If you’ve been in a marriage or relationship for a long time, do you remember those early days of flirtation where the slightest touch could make you swoon and send emotions flying high? Back in those days, the simple act of cuddling may have been a big deal.

These days, how high is cuddling on your priority list? If you and your partner are still big fans of spooning, then there’s good news! Science says that you have you a proven advantage over other couples.

It’s normal for sexual activity to decrease in relationships as time goes on. But studies show that it’s equally as important to still initiate contact. Even if your partner isn’t in the mood, it’s still important to try:

After all, it’s not just about sex — it’s about what the spooning and kissing our partners signifies.

“Initiation communicates a desire to be close, have sex, create interest in the relationship,” explains [Chelom] Leavitt, [Journal of Social and Personal Relationships], to Mic. “So even when couples don’t have sex, they are strengthening the relationship by communicating desires to be close and committed to the relationship.”

And apart from the benefits your relationship experiences from cuddling, there are also, believe it or not, health benefits to getting close:

Cuddling not only tells your partner you desire them; touch itself has encouraging health benefits. All kinds of physical contact, including hugs, have been shown to reduce stress, curb anxiety/depression and strengthen the immune system. 

Read more about this phenomenon over at Mic.