Working with your spouse comes with some real perks: You have a shared mission and passion.

You get to see one another all the time. You can function as true partners and see one another thrive in the workplace.

But all of this can also make one key component of your marriage fizzle: the romance.

According to internationally renowned therapist Esther Perel, romance is helped by mystery and some measure of distance and unavailability—which can sometimes be hard to find in long-term, committed relationships. In her bestseller Mating in Captivity, Perel writes, “Love enjoys knowing everything about you; desire needs mystery. Love likes to thrive the distance that exists between me and you, while desire is energized by it… It thrives on the mysterious, the novel, and the unexpected.”

When you see your spouse every moment of every day, there aren’t going to be too many mysteries left unsolved. And, practically speaking, when you spend most of your waking hours operating as colleagues, being able to act like lovers doesn’t necessarily come naturally.

One marriage-family therapist I spoke with sees this all the time. “Everything they’re doing in the relationship with one another is for the business. The marriage has been put on the back burner,” explained Chris Bruno, a therapist, and an entrepreneur himself, who is based in Colorado. “When they finally realize they don’t want to just be business partners, there’s no love left.”

The challenge for significant others who work together is to find some way of drawing a clear and consistent line between your identities as colleagues and your identities as spouses. You need to intentionally create spaces and opportunities where your interactions are defined only by your desire to be with one another, not by the demands of the business.

Here are some strategies that you and your spouse can try, which have worked for other entrepreneurial couples:

  1. Use your wardrobe as a visual marker of the role you’re in.
    When you’re dressed in your work clothes, anything to do with the business is fair game. When the two of you change into your pajamas, all conversations and interactions must be personal and not work-related.
  2. Designate specific physical spaces for work, and other spaces as work-free.
    Try to keep work concerns confined to specific places. When you leave the office, your workday has ended and family time begins. If you have a home office, it can help to physically close the door to the office at the end of the day as a form of closure. If you absolutely must discuss work at home, try to keep it outside the bedroom, which should be reserved for more intimate forms of connection.
  3. Set aside time for regular dates, and use that time to build intimacy.
    One-on-one time is critical for any relationship, but not all dates are created equal. Make agreements with one another about shoptalk, answering phone calls, and checking messages while on a date. Intentionally find activities that will promote deeper interactions. One of my favorites is “The 36 Questions that Lead to Love,” which facilitates meaningful conversations, even between long-term partners.

Establishing clear boundaries between your work and home life is only the first step, though. You may find yourself running into another challenge: you’re just not feeling that affectionate toward your spouse. Perhaps the two of you had some business-related conflict or tension. Perhaps your mind is stuck on a thorny work issue. Perhaps you just feel too out of practice to know what to do.

The good news is that, when it comes to romance, even the smallest actions can help. Grand gestures of romance are lovely, but in the long run your relationship is going to be fueled by daily acts of affection. And these daily acts of affection can build the love and desire you feel for one another.

Whenever you have a chance, take your spouse’s hand or give his shoulder a squeeze or buy her a cup of her favorite coffee. Marriage expert John Gottman recommends a six-second kiss each day. It’s a long enough kiss, he claims, to have real potential.

Each of these gestures adds a little bit to your partner’s love bank, facilitating greater connection and affection. More likely than not, your spouse will respond with similar acts that fill your love bank.

It then becomes a wonderful self-perpetuating cycle: the more you go out of your way to let your partner know how much he means to you, the more he will reciprocate. The more he reciprocates, the more you will want to show your affection. Similarly, according to relationship expert Michele Weiner Davis, putting your partner’s needs first in the bedroom will also have a reciprocal effect. “Love is contagious,” she writes in The Sex-Starved Marriage.

In addition to being contagious, romance is a choice. If you choose to create space and time to focus on each other, and you intentionally try to show your spouse affection, your love for one another will blossom. And those embers of love, which may have been cooled by all the business meetings and tough decisions you’ve had to make together, will be flamed into a bright, hot fire once again.