Flowers need water, light and the proper soil to keep them in full bloom. Relationships need the same nurturing and care but with different ingredients. In a recent article, Ashley Davis Bush, LCSW, says that these ingredients can be found in one simple word: appreciation.
Appreciation combines respect, love, acknowledgment, validation, and gratitude. With lives becoming busier, it gets harder and harder for couples to remember to water their relationships with appreciation. But showing appreciation boosts relationship satisfaction for both the giver and the receiver. Davis Bush suggests several easy ways to show appreciation in order to keep relationships from wilting.
- Compliment your partner. Even a simple kudos about his or her appearance can make your partner feel attractive. Texting is another quick but powerful way to let people know that they are important. Send a message of love, a smiley face, or just a simple “I miss you,” and they will know they are valued and cherished.
- Acknowledge something your partner has done. When the clothes are picked up, the lawn is mowed, or the dinner dishes cleaned, let your loved one know that you notice and appreciate the effort they took.
- A picture says a thousand words, but don’t discount verbal communication as a tool for planting the seeds of appreciation. Tell your spouse that you are glad to be married to them. Let them hear that you are still happy that they are the one on your arm in a crowded room. Make them feel chosen and loved.
- Gratitude is essential and should never be taken for granted. When your partner does something nice or considerate, no matter how small, thank him or her. “We all benefit from being grateful, and we all want to feel appreciated,” says Davis Bush. “So shower the gift of appreciation on your loved one and watch intimacy bloom.”
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