Our ability to create deeply connected and fulfilling romantic relationships depends on our skill in many areas. But one skill that is greatly overlooked is the ability to express gratitude to our partners. The act of forgetting to say “thank you” is what leads to the most common relationship complaint in the book: “You take me for granted!”
The truth is that we likely feel gratitude for our partners, and feel it deeply, but as William Arthur Ward said:
“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”
When couples are out of practice expressing gratitude for each other, we suggest that each partner create a Relationship Gratitude List. Just like a general Gratitude List that helps create positive feelings when times are tough, a Relationship Gratitude List turns our focus toward what we most appreciate about our partners; what is right instead of what is “wrong” or missing.
As you make your list, note which items you have not said “thank you” for in awhile and commit to communicating your gratitude out loud from now on.
Most importantly, see what just making a Relationship Gratitude List does for your feelings of connectedness and intimacy.
Did you experience an increase in positive feelings about your partner after you created your list?