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Keep the Spark Alive

When you’ve been married as long as Cyndi and David, it can be hard to find that romantic spark that came so easily when you were dating and just married. “So many couples get stuck in a rut—whether they’ve been married for 5 or 10 or 20 years…. or even if they have just been dating for a year!” says Marilyn Anderson relationship experts and author of Never Kiss a Frog. How do you get out of it? Here are some ideas from relationship experts:

Make it personal. Instead of buying your sweetie a gift, create something unique and meaningful with your own two hands, says Anderson. “Personal things are often more appreciated, plus it’s fun and rewarding for both the giver and the receiver. You can make a collage of your relationship, using old photos, cutting photos out of magazines, etc. I once took the Frederick’s of Hollywood Catalog and put my head on all the bodies! Making sure they were all sized and angled right–it was a hoot, and sexy for both of us!”

Appreciate the little things. Romance doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, says Shari Goldsmith, a therapist and author of 31 Days to Finding Your Inner Sass. “For example, a box was at the door when I came home one night. I opened it and found the dried fruit that I can’t find in the local grocery stores anymore. Without me realizing it, my husband had researched on the Internet and found someone that had it—now that’s romance!”

Try something new. It’s all about doing something out of the box, so make sure it’s something that’s new for both of you, says Anderson. Take ballroom dance lessons, a pottery course (remember the sexy scene in the movie, Ghost?), Join a gym together, Take tennis lessons, kayaking, art classes, French lessons, etc. The possibilities are endless!

Say those three words. Who doesn’t love being told “I love you” by their partner? According to Joseph Battaglia, co-founder of Living the Dream Coaches, one of the keys to improving intimacy is letting your spouse know how much he/she means to you. “Say “I love you” at least five times a day—and say it like you mean it,” says Battaglia. “And make sure it’s the last thing you say to each other before going to sleep each night.”

Get away. You don’t need to take a cruise to Hawaii or a European adventure to unwind together. Simply book a hotel room for the night so you can reconnect without the distraction of work and kids, says Jason Coleman, coauthor of Discovering Your Amazing Marriage. “Check-in before your spouse and set up the room with rose petals. Put wine on ice, spread chocolates and confetti on the floor and the bed. She/he will be completely surprised when you both arrive at the hotel and everything is set up!”

Talk to each other! Spend 10 minutes a day just talking with each other without distraction, suggests Christina Steinorth, a psychotherapist and author of Cue Cards for Life: Thoughtful Tips for Better Relationships. “So often we forget or don’t have time for our spouses, and before you know it, weeks and sometimes months go by and then suddenly you feel distant. Of course you do! You haven’t had a meaningful conversation in months! Connecting with some one-on-one conversation will keep your bond strong.”

Don’t forget about sex. A good sex life is a must in any relationship you are looking to keep hot, says Rachel DeAlto, flirting expert and founder of FlipMe flirting cards. “Life can always get in the way of fun if you let it, but make an effort to connect. Be spontaneous and don’t ever schedule sex.”