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The 7 Steps to Happily Ever After

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Step 5: Find a balance between time for two and time for you.

Jonathan and I both work at home. This frequently leads to murderous impulses. Though I'm typing away in the bedroom and he's talking to his consulting clients in our small home office, most days it really feels like too much intimacy for me.

But that's my bias. When it comes to togetherness, every couple has its own unique sweet spot. "There are couples that are never apart and there are couples that see each other only on weekends," Greer says. With the right balance, neither partner feels slighted or smothered. You have enough non-shared experiences to fire you up and help you maintain a sense of yourself outside the relationship — not to mention give you something to talk about at the dinner table. But you also have enough time together to feel your connection as a strong tie rather than as a loose thread.

Your togetherness needs will also change over time, so you'll have to shift your balance accordingly. "My husband and I spend a lot of time together, but it's almost all family time," says Katie, 40, a mom of two in San Leandro, CA. "We realized a few months ago that we hadn't had a conversation that didn't involve the kids or our to-do lists in ages, so we committed to a weekly date. We were so happy just to go to the movies and hold hands, something we hadn't done in ages. It felt like we were dating again!"

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