All relationships go through ups and downs, so there may be times where it seems like you've lost that initial spark you had with your partner, or that you're no longer as close. But if you want to maintain a strong connection in your long-term relationship, you definitely can. And there's even research to back it up.
Do keep in mind, though, that this isn't necessarily something to worry about. "It's completely normal for couples to start to feel bored or that a spark is missing," Bill Chopik, assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University, tells Bustle. "So people should definitely not feel bizarre about it. However, the successful couples are the ones who do something about it."
If you feel like your spark is dwindling, acknowledge it. And then decide as a couple how you plan on getting it back. "The best way to recapture that spark is to start doing fun/novel things together again," Chopik says. "Even the most entrenched/bored couples would be surprised by how quickly they start enjoying their relationships again!"
Read on for a few research-backed ways to keep the spark alive in your relationship and remain connected for years to come, according to the experts.