Gratitude. The self-love buzz word that’s taken the world by storm. We’ve focused on implementing self-appreciation, intentional thinking, and gratitude into our personal lives… but have we really taken a moment to think about how gratitude can impact our love life and relationships?
During the ‘puppy love’ stage of relationships, every sweet detail or nice comment ignites a spark that makes you realize how awesome your partner really is and how much you really like them. As time goes on and we become more comfortable, these details seem to fade into the background. It’s not that we aren’t thankful for everything our partner’s do for us, it’s that you get used to them or almost expect them. That morning cup of coffee that somehow appears in the cup holder of your car. Dinner on the table at the end of the night. A kiss on the cheek in the morning before you leave for work. Whatever it might be. We grow to anticipate and expect these nice moments and habits. As you grow with your partner over months or years, day-to-day activities can loose excitement and become routine. Maybe we even start taking things for granted.
Incorporating gratitude into relationships is easier than you’d think. Yes, we agree that it’s easier to feel grateful at the beginning of a relationships when things are still new and unexplored. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible (or really even difficult) to work into your relationship starting today.
Say ‘thank you’ even when your partner does something you expect.
A simple ‘thank you’ is a great way to make your partner feel appreciated. Maybe you’re feeling a little under the weather and she went out of her way to drive to the grocery store to pick up cold medicine, your favorite soup, and a cup of tea to make you feel better. Or he knew you had a horrible day at work and wanted a night in just the two of you to relax so he called off his plans with the guys. Saying ‘thank you’ shows your partner that you realize they went out of their way to do something nice for you to make your day better. It’s the little things that count.
Reward their successes. Let them know you’re proud.
It’s easy to feel unappreciated, like you could be doing a better job at work, or that you aren’t meeting your expectations. When your partner accomplishes something (even a minor feat), let them know that you are proud of what they accomplished and that they should feel really good about how far they’ve come. Knowing your partner is proud of you and feeling good about what you’re working towards can mean all the difference in the world if you’re having a tough day.
Compliments mean more than you think.
As relationships progress, it’s normal for compliments to dwindle. It can feel overdone when you’re constantly giving your partner the same compliments about how they’re so attractive, smart, funny, etc. Pick and choose your compliments and say something nice when you really mean it.
When your girlfriend comes downstairs for date night and is wearing your favorite dress, let her know that she looks beautiful and that you really love that dress on her. When he thinks of something fun for the two of you to do that’s unexpected, let him know that you appreciate his creativity and that you’re grateful he planned a fun night for you two.
Acknowledging the things that you are grateful for or appreciate in your relationship can really make your partner’s day. As your relationship progresses, those overdone compliments about how attractive or nice your partner is are nice to hear every once and a while! Remind them that you still feel the same way that you used to.
Share your success with them — they helped you get there after all.
You accomplished something huge. You got a big raise. You finished a triathlon. You were offered an amazing opportunity. Whatever the situation, take a moment to step back from the ego boost and the self-pride you’re feeling and acknowledge your partner who stood by your side and helped you get there. You passed your LSATs — great. Who stayed up feeding you cold brews and reading you flash cards at 4am? You got a job you’ve been wanting for months — congratulations! Who listened to you stress over interviews, pick up breakfast sandwiches for you on your big day, and let you know that you needed to iron your suit jacket?
When you succeed, it’s important to thank about who was standing by your side helping you along the way. After all, your partner is supposed to bring out the best in you and be the person you can depend on when it matters most.
Go out of your way to do something nice.
Sometimes doing something nice means more than you think. Picking up flowers just because or ordering his favorite pizza instead of yours can put a smile on your partner’s face. The unexpected nice gestures can really make your person feel good about themselves. When they take a step back and realize that you went out of your way to think about them and what would make them happy, it means a lot.
Brag about them a little!
Everyone likes to feel good about themselves and what they are doing / accomplishing. We’re not saying to gush to every single person at your BBQ about how fantastic your partner is and how they’re the most amazing person on the face of the planet. Don’t be gross about it. It’s little things. At family dinner, share that he makes the most amazing eggplant parmesan. If he just finished a big exam, say something about how you’re so proud that he worked his butt off and aced his exam. Be humble while you’re expressing how proud you are.