What does it take to have a strong, happy relationship that lasts decades? Researchers surveyed one thousand couples who had been together at least 10 years to find out. So here’s what it takes to make love last:

  • And guys, you may hate the sound of this first one – cuddle time. You know when you were first together, you could hold each other, for what seemed like forever, talking about serious stuff and nonsense? Well, by the 10 year mark, only a third of couples still have cuddle talking sessions. But, Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets Of Happily Married Women, says couples need to keep cuddling. Holding each other produces the bonding hormone, oxytocin, which reduces stress. So try cuddling and asking each other questions before drifting off at night – like “If we won the lottery tomorrow – what’s the one splurge you’d like to make?”

  • Another thing couples need to make love last: Separate bank accounts. By the 10th year of marriage, 64 percent of couples only have one joint account. But according to the Motley Fool’s Guide to Couples & Cash, even if your relationship is strong, everyone should have their own account. Yes, you need to have a joint account for family finances – like the bills – that you each contribute to. But you should also have his and hers accounts to maintain your separate credit histories and for personal purchases.  

  • And one last must-have for a strong, lasting relationship? Alone time. During the first year of a relationship – only 10 percent of couples say alone time is very important. By year 10, most couples insist on it. and that’s a good thing. Spending time doing things individually isn’t a sign that you’re growing apart. According to psychology professor Laurie Mintz, it’s about reconnecting with your passions – the things that make you an interesting and complete individual. And you owe it to each other to stay interesting.