New relationships can be so exciting, fun, and sexy. You and your partner are unable to keep hands off each other and every conversation is filled with laughter or deeper, more serious revelations that bring you closer and strengthen your bond. But after a while, things cool down in the bedroom and there is a lot of conversation going on about what to get for dinner, or worse, arguments about silly, everyday problems.

Unless you literally have a long-term relationship with a robot, you’ve likely encountered at least one of these issues. Because of this, I’ve talked to some experts (and sex experts) about how to keep things going, even after the initial sparks and flames have gone out. Now that all sexual orientations can get married and it is an option for everyone to stay with your significant other for the long term, let’s look at how you can make your very special and very fragile relationship permanent.

1. Make time for intimacy and your relationship

It’s no great surprise that one of the main killers of relationships and intimacy these days has just a busy schedule. “Many couples put their relationship in the background. They put their job and their kids first instead of getting the relationship where it should be, ”said Rob Alex, relationship counselor at Mission Date Night, an organization he and his wife Janelle lead in Colorado Springs. “Having a good relationship helps your work and your children. It helps you live a better life overall. “

“I think we have so many ways to have sex these days, relationship status, contact with others, even career opportunities,” said Alysha Trujillo, psychotherapist and relationship counselor at Modern Love Counseling in Denver. “While the right to make these decisions can be empowering at times, we are often caught up in the excitement of having these options so readily available that we forget to focus on the real meaning of connecting with another person, usually our long-term partner. “

2. Don’t take things too seriously

Another common mistake in relationships is getting very serious when things go bad. You may feel the need to talk about your problems all the time, or you may feel far too much emphasis on making sex better and reducing stress. According to our experts, this is one of the worst ways to do things.

“Maintain the playfulness – be silly, be silly,” advised Janelle of Mission Date Night. “A lot of people lose that because, especially in the corporate world, we’re so conditioned that we can’t be joking. We have to be very serious, so it’s easy to lose. However, always be respectful of your partner – realize what is a joke, playful thing for him or her – and play in such a way that the both of you have fun. “

“You have to bring that fun and adventure into the bedroom too,” Alex told us. “You can’t mean it in there. Open up, have fun and keep it easy. “

3. Remember that you both deserve the best

Another reason seasoned relationships fail is because partners feel that they deserve better, or could do better, or that they begin to compare what they have with what others have. Well, it’s true – you both deserve the best possible partner, but that doesn’t always mean you have to leave who you’re with to find someone better. Sometimes it means the two of you are better so that everyone has the partner you deserve.

“Couples need to understand that OK isn’t good enough – if your relationship or sex life is just fine, you need to work on it,” Alex explained. “You don’t have to be content with just one good relationship – everyone out there is a wonderful, amazing person, and you have to put work into your relationship to make it amazing. You deserve an amazing relationship. Your partner deserves an amazing relationship . “

“Don’t stop meeting you!” Trujillo suggests. “Get dressed, go to new places, take short breaks as often as possible, and keep conversations and laughter going. If you feel like you are mentally venturing out on the mind, “Wow, this and that the boyfriend / girlfriend is so great – I wish I had this,” share your needs with your partner and make an effort to meet them to fix! “

4. Try new things

“Trying new things” is generally an old saying and almost a cliché at this point, but it really does apply when it comes to spicing up your relationship, especially in the bedroom. “Go a little bit outside of your comfort zone – just put your toes outside of your comfort zone,” suggests Janelle. “A lot of people are afraid to mention something else – just step out of the way because as you expand your comfort zone, your comfort zone is larger. If your partner makes a suggestion instead of just saying “no way,” stop and say, “I don’t think I want to, but why?” What do i think about it? Why don’t I want to do that? “

“Be flirtatious with each other by sending naughty messages to each other throughout the day, having playful foreplay when your partner is least expecting a funny surprise (which happens to lead to sex all over the house), and creating an experience that turns out sexy and thoughtful to the touch, “suggests Trujillo. “Bottom line, be yourself. When you are comfortable, you can feel empowered by embracing your sexuality with your partner, which makes sex hotter, more pleasant, and more emotional. Have fun and invest in your partner’s presence. “

5. Recognizing perfection is not an option

A big mistake couples usually make is feeling like they are perfect, perfect with someone, or make the relationship perfect. That kind of perfection will never be achieved in your current relationship or any other. So this is a goal that you can get rid of.

“I want couples to stop thinking that there is a finish line they have to reach where the relationship will be perfect,” explains Alex. “We’re not crossing the finish line and we’re not in a race. People relationships will evolve and you will have good times and bad. You have to be able to flex with the wind when it comes.”

“The reality of modern relationships is that we expect our partners to do so much for us: Be our best friend, our confidante, our support system, our security, our sexual fantasy, our emotional rock, our fun outlet” says Trujillo. “That’s a lot that a person can fully satisfy at any point in any day, and we rarely give our partners the honor of trying because our expectations are often far too high and demanding.”

When we let go of these ideals and just be ourselves and really comfortable with what we have, we will begin to have happy and near-perfect relationships.