Maintaining a healthy relationship isn’t easy. From our middle school flings to our adulthood romances, when it comes to the matters of the heart, the road isn’t easy. Do you ever wonder how relationship experts handle their own relationships? Soak up wisdom from the experts with these exciting ways they keep the fire kindled in their own relationships.

Stop the soul mate talk.

Kate Figes: Author of the book, Couples: How We Make Love Last and Our Cheating Hearts: Love and Loyalty, Lust and Lies

Her number one advice is to get out of the idea of a soul mate. Accept that the two of you are not one in the same, nor are you supposed to be. The best relationships are the ones where both partners embrace each other’s differences. When you stop trying to force the other person to be like you or think like you, you can appreciate their point of view on the world.

Sex goes through stages.

Another great lesson learned that Kate shares is that sex will go through stages. In the beginning, sex is passionate with a sense of urgency. When you become parents, it’s all about the quickies. Then as your relationship grows older, sex is about deep intimacy and truly enjoying each other. Don’t think that sex is all about passion and urgency. Appreciate the stage you’re at.

Relationships aren’t work. They’re play.

David Waters: Couples counselor

His advice is to change the metaphors you’re using in your relationship. Instead of saying you’re “working” learn to say you’re “playing” when it comes to your relationship. Work feels like, well… work and conjures up ideas of struggle. Play, on the other hand, creates a lighter, more effortless approach to your relationship. The two of you can come to decisions in a humorous and light-hearted manner instead of coming at it through difficulty.

Take a seasonal outlook.

Another piece of advice that David shares is to look at your relationship in seasons and not as a beginning, middle and end. When you see your relationship in summer, winter, fall and spring cycles, you’ll know that changes are normal. This goes hand-in-hand with the advice Kate Figes gave above about sex.

Give rewards.

Dr. Jeremy Nicholson: Dating expert

If your partner is doing something you appreciate, why not reward them? In relationships, sometimes we get caught up in so many expectations that we don’t even thank the other person for what pleases us. However, when they do something we don’t like, we’re quick to voice it. If you want to see more of something, reward your partner so they feel appreciated. This creates mutual satisfaction.

If you’re trying to improve your relationship, or be better prepared for the next one, take the advice from these experts or explore how Incredible Love Coaching can make a difference for you.