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10 Ways to Make Any Relationship Last

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Photo: Laetizia Haessig/EyeEm/Getty images

Love that lasts is the result of partners embedding themselves in each other’s brains in a positive way. Memory circuits and pleasure get all wound up together so that the other person becomes integral to the very structure of your brain, and you become part of the structure of theirs. (Here's more on what happens to your brain when you're in love.)

Here are some steps toward making your love last:

1. Take your partner's breath away.

Do something amazingly thoughtful and out of the ordinary and try to incorporate an element of surprise to it: a loving note tucked into a pocket. A special dinner on an otherwise ordinary night. A playlist made up with his favorite songs. These thoughtful acts will embed you in your partner's memory.

2. Do something special on a regular basis.

Call them every day just to touch base for a few minutes. Make their favorite meal once a week. Once they begin to expect these things, you will always be close to their awareness. 

3. Engage in lots of eye contact.

New couples seem to do this naturally, but don’t drop this strong bonding behavior just because the relationship has progressed. This is one way to keep the "romance alive", as they say, and is especially powerful when making love. (Need inspo? These hot-and-heavy sex positions could spark joy in your sex life.) 

4. Learn what pleases your partner sexually.

Make it clear that their pleasure is your pleasure, and you want to discover everything about what turns them on. They’ll be happy to have you experiment with them while making love.

5. Teach your partner what you like.

Likewise, making you happy will make your partner feel good. And research shows that the sexual pleasure of one partner increases the pleasure of the other partner. (Figure out what you like using these 13 tips for a mind-blowing masturbation session.)

6. Boost lasting love with sexual novelty.

When things get humdrum and routine, there is not going to be as much of a hormonal/neurotransmitter reaction, and arousal is lessened. While you don't have to break out the whips and chains, a little novelty while you're making love can increase anticipation, which means that more hormones are secreted. The result? Hotter, more thrilling sex for both of you. (You can start with one of these vibrators.)

7. Do something edgy.

If you get your partner’s heart rate up, they may associate the feeling of excitement with you and may develop more powerful feelings for you. Going on a roller-coaster ride, taking a balloon trip, shooting the rapids—anything with a touch of danger to it—can make them fall more deeply in love with you. (This couple tried learning trapeze together.)

8. Do something great for someone your partner loves.

If you show kindness and love for someone they love, you'll earn major points. When you enter a relationship, you also enter a relationship with all their family and friends. Show them that the people who are important to them are important to you.

9. Summarize and immortalize loving moments.

Don’t be afraid to give voice to your love. Tell them how you feel. Write a loving note or poem. Lovers have been doing this from the beginning of time because it works.

10. Boost the love chemicals.

There are many brain chemicals that go into the feeling of love and attachment. Oxytocin is known as the bonding, trust, and cuddle hormone. Oxytocin is enhanced by watching romantic movies together, holding hands, cuddling, and long, loving eye contact. (And kissing, which has a bunch of other health benefits!) Women usually have more oxytocin than men, but according to one study, a man’s level of oxytocin goes up 500 percent after making love. Being too busy to make love pushes couples apart.

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