This is the time of year to look back and review how things have gone for you this year. It’s easy to see the things that have not worked out the way you might have wanted to, but make sure to also review those things that you are also grateful for. By all means, don’t forget to look at the one that is closest to you. Think about all the things your partner brings to your life for which you are grateful, and be sure to express gratitude for your partner.
Showing appreciation for your partner is a powerful method of shoring up the bond between the two of you as a couple. Small gestures of you expressing gratitude for your partner can go a long way. You often feel gratitude, and you assume your partner “just knows” how grateful you are, but unexpressed gratitude is rarely, if ever, properly acknowledged by the person who means so much to you.
Certainly, there are particular times of the year which offer reminders and opportunities to show your partner how thankful you are for them walking along with you on your path of life. There is your anniversary (which some people insist on celebrating monthly), Valentine’s Day, his or her birthday, and of course, around the holiday season.
What about the rest of the year?
The most successful couples are celebrating each other, show appreciation for one another every day. This expression of gratitude for your partner pays off in increased bonding, emotional connection, and deepening of intimacy.
Seems like showing a little gratitude for your partner is not much to ask. If you’re shy, or find the idea of speaking out your gratefulness, there are other ways you can show your partner how thankful you are to have him or her in your life.
You could write a little note with a cute saying on it. Make it meaningful and about him or her, something you appreciate, specifically, and leave it somewhere they will find it.
Little touches, just a finger along the arm, gently brushing a leg, a little hug, or kiss on the forehead. Little connections, not associated with any sexual intention, say, “I appreciate you,” and lets the other person know you care.
Inquire about time spent apart. Like, “How was your day, today?” You might be surprised to find a lot more going on outside your view than you thought. And showing a little compassion by actively listening and caring about what has gone on in your absence helps your partner think that life is not going on without you when you’re away. After a while, he or she is looking forward to sharing details about your day, and throughout the day, they feel as though you are there, supporting them, and feel a sense of security in knowing that you will be interested in this, or that, and be somewhat excited to share when you ask.
Make special time to spend with your partner more often. Sure, date night is a great idea, but a little cuddling (without cell phones or other devices) at night in front of the glow of the television (the fireplace of the current day) can go a long way.
Take the time, and exert the effort to truly listen to what he or she has to say. Be quiet and look at him or her when he or she is talking. Listen intently, making eye contact, and repeat important ideas to him or her in your own words, in support and with the intention of understanding what it is he or she is trying to say.
Do something special, without having to be asked. If you are not the one who normally does the dishes, jump in and give ‘em a wash. Detail his or her car. Make dinner. Do a little something-something that is an unexpected gift from your heart to his or hers.
Add supportive power to your relationship when your partner is having a difficult time, hold his or her hand, look you partner in the eye and offer him or her your assurance, “I love you,” and remind him or her that, “It’s you and me against the world.” And, “I’m here for you, no matter what.” If you really want to ramp up your appreciation and love, dare to add, “You’re the most important person in my life, I am blessed to have you here. I would do anything for you.” (Of course, use your own words, if this doesn’t sound like what you might say.)
Express gratitude for your partner in private, but also be bold enough to show great appreciation for your partner in public, in front of family, friends, and co-workers. This will cement the bond between the two of you, and increase intimacy (you’ll see that later, in private).