"Beginning a relationship is generally the easy part; it's maintaining the connection that gets a little tricky. That's why a growing number of twosomes (whether or not they've tied the knot) are going into couples therapy as a preemptive strike against the tough times that will inevitably hit...and to learn how to keep the good times flowing."
To give you a leg up in your love life, we asked the country's top relationship experts to share the most crucial things
they've uncovered over the years — from big-picture philosophies to little gestures that go a long way. These practices
will help keep your union in a happy, healthy place.
1. Act Out of Character
Couples develop a particular dynamic: the way they relate to reach other that repeats itself over and over. If you break that pattern and act against type — in a positive way — you inject new life into the relationship. For example, if you always get angry at your guy when he doesn't follow through on some chore, try addressing him in a nicer, more friendly tone, then thank him when he does a good job. It works every time.
2. Get in Touch a Lot
No doubt you hug and kiss each other hello and maybe snuggle a little after having S3x. But simple acts like stroking his arm while you're watching TV, taking his hand when you're walking down the street, or fondling his thigh during dinner are
also ways to bond. Touching your partner throughout the day triggers your feel-good hormones, which reinforces your affection and makes you feel closer on an instinctive level.
3. Don't Be BFFs
Being pals with your man is great in theory. But that kind of connection actually can kill your S3x life. You could wind up having a roommatelike bond with each other rather than a hot one if you let yourself lose track of the masculine-feminine tension that excited you at the beginning of your relationship. Save the gab sessions for when you hang out with your girlfriends and your S3xy energy for connecting with your guy.
4. Enjoy a Steady Diet of S3x
If you want to maintain closeness with your man, get out of your head and into bed. Guys feel more comfortable connecting with women on a physical level, not engaging in deep discussions. To strengthen your bond, approach your lust life as you would your gym regimen or your diet — make it part of your routine. Set a goal to have S3x at least a couple times a week.
5. Take Turns Talking
To make sure you both get a chance to state what's on your mind during a disagreement — and get your points across — alternate playing reflective therapist, where one listens while the other talks.