Ask any couple and they will tell you that a successful marriage takes a lot of work, especially after the kids arrive. It’s also normal for long-term relationships to change — including your feelings of desire for each other.

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One of the ways to keep intimacy alive (and your love happy and healthy) is being mindful of how you kiss your partner. When you’ve been together for so long, the kisses you share might have turned short and sweet — before going to work, while you’re in the middle of cooking, or when you’re about to go to sleep.

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But experts at The Gottman Institute suggest turning those quick kisses into a ‘six second kiss.’ “Lengthening kisses to six seconds could be a key to a better relationship,” writes Kari Rusnak, LPC, CMHC, BC-TMH, a certified Gottman Therapist and Board Certified Telemental Health Provider.

According to Dr. John Gottman, a renowned psychologist and founder of The Gottman Institute, six seconds is long enough to “make a moment of connection with your partner.” It allows your brain to pause and focus on your partner at that moment.

Rusnak adds, “There doesn’t have to be talking, listening, or problem-solving. It’s just the time to connect with your partner and feel close to them.” It also fulfills a lot of needs between partners — and in just a short time!

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The benefits of a six second kiss

Rusnik also lists down all the advantages of lengthening your kisses. It includes building connection, appreciation, and satisfying physical intimacy. When you kiss, it boosts fondness and admiration and adds to your emotional bank account.

It’s also a great stress buster. It can soothe you or your partner, and boost oxytocin or the “love” hormone. Kissing each other for six seconds can also lead to sex — and better sex can make a lot of difference in intimacy. (Read those benefits here.)

If you’re looking for positive ways for your relationship to grow, you can start by making the six second kiss a habit. It is “one of the least time-consuming ways to improve things with your partner,” says Rusnik, so just keep kissing!

Happy couples do these six things before sleeping to strengthen their relationship. Click here for the list.

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