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Falling in love is like discovering a new toy with many secret compartments. It's exciting—something you're entirely passionate about. Staying in love…well, that's a different story. Even just a few years with the same partner can start to feel like the same old, same old—especially if you live together.

Don't worry, though: We spoke to therapists and relationship experts who say it's normal for long-term love or marriage to feel like it's flaming out and even to question whether it's time to cut ties. And if you worry your relationship has started gathering dust at the bottom of the bin, there's hope.

Whether your relationship dip is the fallout of a major life event—say, a baby or an affair—or just years and years of following the status quo, our love experts gave us their best tips on how to revive your connection, rekindle the romance, and fall in love all over again.

First of all, it's normal not to feel "in love" all the time.

"When you first fall in love, there's excitement and passion," says licensed clinical social worker and relationship expert Kelli Miller. "As your relationship grows, it becomes more about intimacy and connection." So if those butterflies have flown away, don't worry—it doesn't mean your love has died. "The first thing to realize about being in a long-term relationship is that it waxes and wanes," says Miller. "What you feel in the beginning is impossible to sustain."

To reignite the passion, try revisiting the beginning

While you can't expect that fizzy sensation to last forever, you can review the places where the butterflies took wing. Jennifer Levy, a professional counselor and certified sex therapist, says that the beginning stages of a relationship are "marked by powerful feelings of infatuation, fantasies, and desire."

To bring those back, "return to the area where you met or got engaged," she says. Amiira Ruotola, coauthor of How to Keep Your Marriage from Sucking, also recommends a walk down memory lane. "Going somewhere you have great memories together can remind you that you're still interesting people who like each other," she says. "Sometimes we need a sensory kick in the butt to reignite a dormant spark."

Bring intimacy back by sharing secrets.

Intimacy isn't all about sex but rather that closeness between the two of you. If you're feeling disconnected, try telling your partner a secret you've never revealed to anyone before. "When couples are welcoming and nonjudgmental of their partner's secrets, they strengthen their connection," says Suzann Pileggi Pawelski, coauthor of Happy Together, which she wrote with her husband, James Pawelski, Ph.D. Whether it's a childhood memory, a vivid dream, or a fantasy, when you share these truths, you're saying, "I trust you," which helps reestablish an emotional bond. And that can feel very sexy.

Get your hearts racing together.

If you watch The Bachelor, you've seen how bungee jumping can bring two people closer (well, fleetingly, at least). They may seem head over heels in love, but the adrenaline rush and endorphins are speeding things along.

"Studies show that adrenaline increases attraction," says Miller. So, if you're longing to make your heart go pitter-patter again, try literally kick-starting it. If jumping off a bridge isn't your thing, Miller suggests going to an amusement park, a haunted house, or anything new and adventurous that interests both of you.

Don't underestimate the power of a "thank you."

Kira Bartlett, PsyD, says that one of the easiest ways to keep the spark alive is to acknowledge things your partner does. So, if you feel like your relationship is waning, make it a daily practice to tell your partner (in a text or face-to-face) something you appreciate. For example, "Thank you for taking the trash out. I don't seem to notice, but it's a big help." Pileggi Pawelski says gratitude is one of the most important positive emotions for thriving relationships. "When expressed regularly, gratitude is a booster for satisfaction," she says.

Burn your resentments

According to Juliana Morris, therapist and certified sex expert, one way to rekindle a flickering relationship is to light a fire. "Sit down together and, on small pieces of paper, privately write down your resentments," she says. Then, use a pit or burning bowl and "set the papers on fire to release the negative feelings." When done correctly—as in ensuring that the focus remains on healing and moving forward, and not dredging up the past—Morris says that this can be a "fun and freeing practice."

Take sex off the table.

It may seem counterintuitive, but to get the heat back, it may be best to take the sex out of it—at least for a little while. "For some couples, removing the pressure of having sex can help rekindle romance and connection," says Morris. She suggests trying an "anything but" rule: "Kiss and hold hands and go to second base, but that's it," she says. "Not going all the way can help relax the situation, as well as allow vulnerability and create a buildup of sexual tension."

Have sex on the table.

On the other hand, amping up your sex life is also a good idea. Morris sometimes recommends that her clients try a 30-day sex challenge. "When you've committed to having sex daily, it can be fun to anticipate it," she says. Cori Dixon-Fyle, founder and psychotherapist at Thriving Path, also recommends shaking up your routine. "Changing when, where, how, and who initiates sex can make a long-term relationship feel fresh again," she says. However, if your sex life has gotten so stagnant that you feel nothing will help, Morris suggests seeing a licensed sex therapist who can teach you that "sexual connection is something that deserves attention," she says.

As you begin to revive your relationship, plan secret dates for each other

It's always nice to be thought of, and doing something nice for your partner feels good. So once a month, take turns planning dates for each other. "Simply tell your partner how to dress, from sweats to formal," suggests Dixon-Fyle. "The surprise of the date adds desire and mystery," she explains. Pileggi Pawelski also recommends planning dates for each other. But be careful: If you hate football and your partner is obsessed, don't take them to a bar to watch a game. You'll be grumbling the whole time. Instead, Pileggi Pawelski says to identify one of your partner's strengths and pair it with yours. For example, if you love to learn and your partner is creative, take a painting class together.

Give each other some space.

Remember when you first dated, and spotted your partner across the room? Levy says ,"distance creates desire and anticipation," and suggests this little game: The next time you go out together, sit at opposite sides of the bar. "You never know what feelings you'll stir up," she says. Miller also agrees that distance can help revitalize a flatline relationship, but she suggests taking it one step further by spending time apart. (Did someone say girls' trip?) "Sometimes we need time away to truly miss our partner and to remember what we have at home waiting for us," she says.

As you fall in love again, make sure to take care of yourself.

When you're in a relationship for so long, it can be hard to remember where your partner ends and you begin. Unfortunately, that's a sure way to suck the oxygen out of the fire. "It's difficult to feel attracted to someone who has lost their autonomy and individual identity," says Dixon-Fyle. She suggests rekindling the passion in your relationship by fueling yourself first: Find a hobby, set some job goals, or do charity work. "Not only will having individual interests give you something to talk about," says Dixon-Fyle, "but when you're happy with yourself, you set the standard on how others love you."