There are numerous factors that determine the level of happiness within a relationship. One of the most crucial is appreciation. Sounds simple, right?
The majority of people in relationships state that they don’t feel appreciated by their partners. This usually is a result of one of two things; not showing appreciation enough, or not showing it effectively. To find out if you are doing one of these things, simply ask. Ask your loved ones when was the last time they felt you appreciated them. Then ask them what made them feel that way. You may be surprised at the answers you get.
We often show appreciation when and how we would want it to be shown to us, and don’t factor in what makes the other person feel appreciated. Make the effort to find out and listen to the response.
Another component is whether or not you recognize all of the opportunities for gratitude within your relationship. What does your partner do that makes you feel grateful? Do you thank them only when they do something nice for you, or do you thank them for simply being there and choosing to be with you? No matter how long you have been together, no matter whether you have taken vows, being together is a choice that you both consciously or subconsciously make every day. Take the time to recognize and appreciate that choice. Over time, we have a tendency to take things and people for granted. If it’s your partner’s habit to take the trash out every week, do you thank them every time, or just expect it? Pay attention to all of the little choices your partner makes every day that mean something to you. Look for things to appreciate. You will most likely be surprised at how much there is to feel grateful about.
What has been your experience with appreciation in relationships? Please share comments below.