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Long, warm days that stretch into nighttime. Ripe tomatoes heavy on the vine. The promise of vacation jusssst around the corner. Smile, friends: Summer is finally upon us. Here are four ways to ring in the season—while fortifying your love life in the process. 

RELATED: 3 Relationship Ruts Every Couple Faces—and How to Bounce Back  

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SPEND A DAY ON THE WATER

You know that lightness-of-being feeling that happens when you stare off into the sea? It’s not poetic mumbledy-gumble, guys—it’s science. And water’s innately calming effect has the ability to uplift your partnerships as well. In Blue Mind, marine biologist Wallace Nichols states, “When you experience that feeling of awe, you get that ‘one with the universe’ feeling. You feel connected to yourself, the world around you and whomever you happen to be with. That puts you in a ‘we’ state of mind.” In other words, an early-season day on the lake or picnic at the beach together can both relax and unite you. 

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COOK IN

It doesn’t take a scientist to know that eating in is healthier (and more intimate) than dining out. But it’s also, apparently, a major aphrodisiac. According to findings from a HelloFresh study, being a good cook is the number one turn-on in a mate (tied only with having a nice body). With the abundance of summer produce and the start of grilling season, there’s no better time of year to become a pair of sexy chefs. Spend a Saturday morning scooping up goodies at the farmers market and a long evening drinking wine and whipping up something special together. 

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Speak in statements (not questions)

If your spring was dominated by unnecessary spats, consider using a new communicative tactic when you're feeling pissed at your S.O. In Psychology Todaytherapist Robert Taibbi suggests using statements rather than questions to get your point across: “Questions easily trigger childhood stuff,” he says. "...They quickly evoke criticism and tension—that something is wrong, that you did something wrong, that you are not being honest." Rephrasing a question (e.g.:"Why are you late?") into a statement (e.g.: "I was worried about you") soothes, calms and unifies. 

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TAKE A SOCIAL MEDIA HIATUS

We all know that our addiction to social media takes up, like, way too much of our time. But according to a Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin study, TMI’ing about your love life on social media (hi, kissy face selfies at dinner) can actually create imbalance and amplify insecurities within a partnership. Challenge yourselves to go a date/a day/a month without proclaiming your love to your hundreds of “friends." Feel that shift? It’s called being present. And your relationship will be the better for it. 

RELATED: The Easy Trick to Calm Everyone Down During An Argument 

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