7 Things Couples Who Stay in Love Do More Often

Couple

You can have a strong relationship. / william87/Stock / Getty Images Plus

The following is a guest post from Justin Lavelle, chief communications director for PeopleLooker.

What’s the secret to lasting love? Here are some of the things couples in love do more often.

1. They think about their partner

What are the big and little things that make them happy? Would the wife be thrilled to have Sunday afternoon to read or nap? What parts of the Sunday routine can be taken over to make that possible? Does the husband feel special on a breakfast-in-bed kind of morning? The key here is knowing or getting to know your partner. New and long-term relationships are affected by time, stress, and change. It is important to stay dialed-in to your partner and their needs. Keeping romance alive starts with knowing what they love, what makes them feel special, and doing it because you want them to be loved and happy.

2. They protect their time

Building and maintaining romance in any relationship takes time and effort. You may have all the heart in the world for your love, but if you book all your time with everything else, no amount of heart will fix the consequences to your relationship. Successful couples prioritize a set time together. It may be dinner dates, breakfast dates on the weekend while the kids sleep in, taking a walk together, or sitting together every evening for 30 minutes without distractions. Get it on the calendar, and honor it like you do work or school. Take time on a regular basis to set aside distractions and focus on each other.

3. They’re spontaneous

Dedicated time together is very important, but spicing things up with impromptu times together is the icing on the cake. Surprise flowers, gifts hiding in places they use every day, love notes in lunchboxes, Starbucks deliveries, the ideas are endless for reminding the most important person in your life that you are thinking of them and that you love and appreciate them.

4. They talk about sex

couple embracing

Couple embracing | nd3000/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Just like everything else in life, wants and needs are affected by stress, time, responsibilities, and health. Sex in a relationship changes and grows. Don’t leave each other behind. Romance can include sex, but sex isn’t romance. Make it special and meaningful. When you focus as a couple on making it the best for both of you, sex adds to the romance you live every day.

5. They avoid simple, one-word-answer questions

Small talk is a relationship killer. Questions that can be answered with only one word should be used as little as possible and certainly not used when greeting your partner after a long day of work. Rather than asking “how was your day?” try “what happened today at work?” or “tell me about…” Try to incorporate something you heard your partner talk about last time you had a work-related conversation. You’ll not only show you’re an active listener but also learn something new about your significant other–something that keeps the relationship fresh.

6. They connect throughout the day

Don’t wait until after work to talk with your spouse. Shoot him or her a text or two throughout the day. You can keep it simple with an “I love you” or “I miss you.” Or, you can ask a question. Just remember to keep it open-ended. Another great option is to send your partner a picture of something interesting from your day, something funny you found on the internet, or even a selfie. This lets your partner know you were thinking about him or her during your day.

7. They ditch the phones during in-person conversations

Nothing says “I don’t care about what you have to say” more than someone with his or her nose pressed against a phone screen while disregarding the person sitting in front of him or her. Doing so causes you to come off as disrespectful and uninterested. So, avoid glancing at who just texted you when your spouse is in the middle of telling you a story. Also, consider designating five minutes of electronic-free quality time right before bed. Keep the topics light so both of you go to sleep feeling happy and satisfied.

Justin Lavelle is chief communications director at PeopleLooker, where he writes about relationships and online dating for the company’s blog and top publications.

Read more: 4 Things Happy Couples Do Before Bed