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Love Lessons Ripped from the Headlines


Although dinner and a movie with a couple experiencing marital difficulties doesn't necessarily mean you'll end up in a real-life version of Wife Swap, remember that conduct -- both good and bad -- can be contagious.

"Couples should spend quality time with people who are living healthy emotional lives so they can bounce role modeling off of each other," says Carle. That doesn't mean hanging out only with people who think and act exactly like you do -- how boring would that be? But while the Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock of your social circle might be great to party with on margarita night, you'd be wise to also find a Paul Newman/Joanne Woodward pair to model your romantic life after.

#4: Don't Jump into Marriage Too Fast
Whether we're talking about Vegas mistakes (à la Britney Spears or Nicky Hilton) or ephemeral unions we're still trying to make sense of (Renée Zellweger and Kenny Chesney, anyone?), celebrities seem more eager than the rest of us to rush down the aisle.

On the other hand, drive-through wedding chapels wouldn't exist if plenty of regular folks weren't also running to the altar on the double.

And while some insta-marriages do work out (like Téa Leoni and David Duchovny, who wed after just four months of dating, and are still going strong nearly 10 years later), they can also fall apart as quickly -- and dramatically -- as they came together.

"In the early phase of a romance, the dopamine activity in the brain goes up, making you feel high," says REDBOOK Love Network expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of He Comes Next. "But relationships are eventually about how you are at your calmest."

Translation: Wait until the first flush wears off a little before tying the knot. In fact, studies have shown that the closer a couple's courtship is to average length (two years, four months), the more likely they are to last.

#5: Keep the Passion Alive
Sometimes, celebs' taste for the grand gesture can actually help their love -- like the way Lisa Rinna treats husband Harry Hamlin to the moves she picked up at striptease lessons.

Most of us aren't as naturally dramatic or exhibitionist as your average Hollywood star, but we can all find creative ways to surprise and tantalize our partner.

"Just like you have to maintain your car, you have to maintain your passion," says Carle. "It's even more important the longer you're together. The deeper your friendship, the more meaningful it becomes to explore that sexually."

It's also not a bad idea to acknowledge that your partner will be attracted to other women occasionally.

You don't have to give each other cakes decorated with your crushes, as Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith reportedly do (the Rock and Oscar De La Hoya for her, J.Lo and Salma Hayek for him), but accepting each other's little fantasies doesn't have to be scary or threatening -- in fact, it might just help keep you both in a sexy frame of mind, which is nothing but good for your twosome.

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