Expressing Appreciation for your Significant Other
Appreciation and Adoration
Over the weekend, my wife and I noticed that one of the smaller stones on her engagement ring was missing. We have a lifetime warranty on the ring, so it was simply a matter of going into the store where it was purchased to get it repaired. On the day we bundled up to head to the mall, I took her to lunch at one of our favorite restaurants and got her a nice meal. She was feeling tired, so I suggested that she sit on one of the benches while I went to the store to turn in the ring for repair. On the way back to where she was sitting, I came up with a plan to not only cheer her up (she wasn't looking forward to missing her ring for two weeks throughout the repair process) but to make her feel better in general. I smiled and told her that I had a surprise for her. We both headed upstairs in the mall, and I had her customize a build-a-bear that she could take home for comfort and affection when I was at work or unavailable. Doing this simple action lifted her spirits immensely, and she now has a concrete (but stuffed) reminder of how I feel about her - even when she's at her weakest and most vulnerable.
The Proactive approach
Do you actively look for ways to make your partner feel loved and/or appreciated?
The Real Nature of Appreciation
Expressing appreciation for your significant other has nothing to do with money - and it doesn't matter if you have a lot of money or none at all. My wife has struggled with anxiety all of her life, and on Saturday night she was close to having a panic attack. I supported her and held her and let her know that I was there for her - no matter what it took. Our relationship is based on nothing more than mutual respect, affection, appreciation and lots and lots of love.
Appreciation doesn't have to be anything special or significant - at least not in the way that it would appear to others. When the house has gotten a bit chaotic, I take the initiative and do a chore that I know she doesn't ignore. When I sleep in on the weekends, she tidies the living room and allows me to rest. When she's tired, I take over and do the dishes or sweep/mop the tiled areas of our home. We do things for each other, not because we are obligated or think it's something we have to do - we do them because we want to.
Everyone needs someone sometime, and when you are involved in a romantic relationship, you are your partner's go-to person. Expressing appreciation and affection involves nothing more than being aware of what your partner needs - even if they have difficulty expressing them. Learning to communicate effectively and accurately conveying your needs and wishes to your partner is incredibly important. It keeps hidden resentments at bay, and it limits the potential for misunderstandings down the road. Open and honest communication may not always be pleasant, especially when you hit a bump in the road. It is the building block of a lasting and honest relationship where both you and your partner are able to express themselves effectively without resorting to negative or immature behaviors.
My wife's build a bear has taken up residence next to our bed. Every time she looks at it, a smile crosses her face and it lights up the whole world. Even though it was a relatively small gift, it brought my partner in life joy. It made her feel better when things seemed overwhelming, and it's a tangible object that demonstrates that I'm there for her when she needs me - even if I'm not physically present. It reminds her that I'm in her corner and that I'm always going to be on her side. When the repair on her ring has been completed, I will present it to her exactly the same way that I did when I first asked her to marry me - because I have never regretted that decision for a moment, and I would marry her all over again at any given moment. She is the love of my life, and I'm determined to do whatever it takes to make her feel loved, appreciated and supported - because she is.