Why Generosity Does Wonders For Your Relationships

Giving to your partner can have dramatic benefits for both your relationship and your overall well-being.

happy couple looking at each other smiling Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

As stressful as it is to wait in line at Macy's (AKA the zoo) during the holiday season, you really can't deny the joy you feel when you feel like you've bought the perfect gift for someone you love. It's a rush of endorphins so great that research even compares the feeling to a runner's high. Your brain's pleasure and reward center act as though you were the one receiving a gift.

And, if that wasn't enough to keep you giving all year long, an eye-opening infographic from Happify, an app that helps you lead a happier life through scientifically-designed activities and games, details the specific benefits of generosity in relationships.


RELATED: The Unexpected Way I Got My Husband To Contribute More

You'll quickly see how being generous is not just good for you — it's amazing for your relationships, too.

5 Ways Generosity Benefits You and Your Relationships

1. Generosity leads to greater happiness in marriages.

Giving gifts aren't just important when you're dating—they matter later on down the road, too. In fact, generosity just may be the secret to divorce-proofing your marriage.


The University of Virginia's National Marriage Project found generosity to be a key factor in healthy marriages, noting that in their sample of 2,870 men and women, those who scored highest on the generosity scale were "far more likely to report that they were 'very happy' in their marriages."

2. The right type of gift can strengthen your relationship.

You know how happy you feel when you receive a gift that shows your partner just "gets" you. Well, science is here to back us up on this one. Research from UCLA found that while about 78% of gifts exchanged in romantic relationships tend to be material in nature, "material gifts are less effective than experiential gifts at strengthening relationships between gift givers and their recipients."

3. Spending money on someone else makes people happier than spending money on themselves.

A study conducted by researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Harvard Business School found that when given a $5 or $20 dollar bill, people who spent the money on someone else felt happier than people who spent it on themselves.

4. Spending money on your kids makes them more likely to return the favor.

No, we're not suggesting you spoil your kids, but research shows that the more you spend on your kids, the more likely they are to support you as you age.


5. Generosity increases your life expectancy.

Want to stick around for a little longer? Keep on giving, says science. Research shows that those who provided to family, friends and spouses had a lower risk of dying over a five month period than those who didn't.

RELATED: Lasting Relationships Come Down To 2 Basic Traits, Says Study

Of course, being generous doesn't have to mean giving money or gifts. We asked ChatGPT to offer some examples of generosity in relationships, and none of them require any financial output.

Examples of Generosity in Relationships

1. Emotional support

One way to demonstrate generosity in a relationship is by providing emotional support to your partner when they need it. This could mean listening to their concerns, offering a shoulder to cry on, or just being there for them during tough times.


2. Acts of service

Performing small acts of service, such as cooking dinner, doing laundry, or helping with household chores, is another example of generosity. These actions can help alleviate your partner's stress and show that you care about their well-being.

3. Thoughtful surprises

Surprising your partner with thoughtful gestures or gifts can be a generous way to express your love and appreciation. These surprises can range from planning a special date night to leaving a heartfelt note or small gift that shows you were thinking of them.

4. Sharing your time

Generously giving your time and attention to your partner is another important aspect of generosity in relationships. This can include dedicating regular quality time to spend together, engaging in their hobbies or interests, or simply being present and focused when they are talking to you.


5. Forgiveness and understanding

Demonstrating a willingness to forgive and understand your partner when they make mistakes or have shortcomings is another way to show generosity in a relationship. This involves putting aside your own feelings of anger or disappointment and working together to move forward in a positive and loving way.

RELATED: 20 Little Things That'll Make Your Relationship Super Strong

Michelle Toglia is the Executive Editor at Elite Daily, overseeing the site's entertainment, news, style, dating, and experiences coverage.