. Go ahead, plan out where you’re going to warm up with a post-lesson beer too.

5. Practice Indoors, Prep and Pack Together

You’re so close, I promise. One last tip to help set the foundation: Get acquainted inside if you can. Go over gear, practice putting on boots. Get a feel for what snapping into the bindings feels like. Prepare what you can in a casual, and warm, environment. Pack your bags together, so no one forgets anything on the big day.

Courtesy: Simon Hannaford

6. Hit the Slopes

It’s finally here! The day you get to show off your sick teaching skills and cruising to the top with your partner. Get outside and begin the lesson. Keep it short and simple and let your partner take the lead when it comes to moving forward to more advanced tasks.

7. (Don’t Forget to) Have Fun

This one is simple, but sometimes forgotten in the throes of managing the lesson. Remember to enjoy each other, the time you’re sharing and make sure the other one doesn’t go too long without smiling.

8. Know When to Call It

This is probably around the time, when you’ve lost count of the number of times the phrase “pizza slice, french fry!” has been yelled. Be flexible and be ready to cut the day short if one or both of you decide it’s the right time. In other words, maybe have a safe word for the day.

Read More: 6 Tips for Introducing Your Kids to Bouldering

9. Three Can Be Company

Pairing up with a significant other for a solo ski lesson isn’t for everyone. We see the best in our partners, we’ve been witness to them crushing so many other parts of their lives. High expectations can often times lead to impatience, so perhaps hiring a coach or bringing a friend who skis along can help offer some perspective. If your first lesson didn’t go as planned, having a second lesson with an objective party around may not be a bad idea.

10. Celebrate the Win

You did it! You’ve successfully managed your first lesson teaching your significant other. Hopefully you’re celebrating each other and your ability to move through any breakdowns in gear, communication and unforeseen changes in plans. Enjoy the company, celebrate the victories and make your plan for lesson number 2!