Who better to turn to for relationship advice than real couples in loving long-term relationships. We quizzed a few on their secrets to making love last.

1. Sync calendars and make time for each other

“It’s all too easy to let work and other responsibilities take priority. So no matter how hectic our schedules are, my wife and I always set aside ‘together’ time at least once a week. We’ve even synchronised our diaries online so we know how to plan our weeks so that we’re out with friends on the same nights.”
-Sean 39

2. Know how to be alone together

“For me and my partner it’s really important that we don’t crowd each other. We live in a small flat so it’s not easy to be alone but we both make a special effort to give each other some breathing space. Sometimes I just need half an hour alone to chill out in the bath or read a book.  Other times he might want to veg out alone in front of the telly.  It’s knowing when to be quiet that’s the key. It’s like you’re there but you’re not there.”
-Janet 30

3. Never humiliate or ridicule your partner in front of their friends

“Making fun of your other half, even in jest is a treacherous path to tread. If you love them you don’t want them to feel insecure or put down in front of others by something you say. It’s all about having respect for one another.”
– Martin 25

4. Don’t bottle things up

“My one piece of relationship advice would be never to bear a grudge. If something about the relationship or your other half is bothering you, be sure to bring it up and talk it through. Ignoring it will only lead to resentment and like a bump in the carpet the problem is bound to pop up again later somewhere else. Believe me, I learnt the hard way!”
– Diane 32

5. Have a relationship AGM

“In order to keep an eye on the bigger picture and make sure you both share the same life goals it’s essential to talk and re-evaluate your relationship on an annual basis. When I first met my wife we were both very clear that we didn’t want children, but as the years progressed she changed her mind. We talked it though and I am now the proud father of twins. If we weren’t able to talk frankly about how our hopes and goals had changed, we might never have made it. People evolve and change and so must a relationship if it has any hope of lasting.”
– William 49

6. Always respect each other

“It doesn’t matter if you agree on every little thing or not, what matters is that you respect each other’s opinions and ways of doing things.”
– Robert 33

7. Communicate when you’re apart

“My boyfriend sends me sweet little text messages throughout the day while I’m at work. It’s really nice to know he’s thinking about me even when we’re not together.”
– Karen, 28

8. Maintain your independence

“The key to a lasting relationship is not to lose your sense of identity and become swallowed up into becoming one half of a whole. I still have my own friends and maintain a social life outside of my married life. It’s important to both of us and makes us appreciate the other one more when we do see each other.”
– Maddy 27

9. Keep the romance alive

“We’ve been together 20 years, but we’re still affectionate with one another and often surprise each other with romantic treats like an impromptu dinner date, a pampering night in or little gifts. He still makes me feel special after all these years.”
– Kathleen 43

10. Don’t play games

“Manipulation and mind-games are the surest way to hit self-destruct on a relationship. It might sound mature and boring but being honest, truthful and straight forward is the secret of our relationship success. We’ve never played games, tried to make each other angry or jealous and I think that’s one of the main reasons we’ve lasted so long as a couple.”
– James, 41