Flirting shouldn't be retired once you've got the ring. We asked relationship expert Harlan Cohen, as well as real husbands, the best way to keep the sparks flying. By Anna Davies, REDBOOK.
1. Create a little mystery
"My girlfriend insists that the bedroom door stays closed while she gets ready for date night. Whenever she comes out ready to go, she always looks amazing. It takes me back to when we first started dating, when I'd always get so excited seeing her smiling at me as she came into the bar or restaurant." - Avery G., 28, New York City
2. Expect some laughter
A guy might giggle when you pull out a move because it's a break from the ordinary - not because he's uncomfortable or weirded out. The best thing you can do, says Cohen, is to laugh along with him. Part of the fun of flirting when you're in an established relationship is that it doesn't have to be perfect.
3. Show some Facebook love
"I'd never admit it to my friends, but I love when my wife posts a sort of sappy Some E-Card on my Facebook wall. I love that she isn't afraid to share her feelings, and I also like that it never gets too personal. If she used pet names or dropped a lot of details, that would be overkill." - Chuck R., 40, Secaucus, NJ
Related: The 50 Best Dates in the 50 States
4. Do what you do best
In the early stages of dating, it's easy to adapt your flirting style to what you think your guy expects. Now that you're together, you know one thing that impresses him about you is your individuality - so show it off, recommends Cohen. Whether that means giving him a nickname or surprising him with a handwritten haiku left on the counter for him to see when he comes home, showcasing your quirky personality is just one more way to remind him how much he loves you.
5. Give him (a little bit) of grief
"I'm extremely neat, and sometimes my wife will Instagram a picture of me folding towels or doing the dishes while wearing an apron and gloves. Because it's done with love, it makes me laugh, and I like that, in a weird way, she wants to show me off to her friends." - Patrick O., 38, Maplewood, NJ
6. See him in his element
"I teach fitness classes, and I get a huge kick when my wife comes to one. She'll stand in the front row, make great eye contact, and follow my directions - it feels like she listens and values what I do, which makes me feel awesome. Plus, not everyone in class knows we're together, so it definitely stokes my ego when she acts like she's into me after class." - Dave W., 35, Boise, ID
Related: Your One-Month Plan to a Closer, More Loving Relationship
7. Keep s-e-x on his brain
Swag boxes of product samples are all the rage these days, so it's no surprise that some cater to interests that are a little bit more intimate then, say, beauty products. Bedroomchemist.com is one example - for $50 a month, a kit of everything from massage oils to vibrators is discreetly delivered to your door. "Anticipation is a big part of arousal and desire, and getting the goods can be good motivation to get a hot night of passion on the calendar," says Cohen.
8. Keep him guessing
"Occasionally I'll get a text that says, 'I have a surprise for you tonight.' Sometimes, it's as simple as her picking up a pint of our favorite ice cream, but once, it was that she booked us a hotel room in a nearby city for the night. No matter what, it's always good - and I can barely concentrate for the rest of the day after seeing it." - Derek R, 31, Savannah, GA
9. Add some skin-on-skin contact
Moves like a long, lingering kiss hello and goodbye, brushing his arm across the table, or squeezing next to him on the couch instead of automatically curling up in your usual spot go a long way towards revving up chemistry. Why? The chemicals produced during touching can stimulate the desire response, says Cohen.
Related: 25 Totally Free Date Ideas
10. Keep up the fight
"I love the way my wife's mind works, especially when she disagrees with me. Sometimes, what starts as a joke becomes a months-long argument. We saw The Hunger Games, which I didn't like, and now, whenever there's a positive review or mention of it, she sends the link to prove her point. It's a cool reminder that even the stuff that we don't have in common connects us." - Matt H., 33, Highlands Ranch, CO
11. Tell him what you want
Done the right way, being a little bit bossy can be a turn on. We're not talking about going all 50 Shades of Grey, but most guys can get a little too relaxed in the romance department. "Tell him how often you remember a sexy date night from the past, or how sexy it would be for both of you to play hooky from work and spend the entire day in bed," suggests Cohen. Subtly letting him know how psyched you are to spend time with him will bring both of you back to a dating mindset.
12. Play some mind games
"Sometimes, my wife will text me an acronym with the idea that I'm supposed to figure out what it means. Like, one time she texted ILYLABH. It meant 'I love you like a baby hippo,' but of course I didn't figure it out. It always makes me smile and keeps my mind on her during the day." - Geoff D., 42, Keller, TX
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- 50 Simple Little Ways to Feel Sexy
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- 50 Best Date-Night Ideas Of All Time
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