8 Science-Backed Ways to Fall and Stay in Love

Though they say diamonds are a girl’s best friend and the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, there’s more to making a relationship work than jewelry and food. The topic of love—and what makes it successful—is so popular that hundreds of studies have been performed, from what makes a relationship work to what makes a woman sexier to what makes a long-lasting couple. In honor of Valentine’s Day, Business Insider rounded up 15 of these science-backed ways to fall and stay in love. To ensure that we all find and maintain our love lives, I’ve highlighted eight items from the site’s list below. For all of the tips, visit Business Insider.

  1. Listen up. According to a 2010 study performed by the Univeristy of Michigan, communication and being able to truly listen to your partner are crucial to a relationship. Those who are able to calmly discuss and listen to issues with their partner are less likely to separate than couples who do not practice active listening.
  2. Make eye contact. Staring into each other’s eyes increases feelings of intimacy. The more eye contact a couple makes, the stronger the relationship will be.
  3. Give thanks. People who are grateful for a kind act performed by their partner feel closer to her or him. The feelings of gratefulness are more significant than the act itself.
  4. Smile. If you’re in the early stages of your relationship, smiling will make you appear more attractive to the person you’re wooing. A 2014 study found that “the attractiveness of a person increased depending on how intense of a smile they had.”
  5. Embarrass yourself. Your date will feel closer to you more quickly if you reveal classified information about yourself rather than hiding it.
  6. Create your own secret language. Having an inside joke or secret names for each other will deepen your romantic bond and build a shared identity, which allows both members of the relationship to feel like they belong.
  7. Use touch to your advantage. Cuddling, hugging, holding hands, even squeezing a knee will make you and your partner feel closer to each other.
  8. On a first date, be positive. Nobody wants to be with a Debbie Downer. People are attracted to positivity, so try not to touch on negative subjects when meeting a potential prospect for the first time.

Show your significant other your love with a decadent box of gourmet chocolates.

What’s your secret to finding and keeping love?