Taking each other for granted is like the kiss of death for any relationship.
The problem is that couples often don’t realize this is happening.
Over time, “normality” sets in and all those thoughtful gestures go out the window.
It’s not that we aren’t grateful for our significant other, but all too often we forget to show it.
To keep your relationship strong and on track, let’s look at nine simple ways to make your partner feel appreciated every day.
1) Share how you feel
They say actions speak louder than words, but not always.
Especially when it comes to expressing gratitude, words can be incredibly powerful.
All those thank yous add up.
If they are sincere, they can reinforce the fact that you see your partner fully. All the things they do for you do not go unnoticed.
Don’t let the little things slide.
Every cup of coffee they make for you, every errand they run, every seemingly small act of kindness – acknowledge it.
Not only does this make your partner feel more appreciated, but it encourages you both to keep doing those little acts of love because you know they are appreciated.
Other sincere ways to tell them might include:
- Write them a letter
- Leaving little love notes around the house
- At the end of the day, when you go to bed, share with each other what you are grateful for today
Gratitude It has been shown to strengthen relationships, improve your connection and even your sex life. So the more ways you find to integrate it into your life, the better.
2) Give compliments
At my house, my partner cooks most of the time. It has become part of our normal routine.
When something becomes routine, there is always the danger that we no longer appreciate it.
But every time we sit down to eat, I still do my best to compliment him and say how grateful I am that he prepared this delicious food for us.
During those early dating days, we give free compliments. It is a natural part of the courtship process.
Once we win over our partner, those flattering comments can quickly dry up. If they do, your significant other may start to feel unnoticed and neglected.
Compliments are not only a great way to make your partner feel appreciated, but they can also keep the spark alive.
You can praise their looks, their intelligence, or certain talents you admire. It’s about letting them know that you see their strengths and unique qualities that make them special.
This shows that you still admire and appreciate them no matter how long you’ve been together.
3) Make time every day to listen to them
I mean really listen.
Don’t just throw out a “How was your day?” towards them as they walk through the door, with very little genuine interest in hearing the answer.
Consciously sit together and give them your full attention.
Don’t keep scrolling on your phone, folding laundry, or watching TV.
Research has noted that although most of us like to think of ourselves as good listeners, in reality we only manage to absorb about half of what someone says.
So there is clearly room for improvement. Active listening can help us bridge that gap.
It means taking our listening to another level so that we are fully involved in the process.
It’s about showing that we’re really listening, sending the right signals to prove it, being aware of potential distractions, and asking lots of thoughtful questions.
By making space to listen, you let your partner know that you are genuinely interested in his or her thoughts and feelings.
4) Show affection
I recently read an article about an older couple whose relationship had stood the test of time for decades.
The woman said that every time her husband met her in the house, he would reach out and gently touch her in some way.
Depending on your personality type, you may find this very romantic or extremely annoying.
But the point is that affection is a great way to show us care.
Science shows that regular touch is important for humans. From the day we are born to the day we die, we need physical contact.
It is important in building relationships because it stimulates oxytocin, the so-called cuddle hormone.
Giving hugs, holding hands, cuddling and kissing can make your partner feel appreciated.
5) Lighten their burden
After being together for several years, I can honestly say that I find it more moving when my partner clears out the fridge than when he suggests going out to dinner by candlelight.
I know, that makes me sound very unromantic. But I think it’s also a common reality of long-term relationships.
Everyday life can bring a lot of stress and practical obligations that need to be met.
Unloading the dishwasher, picking up the dry cleaning, taking the kids to soccer practice: life tasks are inevitably a big part of any relationship.
That’s why stepping up and sharing those responsibilities proves that you don’t take the other person for granted.
You don’t expect them to pick up the slack for you. Instead, you do everything you can to lighten their burden.
This means performing household chores or tasks without being asked and being an equal partner in managing day-to-day responsibilities.
By doing this, you show that you value their time and effort as much as your own.
6) Encourage their interests, goals and dreams
The key word I most associate with a relationship is teamwork.
If we are a couple, we shouldn’t go it alone in life. Our partner stands behind us.
A big part of that role is encouragement.
When your significant other cheers you on, they show you that they are on your side and sympathize with you all the way.
A friend of mine always dreamed of becoming an illustrator. For years, her partner told her she was unrealistic and that it was safer to stick with her day job.
I know he was trying to be practical rather than unkind, but over time it made her feel like he didn’t believe in her.
And ultimately, not believing in her made her feel unappreciated for all she had to offer.
It may come as no surprise that the relationship did not last.
So we should not suffer the same fate; we must encourage our partners to pursue their interests and ambitions.
We must also provide them with help in whatever way we can. We should celebrate their achievements and milestones. We should take an interest in their hobbies and passions.
7) Check in with how they feel
If you want your partner to feel valued, make sure he or she feels supported too.
That means you’re their shoulder to cry on when they’ve had a long, hard day.
It means showing genuine interest in what’s going on with them, not just practically, but emotionally as well.
Not everyone expresses their feelings. It can be tempting to bottle things up.
While I’m happy to volunteer what I feel, my partner can be a bit more of a closed book unless I actively encourage him.
Let your partner know he or she can lean on you.
Ask regularly how they have been feeling lately. Encourage them to put any problems out of their minds.
Listen without judgment, offer as much comfort as possible, and make sure to validate and understand their emotions.
8) Make time for them
It’s not complicated at all, but making your partner feel appreciated is usually about the little things.
One of the most fundamental things you can do is spend quality time with your partner.
Life is full of mixed priorities. Sometimes we have 1001 other things to do.
But if you value your relationship and your partner, you need to make time for them regularly in your life.
If they only get a few stolen moments a day, they will definitely start to feel neglected.
Quality is more important than the quantity of time.
For example, it is much more useful to spend 15 minutes in a meaningful conversation than to watch TV together in silence for hours.
It comes down to being in the present moment with each other, without distractions.
9) Small and random acts of kindness
You can’t plan the trip of a lifetime every day. You cannot buy extravagant gifts for your partner or enjoy lavish meals every day.
As beautiful as these big gestures can be, to make your partner feel appreciated every day, we need to focus on the little things we can do.
Random acts of kindness certainly shouldn’t be something we extend only to strangers. When we do small, nice things for our partners, they know they are appreciated.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Leave nice messages for your partner to find
- Do something new or go somewhere new to create unforgettable experiences together
- Plan little surprises, like cooking them dinner
- Make them breakfast in bed
- Give them a massage
- Bring home their favorite food or snack
When my partner brings home for me the guilty pleasure instant noodles that I secretly love, I feel radiant inside.
It’s not about the cost, it’s about the fact that he remembered to think of me without me having to ask.
That makes me feel appreciated.
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