Sky dive, rock climb, white-water raft. Love coach Lauren Frances says: “High octane activities like these instantly up your adrenaline and create a feeling of excitement and bonding.” You’ll activate the brain’s natural “love drugs,” dopamine and norepinephrine. Obviously, you shouldn’t run out and start shooting a bow and arrow without taking the proper precautions, but like Frances notes, “Angelina and Brad had weapons training together for Mr. and Mrs. Smith and look what happened!”
Try the 10-Minute Rule.
According to a recent University of Michigan study, 98 percent of the happiest couples surveyed said they were very familiar with their partner’s “inner life.” So WTF is an inner life? Find out by taking lead study author Dr. Terri Orbuch’s advice and practicing the 10-Minute Rule: Time where talk of responsibilities (the cable bill, the dog, the mortgage) is off limits. Talk about dream vacations, the favorite part of your relationship. Bingo: inner life.
Laugh. A Lot.
Couples who laugh together often are happier than those who don’t, according to a study from Wayne State University. Duh! But the trick is to bring this attitude into the bedroom. When something that could be embarrassing happens when you’re doing the deed, don’t just brush it off or freak. Just laugh. This simple act produces feel-good endorphins, deepening your bond.
“Cooking together is a great way to work as a team,” says dating coach Tracey Steinberg, author of Flirt for Fun and Meet the One. But keep the recipe simple so you can concentrate on relaxing—and avoid a burnt meal in the process.
Get Some Space.
Couples in long distance relationships may feel closer than those who are nearby, suggests a surprising Cornell University study. There are a few reasons this could be: Long distance couples are often more open about their feelings and idealize their partners’ behaviors. But it’s worth noting that couples who are forced to be apart miss each other in a way that’s hard to replicate when you live close by. It may seem counterintuitive, but if you create a little bit of space in your relationship, you could get even tighter. So, go out for drinks with friends solo or take a painting class: absence really does make the heart grow fonder.