"It's totally normal for excitement levels in relationships to ebb and flow," says Kristen Mark, Ph.D., director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky. Ironically, boredom often strikes after a major milestone, like moving in together, tying the knot, or having a kid, according to a survey by sex and relationships website GoodInBed.com. Thing is, those peak moments also mark the completion of goals—and as the reward of hitting the goal fades, the doldrums can set in, says Shane Bench, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Utah State University Eastern.
Simply knowing that no relationship is rousing all the time can help you accept and wait out the slow times. So can realizing that less-than-thrilling moments make the actual thrilling ones that much better, says Mark. But ignore long-standing ennui at your own risk: Studies show people who have strong relationships are happier, healthier, and live longer.
Here are few ways to switch things up:
Do something different together
It's a cliché, but true: Exploring a new city or activity fosters closeness. Keep in mind, though, that this works only if you're both interested—no prodding your craft-beer guy into going wine tasting.
Walk down memory lane
Revisit the site of your first date or the place you got engaged. Nostalgia reminds you of what's important, which provides a sense of meaning that can be a cure for boredom, say experts.
Talking openly about sex can increase overall communication and the amount of nooky you have—the relationship zones hit hardest by boredom. So sit yourselves down and each make a list of activities you haven't tried together (e.g., full-body massage, sexting), marking every item with yes, no, or maybe; then swap. Nos are forbidden, but everything else is up for discussion or exploration.
Add a little fear
Thrill seekers can get a boost from the so-called shaky bridge effect: An adrenaline-raising sitch—say, crossing a rickety bridge or riding a rollercoaster—induces an amped-up state of arousal, intensifying your connection.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.