Spring cleaning is for so much more than your closet; as mindfulness grows in popularity, many people are beginning to associate the new beginnings of April with a fresh start in many facets of their lives — relationships included. Your boo plays a pretty central role in your everyday life, so taking some time to hit reset on your relationship will probably feel just as productive as cleaning out your closet. A great way to start this process is by looking for gratitude in your everyday life with your partner.
We reached out to experts who work in relationship-oriented fields for ways to incorporate gratefulness into our love lives.
“It’s important to recognize not all gratitude is created equal,” Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a Christian dating counselor, says. “Therefore, you must ask your partner what types of things they would like to be praised for and what’s the best way to say it.” Dr. Fisher explains that some people may like to hear, “You’re so amazing at _____.” Conversely, others may like to hear “If it wasn’t for you, I couldn’t be doing _____.”
If you make an effort to help your partner feel appreciated the way they like to be appreciated, Celeste Headlee, a conversation expert for Plenty of Fish, recommends taking it a step further. “Thank you is wonderful, but even more so is a specific expression of thanks,” she says. “For example, ‘I love how you check in with me every morning. Thank you so much,’ or ‘I really appreciate the fact that you get coffee for both of us when you’re out. Thank you.’ This is a great way to demonstrate that you are paying attention to what your partner does and that you really do notice the little things.”
Another great way to show your gratitude for your partner is to simply give them your time. Dr. Sal Raichbach, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Ambrosia Treatment Center, says that one of the first steps towards gratefulness in a relationship is to truly listen to your partner. This practice, he says, “allows you to be present in their life and really understand how they are feeling.”
If you’re pressed for one-on-one time or want to get more creative when it comes to gratitude, consider writing your partner a thank-you note. It might feel weird at first — especially if you live together — but Kim Leatherdale, author of You Own It. Now Grow It! ($11) says that putting pen to paper can really make a difference for you and your significant other. “Something hand-written and tangible can have way more meaning than a text or an email,” she says. “Although telling them what you appreciate about them in those mediums is nice too.”
Leatherdale also recommends putting your note in places your S.O. will be sure to find it — near the coffee pot or in their suitcase, for example. You might want to keep some of these notes for yourself so you can be reminded of your partner’s wonderful qualities when you’re not around them.
There are so many ways to feel grateful for your partner and to let your partner know how much you appreciate them. No matter how you choose to express it, your desire to improve your relationship through gratitude will surely go a long way.
How do you express your gratitude for your boo? Let us know @BritandCo!
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