If you want to bring your new and blossoming relationship to the next level, these two simple words will help you make that happen:
The University of Georgia recently published a study in the journal ‘Personal Relationships’ linking gratitude to happy and lasting relationships. The researchers of the study found that “feeling appreciated and believing that your [partner] values you, directly influences how you feel about your [relationship], how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last.” [You can find the article about the study here.]
What is it about showing gratitude, and saying “thank you” (and meaning it) to your partner that will make them want to stay committed to you and your relationship?
My colleague, Eli Shine, whom I call my “Gratitude Guru” had this to say when I posed the question above to him: “Our whole life changes when we express gratitude (and feel it). It changes the way we feel about ourselves and the way we feel about others and life – it changes our focus. I know that there are people I meet who embody gratefulness and they are just serene.”
When our focus has changed and we embody appreciation, in general, the people around us, and especially the people we are committed to, feel it. The recipients of our embodiment of gratefulness and appreciation know that they have our focus. Our focus gives them the message that they are important to us; which gives them to security to open up more, grow closer to us, and be in a committed relationship.
Eli adds caution, however, and recommends finding a balance when saying thank you and showing appreciation. He points out that “there are people who say thank you all the time and it can even be annoying! So I think there is a skill to doing it right.”
[Read more about how to give the right dose of attention, in the way that your partner wants it, here.]
Action Steps for Getting it Right with Gratitude
- Take Notice. Take time out to think about and list ALL of the things you like and appreciate about your partner. Even if you do not know him or her well enough yet, think about all of the things you have noticed so far.
- Tell Him or Her. Now that you are aware of what you appreciate, let your partner know. Say “thank you for….”, or “I appreciate your….” Show appreciation to your partner on a regular basis, making sure to mean it sincerely. (Just saying ‘thank you’ is not enough. It has to be honest, real, and sincere for it to be received.)
- Take Interest & Learn More About Your Partner. To learn more about your partner, get present, and take interest. Listen to your partner when he or she is speaking. Ask your partner questions about the things that they like to do or the things that they care about. Get to know why they have made the choices they have made in their lives. Doing this alone will make your partner feel valued by you.
- Get into the Gratitude Habit. Take time out every day and notice what you are grateful for. This practice will sensitize you to showing more appreciation not just for your partner, but in your life, in general. Eli Shine recommends “writing down things you appreciate. I do 3 each morning and 3 each night. Some research says doing it weekly is actually more effective.” [Visit Eli’s website to learn more about how to incorporate an attitude of gratitude in your life.]
As always, please be in touch with any questions or comments. You can contact me anytime Here.
To learn more about how you can become an expert communicator in dating and relationships, click on the image below.
In support and admiration,