“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
– Marcel Proust
Simple acts of kindness … You know those little things you do for a stranger, someone you pass by on the street or in a store, like leaving money for the next person in line at a drive-through coffee shop, passing on a coupon for a grocery store shopper, or helping someone locate their car in a crowded parking lot?
Relationships need expressions of gratitude too. We each need reminders by our mate every once in a while, especially in older relationships where routines and patterns have been forged. As relationships grow, we sometimes forget to perform little expressions of thoughtfulness. Why is it important? Because it pleases your partner. Unexpected small acts strengthen the emotional connection you have with each other. They can renew the feelings you had at the very beginning of your relationship. They are code for saying thank you to the person most close to you.
Think about inserting some random acts of appreciation into your relationship this holiday season, and keeping them going throughout the year. Appreciation can be expressed in so many ways. It can be subtle or obvious. It can be small or grand. It can take little effort or more than normal effort. Need some help with this? Let’s look at some of the ways you can infuse gratitude into your relationship
1. Do up a handmade gift like a dessert treat or a little gift in a box all wrapped up.
2. Buy your mate a subscription to a magazine devoted to one of their favorite hobbies or pastimes.
3. Make an appointment for them at a spa, hair salon, massage therapy clinic.
4. Give them something of yours, a token you think they would enjoy, and explain what it means to you.
5. Show them you’re proud of them. This can take many forms. Think about how you might express that with your lover.
6. Pay attention to small details. Act or give of yourself with intention.
7. Switch things around. Break up the routine. Shake out the monotony.
8. Do something nice for them when they least expect it. Drop off lunch at their workplace. Make breakfast for them on a busy morning. Iron their shirts. Spray bed pillows with a scent they like.
9. Take on a household chore they normally perform, like mowing the lawn, vacuuming the carpets, drying and putting away the dishes, doing laundry.
10. Say “I appreciate you” or something to that effect in words. Say it out loud or in a note tucked under their pillow. Write them a love letter. Write a social media post or create a video praising them for who they are or something they did. Sing them a song.
11. Play their favorite songs or show a movie you know they would especially like. Get them tickets to a concert, a ballgame, some other performance that they’ve talked about.
12. Say something sweet or complimentary about them in the company of others.
13. Check-in with them by email or texting to see how their workday is going.
14. Ask if there’s anything you can do that would lighten their load right now.
15. Run an errand for them. Offer to pick up a prescription, their dry cleaning, stand in line for tickets, or something else they don’t particularly enjoy doing.
16. Invite your mate to do something they’ve always wanted to do and be there to support them when they do it. Maybe it’s taking a skydiving lesson, traveling to a foreign country, going back to school to improve, or learning a new skill.
17. Push them out of their comfort zone by suggesting they take certain actions or risks. Introduce people or situations that challenge them and help them grow.
18. Say thank you in a meaningful way when they do something sweet or unexpected, or they get you to look at something with a different perspective.