Many people secretly want to be one half of a power couple, no matter how cheesy it sounds. What could be better than being in a happy relationship, one filled with honesty, trust, passion, and love? There's no shame in aspiring to that — in fact, it's better to reach for the stars than settle into a mediocre relationship. In order to thrive, though, power couples need to learn the value of mutual support in a relationship. So how can you show support to your partner, even on an average day?
I spoke to Gary Brown, PhD, LMFT, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles who works with individuals and couples, to find out what you can do on even the most ordinary of days to show your partner that you have their back. If nothing else, Brown says, the one way to show your partner support every day is to ask him or her, 'Is there anything I can do for you right now that would make your day a bit easier?'
"This simple question can go a long way in telling your partner how important they are and that you are thinking of them right now and want to do whatever you can for them," Brown tells Bustle. "It's quite fine to say 'I love you.' It's even better to perform an act of love!" He's not wrong — verbally reassuring your partner of your love and support is always worthwhile, but it's even more meaningful when it's backed up through actions that show you're committed to being a kickass, power couple team.
Because mutual support is one of the vital components of a strong, healthy relationship, here are seven other small ways you can show your partner you support them each day.
1. Celebrate Victories (Even Small Ones)
Your significant other doesn't have to get a promotion to deserve recognition for their accomplishments. And being a cheerleader for your partner doesn't have to be as lame as it sounds: Simply make it a habit to embrace the little victories in daily life together (like when your partner's dog finally gets the whole potty training thing). Having more excuses to go get ice cream doesn't sound half bad, does it?
2. Show Gratitude
In a perfect world, everyone would make an effort to be grateful to their significant other, but it's all too easy to get comfortable with your partner and forget that saying 'thank you' can go a long way. If your partner has been feeling a little down lately, show him or her your support and appreciation by making a conscious effort to thank them for all they do for you — from backrubs to planning romantic date nights.
3. Pick Up The Slack
Obviously, every couple's division of household chores is different, and can vary based on work schedules, contributions to rent/bills, etc. But if you notice your partner is having a particularly rough day, show your support by offering to do one of their chores — particularly one that's a least favorite of theirs. It's a small way to show that you recognize when they're stressed, and are willing to try to ease the burden where possible.
4. Listen To Their Problems
It's important to show your partner that the two of you are a team, and a great way to do that is by offering to really listen to what's going on in his or her life. It may seem tedious to listen to your significant other's grievances about a coworker who always takes the last donut, but being willing to listen to the small problems will make your partner feel more comfortable opening up to you when big issues pop up.
5. Create A 'Love Box'
I'm not one for overly cheesy romantic gestures, but when I heard about the idea of a love box — as they happen, write down moments when you particularly love or appreciate your significant other, then save them up in a box to give them when they're having a rough time — I thought it was actually really thoughtful. Granted, you can't give them a box of love notes every day, but making a habit of recording instances where you feel a gush of love for your partner is a surefire way to train yourself to actively support and appreciate them.
6. Try Something New With Them
It's way too easy to settle into a routine in a relationship: There are activities you do together, and activities you each do separately. Though it's healthy to have that separation, it can be a thoughtful gesture at times to offer to try out one of your partner's favorite hobbies that you normally would write off — like "Pokemon Go", for example. You don't have to get super into it, but being willing to give it a shot is a way to show your partner you care and support what he or she loves.
7. Ask What They Need
As Dr. Brown mentioned, the one thing you should always do is be willing to ask outright what your partner needs from you. If you're in doubt and don't know how to help your partner on a bad day, those in a healthy relationship should feel comfortable enough to ask. There's no shame in having to ask — after all, no one is a mind-reader. Your partner will appreciate the gesture, even if the answer is simply "a hug."
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