Showing our appreciation for our partner, on a regular and consistent basis, is not only helpful but essential. Just as our brains and bodies need regular exercise to remain agile and fit, our relationships need regular attention and “exercise” to remain strong and flexible as well.
Regular appreciations mean making and taking the time to express to your partner what you are grateful for about them. It means showing you care in small and big ways, regularly and genuinely. It means really getting what matters to them, in their world, and being willing to do many of those things, even if they are not your cup of tea.
For example, my husband really likes pinball. Now I have to admit, in the early days of our relationship, I would have embraced almost any activity that I knew he enjoyed simply to show him how great I was. But as time went on, some of the ways we had fun together got boring, silly or plain old uninteresting to me. Pinball was one of them.
Today, however, every now and again I ask him if he wants to go to the best arcade in Portland for a couple of hours. Sometimes it’s together, sometimes it’s not. His happiness and satisfaction at having some time to indulge in this enjoyment is apparent and it’s become one way that I show him that I know and love him. And to my genuine surprise, I too eagerly anticipate beating my highest score or unlocking new actions on the “Sopranos,” “Tales of the Arabian Nights” and even “Spiderman.”
There are so many ways we can share our love and appreciation for each other. Get creative, ask, listen, take notes and actually schedule loving gestures and activities into your calendar. Then follow up and do what you scheduled. Life is so much richer when we share the love and gratitude in our hearts with those we care about most.
Sofia E Jamison practices Imago Relationship coaching at her office in Sellwood, Oregon. She is part of the Cypress Beauty & Wellness group and enjoys working with couples at all stages of their relationships.