How to Keep a Relationship Alive, According to Experts

The anticipation of a text, the spark of a first kiss, the need-to-have-you-right-now sex—there's little to dislike about the beginning of a relationship. In fact, it seems the only thing not to like is the fact that the newness doesn't last forever, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

Long-term relationships, whether you're married or not, can bring an element of stability and comfort to one's life. What begins as the honeymoon stage where everything feels wonderful and potential red flags are ignored, naturally progresses to the stage where your true selves are revealed and commitment is formed. Relationships are continually evolving experiences that both parties are responsible for shaping and investing in. Along the way, however, life can seem to complicate maintaining and renewing that spark—from raising children to major or unexpected changes at work (such as a layoff or a promotion that means more travel) or a partner's health, it may seem like the cards are stacked against you.

Still, there's a way to have the best of both worlds—the passion of new love and the benefits of a long-term relationship. We asked relationship experts Cassandra LeClair, Ph.D., Poonam Sharma, Ph.D., and Darshana Avila to share their best advice to fan the flames of your long-term relationship, whether you're married, cohabiting, or otherwise

Meet the Expert

  • Cassandra LeClair, Ph.D., is a communications studies professor at Texas State University, motivational speaker, and author of Being Whole.
  • Poonam Sharma, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist with over 25 years of experience in the industry. She is the author of Strong Women, Strong Love.
  • Darshana Avila is an intimacy and relationship expert and erotic wholeness coach.
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