Having an attitude of gratitude isn't just a hippy dippy ideal--it's been proven by science to make couples feel more loving, peaceful, proud, amused, and satisfied with the quality of their relationship.
Expressing appreciation also allows couples to view their partners as more understanding, responsive, caring and validating.
Research has shown that if you feel grateful for your partner today, you will likely feel more connected and satisfied in the relationship tomorrow. So, the practice of gratitude can have lasting effects on your love life.
It's clear that gratitude is a wonder drug for your relationship or marriage! It's free, easy to do, and makes you feel more fulfilled, loving and happy--so why not start incorporating it into your love life today?
Given all that we know about the benefits of expressing gratitude, here is a simple couples exercise that takes little effort for a big reward. You'll just need a gratitude journal (nothing fancy, a plain notebook is fine) and 14 days.
Every day for the next two weeks, write down whether your partner does something thoughtful for you. It can be a huge help or a small favor. Maybe he shovels out your car or she drops off your dry cleaning.Be mindful of every day things you might normally take for granted, such as doing the dishes or preparing a meal.
After you record what your partner did for you (if it's nothing, write "nothing"), jot down your current emotions and how you're feeling towards your partner. For example, are you feeling happy, appreciative, supported, loving, or connected? Do you feel your partner understands you and responds to your needs? There's no right or wrong, just be honest.
At the end of your entry, rate your current relationship satisfaction on a 1-5 scale (1=not satisfied, 3=satisfied, 5=very satisfied). For instance, if you're not feeling very connected, you might rate it a 1, whereas if you're feeling totally smitten, you'd give it a 5.
At the end of 14 days, take a look back and see if you notice any patterns or noteworthy moments. Take time to process this exercise with your partner by discussing your findings and realizations together. On days where your partner did something nice for you, did you tend to rate your daily relationship satisfaction higher? What about the following day--did you still seem to feel connected and happy, even if your partner didn’t do anything thoughtful that day?
Hopefully after two weeks you are more aware and mindful of all of the sweet and wonderful things your partner does for you. Just being tuned into these things, no matter how big or small, can make you feel closer and increase the quality of your romantic relationship.
If you found this exercise helpful, I encourage you to continue your gratitude journal so that you can keep reaping the benefits. You can also take a few moments before bed each night to practice gratitude by telling each other something you appreciated that day--good vibes for a good nights sleep!
Bottom line? Be grateful today so that you can reap the relationship benefits tomorrow!
Samantha discusses the importance of gratitude in her ebook. Find out what other secret ingredients are used to cook up a happy love life when you download it for FREE!