Taking one another for granted is like the kiss of death for any relationship.
The trouble is that couples often don’t realize it’s happening.
Over time “normality” sets in, and all those thoughtful gestures go out of the window.
It’s not that we don’t feel grateful for our other half, but all too often we forget to show it.
To keep your relationship strong and on track, let’s look at 9 simple ways to make your partner feel appreciated every day.
1) Tell them how you feel
They say that actions speak louder than words, but not always.
Especially when it comes to expressing gratitude, words can be powerful beyond belief.
All those thank yous add up.
When they are heartfelt they can reinforce the fact that you do fully see your partner. All the things they do for you are not going unnoticed.
Don’t let the little things slide.
Every cup of coffee they make for you, every errand they run, every seemingly small act of kindness — acknowledge it.
Not only does this help your partner feel more appreciated, but it encourages you both to keep on doing those little loving acts because you know they are valued.
Other heartfelt ways to tell them could include:
- Writing them a letter
- Leaving little love notes around the house
- At the end of the day when you get into bed, share with one another what you feel thankful for from today
Gratitude has been shown to strengthen relationships, improve your connection, and even your sex life. So the more ways you find to incorporate it into your life, the better.
2) Give Compliments
In my home, my partner does the majority of the cooking. It’s become part of our normal routine.
When anything becomes routine, there is always a danger we stop appreciating it.
But every meal we sit down to I still make an effort to compliment him and say how thankful I am that he has prepared this delicious food for us.
During those early dating days, we give compliments freely. It’s a natural part of the wooing process.
Once we’ve won over our partner, those flattering comments can quickly dry up. When they do, your other half can start to feel unnoticed and neglected.
Compliments are not only a great way to help your partner feel appreciated, but they can also help to keep that spark alive.
You can praise their appearance, their intelligence, or certain talents that you admire. It’s all about letting them know that you see their strengths and unique qualities that make them special.
This shows them that you still admire and value them, no matter how long you’ve been together.
3) Make time each day to listen to them
I mean really listen.
Don’t just throw a token “How was your day?” at them when they walk through the door, with very little genuine interest in hearing the answer.
Consciously sit down together and give them your full attention.
Don’t continue to scroll on your phone, fold the laundry, or watch TV.
Research has noted that whilst most of us like to think of ourselves as good listeners, we actually only manage to take in about half of what someone is saying.
So clearly, we’ve got some room for improvement. Active listening can help us to bridge that gap.
It involves taking our listening to another level so we are fully engaged in the process.
It’s about showing we are really listening, giving off the right cues to prove it, being mindful of potential distractions, and asking lots of thoughtful questions.
Making the space to listen tells your partner that you are genuinely interested in their thoughts and feelings.
4) Show Affection
The other day I was reading an article about an elderly couple whose relationship had stood the test of time over the decades.
The wife spoke of how every single time her husband would pass her in the house, he would reach out and gently touch her in some way.
Now, depending on your personality type, you may find that either deeply romantic or annoying as hell.
But the point is, affection is a great way of showing we care.
Science shows that regular touch is important to human beings. In fact, from the day we’re born until the day we die, we need physical contact.
It’s significant in helping build relationships as it stimulates oxytocin — the so-called cuddle hormone.
Giving hugs, holding hands, cuddling, and kissing can make your partner feel appreciated.
5) Lighten their load
After several years together I can honestly say, I find it more touching when my partner cleans out the fridge than when he suggests going out for a candlelit dinner.
I know, that makes me sound very unromantic. But I think it is also a common reality of long-term relationships.
Daily life can bring plenty of stress and practical obligations that need to be dealt with.
Unloading the dishwasher, picking up the dry cleaning, driving the kids to soccer practice — life chores are an unavoidably large part of any relationship.
That’s why stepping up and sharing those responsibilities proves you’re not taking the other person for granted.
You don’t expect them to pick up the slack for you. Instead, you go out of your way to lighten their load.
That means doing household chores or tasks without being asked and being an equal partner in managing daily responsibilities.
In doing so you show them that you value their time and effort as much as you do your own.
6) Encourage their interests, goals, and dreams
The keyword I most associate with being in a relationship is teamwork.
When we’re in a couple, we shouldn’t have to go it alone in life. Our partner is there to have our backs.
A big part of that role is encouragement.
When your other half cheers you on, they’re showing you that they are on your side and with you all the way.
A friend of mine always had dreams of being an illustrator. For years her partner told her she was being unrealistic and it was safer to stick to her day job.
I know he was trying to be practical rather than unkind, but over time this made her feel like he didn’t believe in her.
And ultimately, not believing in her made her feel unappreciated for all she had to offer.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the relationship didn’t survive.
So we don’t fall foul of the same fate, we need to encourage our partners to pursue their interests and aspirations.
We should also offer them assistance in whatever way we can. We need to celebrate their achievements and milestones. We have to take an interest in their hobbies and passions.
7) Check in with how they are feeling
If you want your partner to feel appreciated, make sure they feel supported too.
That means being their shoulder to cry on when they’ve had a long hard day.
It means showing a genuine interest in what’s going on for them not just practically, but emotionally.
Not everyone is forthcoming with their feelings. It can be tempting to bottle things up.
Whilst I will happily volunteer whatever I am feeling, my partner can be a bit more of a closed book unless I actively encourage him.
Let your partner know that they can lean on you.
Regularly check in with how they’ve been feeling lately. Encourage them to get any issues off their chest.
Listen without judgment, provide as much comfort as you can, and be sure to validate their emotions and offer understanding.
8) Make time for them
Far from being complicated, making your partner feel appreciated is usually about the little things.
One of the most fundamental things you can do is spend quality time with your partner.
Life is full of mixed priorities. Sometimes we’ve got 1001 other things to do.
But if you value your relationship and your partner, you need to carve out regular time for them in your life.
If they only get a few stolen moments each day, they are bound to start to feel neglected.
Quality is more important than the quantity of time.
For example, spending 15 minutes in meaningful conversation is far more beneficial than hours spent watching TV together in silence.
It comes down to being in the present moment with one another, without distractions.
9) Small and random acts of kindness
You cannot plan the trip of a lifetime every day. You cannot buy your partner extravagant gifts, or enjoy lavish meals every single day.
As nice as these big gestures can be, to make your partner feel appreciated every day we have to focus on the little things we can do.
Random acts of kindness certainly shouldn’t be something that we only gift to strangers. When we do small nice things for our partners they know they are appreciated.
Here are just a few ideas:
- Leave cute messages for your partner to find
- Do something new or go somewhere new to create memorable experiences together
- Plan small surprises like cooking them dinner
- Make them breakfast in bed
- Give them a massage
- Bring home their favorite food or snack
When my partner brings home for me the guilty pleasure instant noodles I secretly like so much, it gives me a glowing feeling inside.
It’s not about the cost it’s about the fact that he remembered to think about me, without me needing to ask.
That makes me feel appreciated.
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