When I was thinking of writing my next blog with the holiday season in mind, I thought of what could be an easy way for couples to start giving and connecting with each other. First thing that came to mind was the power and benefit of gratitude in romantic relationships. It seems simple enough to be thankful towards your partner but even though I am a pretty grateful person sometimes I feel misunderstood, burdened or sometimes I don’t even notice the thing the person did for me because I am really use to having them do it for me but every once in a while I feel grateful. For example, last week when my husband went for a walk with me at 9 o’clock at night just to keep me company. Aside from the personal benefit I got from the walk, it was a really important type of moment for me this gratitude it showed me that he understood me and that he cared. He could tell it was an end of a long day, and I was wavering and was thinking of sacrificing my walk to be with him because I really wanted to hang out with him too. So he looked at me and said “I am coming with you get ready. “ So moments like these between people remind us of how great specific people are for us.
What we know about emotions is that when we have an experience of gratitude it does more than just remind us about our partner’s great qualities, but it allows us to have emotional responses to situations with gestures that bind us more closely. So for example in the situation with my husband, my expression of gratitude made him feel more valued and that makes him feel more connected and interested in being in the relationship and sets up a great base for moving forward.
Many clients who have good relationships at times questions the need to show gratitude feeling that he/she already knows how I feel. A great deal of research points to the fact that even in the best of relationships, over time, satisfaction declines. Just like when you buy a new car, after a while the new car smell fades and the car becomes just another way to get you from point A to point B. You may even start looking around at other cars and think of getting a newer model. Cars can’t get their new smell back but humans can do new things to remind each other of things that they loved when they first met.
Everyday gratitude can work as a “Booster Shot” for your relationship. Here are some simple ways to increase the gratitude quotient in your romantic relationship:
1. Notice your partners actions- capitalize on gratitude’s nature by noticing the small things your partner does daily. Don’t allow stress to become a barrier to having gratitude in your life.
2. Don’t forget to show it-Missed connections don’t count. You can create more commitment in your relationship by letting your partner know you appreciate them. Don’t assume that your partner knows how
3. Be genuine- in the rush to practice gratitude you may say things that are not genuine. So if your partner messed up dinner you don’t need to say what a great meal, but the gratitude can be expressed
for the time and effort put in to the process.
So the leading indicators for partner satisfaction in a relationship is feeling understood, valued and cared for, gratitude accomplishes all these goals. So remember when you feel it don’t forget to show it and say it like you mean it.
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