Passion comes in many shapes and forms, and when you are in the beginning of a new relationship, those flames burn high and bright. But, let’s face it—as time goes on, the fire starts to sputter and die. How do you keep that passion alive?

Although sex is an important part of a relationship, sex does not drive the relationship—passion does. Passion can be found in sex, but the type of passion that keeps the relationship exciting and squirming in your seat is not the sexual kind, but what leads up to the act of making love.

Here’s the best part: it doesn’t take any extra back flips or handstands to keep the passion in a relationship. All you need is a desire to sustain your passion. Even better? The following tips are easy, cost nothing and will elevate your current relationship to a place you had forgotten.

  1. Eye contact. I don’t mean across a table, although that is important—instead, I’m talking about more intimate eye contact. Here’s something you can try: at the end of the day, lay close to your partner and stare into his or her eyes. As you’re talking, you may forget what you wanted to say as your heartbeat speeds up and you’re consumed by a need to kiss your partner. This is intimacy at its finest.
  2. The power of touch. Whether it’s a touch on the cheek, the movement of hair behind your ear or even a brush across your hand, the power of touch is undeniable. Your body’s largest erogenous zone is your skin, so think of all the places you can touch your partner without being sexual. Touch lightly and gently and run your fingertips over exposed skin. Sparks will fly and passion will ignite.
  3. A kiss is not just a kiss. As we grow comfortable in our relationships, we forget about kissing. Occasional pecks replace the long, slow kissing we experienced when we were in the courtship period. A deep, slow kiss does more than just get the blood pumping in the right direction; it also evokes feelings that have laid dormant and reestablishes a strong connection that may have been lost.
  4. Date night. Date night is so important, especially when you have been with someone for years. You get mired down in work, kids, and life. You don’t get dressed in your cute duds or even bother with your hair and makeup. Date night gives you a reason to get your sex on. Dust off the pumps, drag out your hair dryer and makeup and get all dolled up for an evening with your special someone. During the date, be sure to make eye contact and throw in the power of touch over a glass of wine. Try to keep the conversation focused on you and your significant other, rather than the house, the kids, and the everyday drudgery. Date night is the fantasy night during which you can rekindle, reconnect and even get lucky.
  5. Spontaneity. Here’s the harsh truth—life gets boring and predictable. We tend to fall into habits that are hard to break and are even more difficult to escape. When you counter your typical routine with some spontaneity, you’ll ignite feelings you may have forgotten. Try a few simple things such as giving your partner a back rub while watching TV. Or forget the TV altogether and instead opt to talk, enjoy a glass of wine or listen to music. Don’t be afraid to throw some curveballs at your everyday life. The resulting fireworks may surprise you.

Ready to turn your sputtering spark of passion into a full-fledged fire? Try the tips above and be sure to tell me how they worked. Don’t worry—I’ll let you keep the scandalous details between you and your partner!