2 Things You Can Control (That Might Save Your Relationship)

If you're happy and you know it ... say thank you.

man and woman kissing Dobrunov Nichita Alex / Shutterstock

Today I want to cover two things that are absolutely essential to a great relationship: happiness and appreciation.

Both of these foundational ingredients of a healthy romantic partnership are within your control.

Sound too simple? Maybe, but stick with me.

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Why happiness is within your control

Your happiness is super important (but not in the way you might think). It’s common to assume that a relationship in and of itself should make you happy.


Unfortunately, this belief causes people to look to the other person in the relationship and expect them to provide much more than they're capable of.

The truth is, happiness is a choice, not something your partner gives you.

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How to forge your own happy life

Doing things that make you a more well-rounded, fulfilled person is the more direct route to a deeper relationship.

When you follow your own passions, it's magnetic to the other person and it makes you more interesting. You feel more fulfilled and happy, and then bring that home with you — and in turn, you look to your partner for less fulfillment and have more to give them.


So how do you do this? You know that thing you’ve always wanted to try? Simply ... do it.

Pursue goals with and without your partner.

Work on the parts of your life that are dragging you down. Make sure that you’re making an effort to grow and work on your OWN happiness. Drop the expectation that someone else will do it for you.

A good relationship should add to your life — not be your life.

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The power of appreciation

Lastly, don't forget to appreciate everything your partner does for you. 


Ever felt taken for granted? Chances are that the other person failed to show appreciation.

Over and over again, people in rocky relationships report that they are dying for the other person to recognize their contributions.

Whatever you do, show gratitude. The things you don’t appreciate will decay.

That means that if you want more romance, consideration, or appreciation, the best way to get more is to show how thankful you are for what you have NOW. On the other side, if you stop being grateful, eventually you’ll stop getting those things.

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Your return on an investment of gratitude

Some people may think, “But they don’t appreciate me. Why do I have to thank them for every little thing and not have them notice?” 


Remember: You get what you give, and you can only control yourself.

If you are withholding your appreciation because the other person isn’t showing you what you want, neither of you gets your needs met.

If you make sure the other person feels wonderful around you, they will either start reciprocating or not, but withholding gratitude isn’t the answer.


So for the next 24 hours, thank your partner with a big smile for every single thing they do for you.

Chances are, you'll both be at least a little happier with each other than you are today.

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Elizabeth Stone is an author, dating coach, and personal development coach who helps women restore themselves in order to improve their relationships.