Paper hearts, candy, and love poems are great and all, but how can we really connect with our SO (significant other)?

Spoiler alert: dark chocolate, while it’s an aphrodisiac and delicious, is NOT the secret to stronger, deeper connections with your partner. Read on for 4 tips that’ll help you on your journey toward deeper intimacy with the one you love.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

Once a week, take time to break down what’s going on in your lives and really listen. Don’t interrupt or try to solve everything immediately—just listen. It’s amazing how little we really completely listen to another human being, but your SO should always be at the top of that list. Setting aside connection time with your partner helps create an open environment where you can tell each other about anything—the true indicator of healthy, long-term relationships.

Laugh more

Couples who laugh together, stay together. Laughing releases the brain’s “feel-good” chemicals (endorphins!) that can boost your mood all day, plus funny memories can help carry you through the less-than-funny moments in your relationship, too. So don’t be afraid to get silly sometimes, just to make them laugh. Hit them with a tickle attack or do a goofy dance in the middle of the living room!

Keep sex alive

Stuck in a rut? Try something new! Talk about your fantasies and desires, then explore them—together. Whether it’s a simple change of scenery (hello, sex under the stars!), a warming lubricant perfect for foreplay, a new sex position, or a couples toy that makes sex feel unbelievable, there’s tons of ways to rekindle that spark!

Be spontaneous

Changing up your routine and surprising your partner with something different and exciting can be a real relationship game-changer. Treat them to a day trip to someplace both of you have never visited before. Organize a date night that teaches both of you a new skill. (Indian cooking? Ballroom dancing?) Turn your bedroom into a mecca for massage—complete with lit candles, massage oil, and heated massagers that relieve stress and tension. Regardless of the experience you choose, you’re bound to learn something new about your SO!