OK, so post holidays you're back in the same old work routine - but your home life doesn't have to feel like that as well. So if the prospect of cosy winter evenings in with your partner feels like it's going to be more boring than blissful, take action now. It's easy to put the spark back into your relationships - here's how.
Revive old dreams. Remember all the things you were going to do when you first got together - the houses you were going to restore, the business you wanted to set up together? The minutiae - and the expense - of everyday life might have taken over. But don't lose sight of what you wanted when you were first in love. A study of more than 300 couples from the University of Denver has found that taking time out together to have fun really does make your relationship work better. Start with small steps - just subscribing to a housebuilder's magazine, for example, will get you thinking about what it will take to build that dream house.
Make time to talk. According to a survey carried out by Cancer Research, one in eight people in a relationship spend less than ten per cent of their time together actually communicating - and six per cent said they didn't talk at all. And our busy lives mean that sometimes actual face-to-face communication is limited to the strictly practical - who's picking up the kids, whose turn it is to make dinner. So make sure that your thoughts, feelings and interests don't get lost in a sea of day-to-day practicalities. Try to have at least one night a week where you can sit down, have dinner and chat about other things. There's so much more to both of you - make sure you don't forget that.
Get physical. Think about how much time you actually spend in physical contact with your partner every day. A quick peck on the cheek before you both vanish off to work? A five-minute hug at bedtime? You don't have to spend hours locked in each other's embrace. Just make the most of the time you have. So kiss him on the mouth rather than on the cheek. Use the excuse of the cold winter evenings go to bed a bit earlier so you've got more time to cuddle. There's also a great scientific reason to touch - cuddling stimulates the production of oxytocin, the so-called 'cuddle hormone' which helps us feel calmer and more secure. In fact, studies have shown that just a few minutes of cuddling your partner can help to bring down your blood pressure.
And finally - just have a laugh. Laughing is free, it's limitless, it's fun and it does wonders for your relationship, say scientists. In fact, a study from the University of Appalachia found that just remembering fun times could help you stay together by keeping that sense of understanding alive. So get out the old photo albums and hoot over your old hairstyles. Remember those early holidays on a shoestring, and those times when you were so helpless with laughter you couldn't even stand up. Re-watch those films you both roared at. Be silly. Let the cares of life lift off your shoulders and you'll remember just why you fell in love in the first place.
Have fun together