Of all the ways to show your partner that you love them, expressing gratitude might be one of the most simple with the highest rewards. And couples who are soulmates have often found
ways to express gratitude that go beyond a simple "thank you." If you and your partner are looking to find new ways to bring this great habit into your love life, look no further than these expressions of gratitude observed by experts.
Gratitude is important because it enhances a relationship," David Bennett, certified counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, tells Bustle. "Not only does research show that expressing gratitude makes people feel happier in general (which itself can have a positive relationship impact), but it has been shown to lead to longer lasting and more committed relationships. It just makes sense that being appreciative of your partner, and expressing it, is important in the strongest relationships." With science on their side, the strongest couples find creative ways to show they care.
"Regular displays of gratitude show your partner that you don't take them for granted, as well as serve as a reminder of the special place they hold in your world,"
Dr. Julie Gurner, doctor of clinical psychology, tells Bustle. "Everyone wants to be appreciated, and doing so can strengthen your relationship overall." There are a variety of ways to express the sentiment behind "thank you" beyond those two little words, and experts know exactly what they are.
Here are nine ways soulmates express gratitude to each other.
They Send Text Messages Out Of The Blue
Texting may not feel like an integral part of your relationship, but the way couples communicate over text can actually say a lot about how they feel, and the way they treat each other.
A text message for no reason, then, can be a great indication of gratitude. "When someone thinks of us out of the blue, even our partners, it tells us that we matter to them and that the actions we take have lasting positive effects," Lauren Consul, licensed marriage and family therapist and the co-founder of
GreatFullDays, tells Bustle. So if you are looking for new ways to show your partner what they mean to you, try sending them a random "thinking of you." It might just make their day.
They Never Stop Acknowledging The Little Things
Gratitude absolutely doesn't have to exist in the form of sweeping gestures. On the contrary, gratitude is often shown in its purest form when a loved one acknowledges the everyday work their partner puts into their life, or their relationship.
"[Gratitude often means]
acknowledging the little things that often stop getting recognized," Consul says. "It's not just taking out the trash or making the bed (those are great too to recognize!) but when you notice your partner making an effort when they're tired, or recognizing the role they play in your family or your life. When our partner acknowledges something we thought they didn't, it creates a profound sense of connection." In everyday life, people sometimes neglect the roles their partners play in making things run smoothly. Truly grateful couples don't have this problem.
They Practice Active Listening
Couples who are grateful for each other tend to be more present in the moment wi-h one another. "[Gratitude can mean] being present during conversations by practicing
active listening, which is listening with all of our senses, rather than simply waiting for our turn to speak," Consul says. "When we feel truly heard, we feel understood and to really listen to someone is an incredible sign of love and gratitude." This can manifest even in fights, with the couple not speaking over each other, and each partner really trying to understand where the other is coming from. Of course, it isn't easy, but it is a way to show your partner you love them, even when you're frustrated.
They Find Ways To Give Authentic Compliments
While, if you're in a long-term relationship, you likely implicitly understand what you and your partner love about each other, actually expressing these things is an important component of showing your gratitude.
"Find something you genuinely appreciate about your partner and
compliment them," Dr. Gurner says. "People who feel bolstered by their partner feel attractive, appreciated, and happier in their relationship." Expressing this kind of gratitude means actually telling your partner when you have a good thought about them, and finding ways for them to understand that it's coming from a very genuine place of love.
Couples that are good at expressing their gratitude find ways to show their love through physical touch, even in non-sexual settings.
"It can sound odd to say, but touch is a wonderful way to express gratitude," Dr. Gurner says. "Holding someone's hand, [or] a hand on their leg or arm, can be a reminder of intimacy, attraction, and the special place they hold in your heart." While physical distance doesn't always mean emotional distance, getting close with your partner and expressing your love through touch can be a really great way to show you care.
They Are Generally Warm With Each Other
In grateful relationships, experts agree that there is a general feeling of warmth between the two partners. "Strong couples just naturally show they appreciate each other because their mannerisms, body language, and interactions just have general warmth and friendliness," Bennett says. "When they do little things for each other, their faces light up and they react positively, which shows gratitude even if it’s unspoken." This way, the gratitude isn't just in the things you do, but the way you present yourself.
If you aren't sure how to start with this, a little smile can do the trick. "Just giving your partner a warm and sincere smile can make a world of difference whenever you are trying to express gratitude," Alexis Dent, founder of
XO Juliet, tells Bustle. They'll likely know what you mean.
They Make Sacrifices For One Another
Another way gratitude can be displayed is by making personal sacrifices for the one you love, no matter how small they seem.
"Sacrifice is a great way to show gratitude and strong couples often make sacrifices in this way," Bennett says. "For example, your partner may work 50 hours a week to pay the rent, so you sacrifice your regular Saturday plans to hang with them because that’s their only day off." You don't need to compromise your lifestyle too much for them, but you can make little adjustments every once and a while to show you care.
They Actually Write To Each Other
Love letters don't have to be a thing of the past. Even if you don't consider yourself particularly eloquent, a little note can go a long way in a relationship. "A written letter or sweet card makes a huge difference when it comes to showing your loved one that you appreciate them," dating and empowerment coach
Laurel House tells Bustle. Plus, think how good you feel when you receive a love note.
"Being able to hold on to a card or a piece of paper with the writing on it is very special and it shows your partner that you took the time out of your day to actively work on something for them," Dent says. If their
love language is receiving gifts, this is especially poignant.
Sometimes, just telling your partner specifically what you are thankful for about them is the best bet. "There is no reason to beat around the bush or be coy about it. Sometimes just being directly appreciative is needed," Bennett says. Strong couples will be up front with their gratitude, saying "I am really grateful for you helping with the cooking this week," or something similarly unambiguous.
"Be specific about your gratitude!" Dent says. "When you are thanking your partner get descriptive with it. Tell them exactly why you are appreciative of their efforts and how it makes your life and love better." You should show your partner your love in other ways, too, but this is one that can go a long way, even if it seems plain.
Expressions of gratitude is vital to a strong relationship, no matter how the couple chooses to show it. It's an absolutely necessary way to highlight one of the best things about being in love. There are a variety of ways soulmates indicate these feelings to one another, from smiles to love letters, but they all mean the same thing: thank you.