We all want successful, loving relationships, but with such busy lives, how can we actually maintain them? One word: appreciation. It sounds simple, but it's powerful and super-charged. The dual aspects of gratitude and recognition, both embedded in the loving art of appreciation, are like sunshine and water to a plant.
As modern couples in love, we are at extreme risk for taking each other for granted as we juffle careers, family, home management, extended families, aging parents and health concerns: It's no wonder that our most intimate relationship gets lost in the day-to-day hustle and bustle!
Fortunately, showing a little appreciation for your partner requires very little extra effort. Appreciation is a magic tool: by intentionally showing it for your partner, you increase your own satisfaction with the relationship. Simultaneously, your mate will feel happier and more emotionally supported. And when your mate feels heard, loved and supported, he or she may just start to intentionally appreciate you as well!
Try these six easy ways to integrate appreciation into your daily life:
1. Compliment them
Before you get busy with your day, give a compliment. When you see your dear one in the morning, verbally appreciate some aspect of their appearance. Tell them how pretty, handsome, graceful or strong they look. Compliment their outfit. Remember that they want to be attractive to you, so let them know that they are! You may believe that your partner already knows you think they're great, but think about how good it feels to be told you're desirable. Make your partner feel that good with your appreciation.
2. Text them
During lunch, text a "thinking of you" message to your partner. Send an "ILY" or "XOXO" text as a quick, intimate way to convey to your beloved that they matter to you. They want to know that you think of them during the day, no matter how busy, stressed or overwhelmed you are.
3. Notice them
Thank your mate for their contribution to the household. Notice what he or she does to contribute to your life together. Do they work to provide income? Do they run errands and make dinner? Do they mow the lawn or do the laundry? Take an inventory of the big picture: acknowledge the things they actually do to improve your lives. This gratitude practice will brighten your day — and your relationship.
4. Say so
When you come home at night, tell your partner you're glad that you're in a committed partnership with them. Say to your dear one that you're happy to have them in your life. Let them know that you still choose them over all the other people you could choose. Tell them that they are special to you. It might seems silly to express those words out of the blue, but they will surely be appreciated.
5. Thank them
In the quiet of the evening, thank your mate for a specific, small task they did during the day. Perhaps it was that text during lunch, or maybe even just a listening ear or smile when you came into the room. Maybe it was a phone call to say he/she was running late for dinner. We often forget to say "thank you" for the little things.
6. See them
Before you fall asleep, tell your mate you're glad they're alive. This may sound dramatic, but it is so important. I've been working with grievers for more than 20 years and I can tell you that widows and widowers want one thing desperately: they want more time with their partner. One more day or one more hug would mean the world to them. See with the eyes of a griever and wake up to the fact that every moment is precious. Savor each moment and be grateful.
Let these six tips become daily habits and your mate will start to thrive like a flower in a well-watered garden. We all benefit from being grateful and we all want to feel appreciated. So shower your loved one with the gift of appreciation and watch your intimacy bloom.
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