Few feelings in the world can top the sheer exhilaration of finding your other half or soul mate. But unlike the blissful Hollywood portrayals, romance isn't always all it's cracked up to be. In real life, love can be challenging and difficult. Has your relationship taken a few wrong turns? These six couple-saving strategies can help you get your love life back on track.

1. Manage conflict.

In a 20-year study conducted by the Gottman Institute in Seattle, researchers found that the most important factor separating success from failure in marriage was the couple's ability to resolve conflicts. In a good relationship, both partners can communicate openly, expressing their feelings, differences, and anger. The key, experts note, is not letting these conflicts turn into attacks.

2. Bring back intimacy.

Numerous studies confirm that successful couples have a healthy sex life. To strengthen the bond with your partner, protect your sexual relationship from the intrusions of the workplace and family obligations. In addition, while sex is important, keep in mind that it's not the only form of intimacy that matters. Simply stroking your partner's arm while watching TV or holding hands can strengthen that bond, too.

3. Make an effort.

According to a 2007 World Values Survey by the Pew Research Center, sharing household chores ranked number three, behind faithfulness and a happy sexual relationship, on a list of what makes marriages successful. Couples should strive to achieve an equitable division of labor, and in some cases, a schedule may help you stay on track. What's more, simply saying thank you when your partner chips in can go a long way toward making them feel appreciated and valued.

4. Be realistic.

Couples are more likely to experience marital satisfaction if they have realistic expectations of their relationship, according to researchers at The Ohio State University. Although ideally every couple would also have good relationship skills, the researchers found that participants who had high expectations for happiness at the beginning of their marriage but poor relationship skills showed dramatic declines in marital satisfaction over the first four years, while those with low expectations and low skills didn't show equivalent declines in satisfaction.

5. Beat boredom.

For many couples, domestic life can become pretty routine. You wake up, go to work, come home, and go to bed. And where's the fun in that? According to the American Psychological Association (APA), couples can combat malaise by focusing on humor and laughter, which also helps to keep things in perspective. In addition, the APA notes that while the honeymoon can't last forever, it's important to maintain some degree of that early romantic, idealized portrait of love that you felt at the beginning of the relationship.

6. Keep a healthy distance.

Believe it or not, many experts believe that you shouldn't be best friends with your partner. Although it seems good in theory, you could wind up with a roommate rather than a romantic partner. Remember, you don't have to do everything or talk about everything together. Instead, make time for your friends and family, and encourage your partner to do the same.