The dreaded seven year itch. It’s something that’s often reported on and unfortunately becomes a reality for many couples. By year seven the honeymoon period has faded and other responsibilities such as children or mortgages have become your priority. But you don’t have to scratch that itch!

We’ve put together some top tips to help you through the long haul and put the spark back into your relationship.

Keep your relationship fun

Whether it’s taking up a new hobby such as Salsa dancing or snuggling up for a movie marathon night, it is important to continuously inject fun into your relationship. Be it spending the weekend in a brand new city or even just trying a new cuisine, keeping your relationship fresh by filling it with new and exciting things will not only make you feel more positive, it will also provide a welcome distraction from the more menial things in life.

Surprise each other

Surprise one another from time to time. This doesn’t mean you have to buy your partner extravagant gifts, little but thoughtful gestures can go a long way. Try popping a note on your partner’s pillow, send them a sweet text when you know they’re having a bad day or create a scrapbook of your memories. Use these gifts to remind your partner what you love about them.

Don’t forget to communicate

Back in January 2011 we went on a mission to uncover the secret to a lasting relationship, and communication came up time and time again. Good communication is the key to making a relationship work, so make time for it. Try to spend at least half an hour a day talking to your partner, without the TV in the background.

Be honest, but be nice

Perhaps you don’t like that your partner works long hours, or you’ve become bored of that meal he always cooks. Maybe you want to do more things together, or you’d like some time to yourself without having to get their permission. If you’re unhappy about an aspect of your relationship, raise it with your partner straight away. You don’t have to go in all guns blazing – approaching it in a neutral, friendly way will mean your partner doesn’t get defensive and upset, and you get what you want.

The golden rule here is that, if you haven’t told your partner something they do annoys you, it’s not fair to get annoyed at them for doing it.

Find time for each other

Sometimes, life can get in the way of your relationship. Projects at work and chores around the house can often consume too much time, and our commitment and attention towards our partner fades. Even on your busiest day, it’s really important that you set aside some time to spend with your partner, even if it’s simply eating dinner together. By making time for meaningful moments in your days, it will ensure that you remain connected on a physical and emotional level.

Enjoy time apart

While it’s important to nurture your relationship, it’s just as important to make time for yourself. Find hobbies and maintain a life of your own, as this will ensure that you retain a sense of individuality within your relationship and provide you with many more conversation starters and a new lease of life with your partner.