While new relationship headiness will inevitably decline, that doesn’t mean your relationship has to nosedive as well. In fact, some of long relationships and marriage’s best highlights—raising a family and developing a deeper, more profound connection—require years of togetherness. Here are top bonding tips from the happiest couples:
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1. Shake up date night
Weekly dinners at your favorite neighborhood bistro won’t stoke your passion, says Stony Brook University social psychologist Arthur Aron, PhD. According to his research, novelty is the spice of life—and a key ingredient of a good marriage. You don’t have to give up your favorite couple-time activities, but do make an effort to inject some new plans into the mix: a hike, a cooking class, or even amusement park rides qualify. Just pick something you’ve never done before (or recently) together. Rewarding experiences flood your brain with dopamine, a mood-boosting chemical. “If your partner is present, that feeling becomes linked to him,” says Aron.