Many times we take for granted that our partner knows that we love and appreciate them. We just assume that they can read our minds that the things that we do every day let them know that we care, and that we don't have to say the words because, "they just know." Unfortunately, this is not the case. As far as I can tell, most of us cannot read each other's minds, the things that we do each day, are just the things that we do each day, and the words are something that we actually crave to hear. Sometimes it is the small things that mean the most, and that can really show your partner how much you appreciate them. Here are just a few minor suggestions:
1. Create "me time" for them": many times between jobs, children, and various obligations, it can feel like none of us have any time to ourselves. One sure way to show your spouse how much you care about them and value the hours they put in during a day is creating a time just for them. It does not matter if it is 30 minutes a day where no child or adult is allowed to pass the threshold of the adult's bedroom. That 30 minutes can mean the world to a stressed out partner. To be able to take a bath, read a book chapter, or do some yoga, you will have won some their hearts and affections.
2. Make a set "date night" each week: another important way to express your appreciation is to make your partner a priority. Whether you are with or without children, set aside one night each week where the two of you just go out for a little while and do something together. It could be just watching a movie, or going to a sit down restaurant for a meal. Regardless of the choice, it shows them that you want to spend 1:1 time with them, that you value your time together, and that you want to set this time aside to catch up on each other's lives.
3. Do all the chores without being asked: while the two of you may have a system where you try and evenly divide the chores, or your arrangement is that one person handles the load of the chores, surprising your partner by having them all done is sure to win you points and show your appreciation. While it might earn you more appreciation and favor to do it yourself, if you are able to spare the money to have the house professionally cleaned, your partner may have even more appreciation for a job done well!
4. Leave notes of gratitude every day for a month: it does not matter if it is a handwritten note, a thoughtful text or e-mail, or a quick call on your way in to work, taking a moment to express something that you appreciate about your partner is something that they will cherish. You may think that they know all the ways that you appreciate them, but I promise you they do not. Also, it challenges you to dig deep and really think about the many ways you appreciate your partner, while you come up with 30 separate days of thoughts about why you appreciate them.
5. Encourage outside interests: many people are under the false impression that a couple must do everything together, or share all their interests. This could not be further from the truth. It actually helps you grow as individuals to explore and engulf yourself in your interests. Maybe your partner feels bad taking a night away a week to attend a specialty class. You could do wonders for their well-being and creative interests by surprising them by paying for a term of a course to try out a potential interest. Not only do they get to explore their interests, they get a personal night out, and potentially a night away from the kids if you have any.
6. Take alternate turns choosing plans: make a new rule where you alternate who gets to choose the plans for when you get a much needed evening out. This means your partner gets to choose every aspect of the evening without any input, or grief from you. You get the same opportunity the next time. This is a great chance to add variety and interest to your relationship. You may even end up surprising yourself by having a good time doing something you would have never thought of trying.
7. Surprise your partner with something they have had their eye on: nothing says you care, and that you listen to your partners wants and needs, than to surprise them with something they have had their eye on. It does not have to be budget busting and flashy, but it should be something they have been wanting, but would not splurge on themselves. Your partner is guaranteed to be so surprised, and so grateful, that you are sure to have expressed your love and appreciate without question. There is nothing more meaningful than being listened to and treated
If you take the time to implement even a few of these demonstrations of your appreciation, your partner is sure to be grateful and feel loved. When we are made to feel this way, the partner typically wants to reciprocate the demonstration of appreciation. You could be opening a whole new chapter for your relationship, and definitely one built on the knowledge that they are appreciated. Such simple gestures can make all the difference in strengthening or reigniting your relationship.