Here’s a vital, even critical, feature of successful, long-term relationships: An “attitude of gratitude.”

How often are you showing an attitude of gratitude to your partner?

Too many of us just seem to forget this relationship-bolstering act of recognizing and showing appreciation to our loved ones, for all the little things that they do.

A definition

UC Berkeley psychologist Amie Gordon offers her definition of gratitude: “My definition of gratitude includes appreciating not just what your partner does, but who they are as a person. You’re not just thankful that your partner took out the trash — you’re thankful that you have a partner who is thoughtful enough to know you hate taking out the trash.”

So this vital attitude of gratitude is all part of the work required to create satisfied and happily connected couples.

This is based on the idea that gratitude itself can generate more positive thinking; and the research always backs this up.

Look at the research

Social research on gratitude suggests that gratitude is incredibly important for increased closeness, fulfillment, and positive, two-way communication between couples.

Researchers on the subject, from various universities all across the country, have only recently looked at the effect of gratitude on couples and have, as you would expect, lauded its positive effects.

Conversely, and sadly enough, it appears that most subjects, in a lot of these studies, felt that their partners, for the most part, hardly acknowledged all the little things they did for their partners. Their kind acts had been heartbreakingly overlooked.

As I looked closer into the matter, I was struck by this particular finding:

The thing that seemed to really matter wasn’t the number of times a partner did something nice for the other. It was all about how much gratitude one’s partner felt about it.

In other words, it was the reaction of the other to the act that really counted.

The more gratitude felt (and, I would think, actively expressed to the other), the higher overall relationship satisfaction, and probable longevity of that relationship.

So, an act of kindness unnoticed cannot stand alone!

Research shows that it’s the total interaction that makes all the difference, especially where love between two people is concerned.

A contagious way of life

It’s been said that there’s more to gratitude than a cordial “thank you.” Gratitude is a way of life; a daily feeling and routinely expressed appreciation for, not only the many acts of kindness, but for sharing life with such a thoughtful partnership, in the first place!

Moreover, true heart felt gratitude is contagious and can create a basic atmosphere of trust and appreciation for each other, a basic requirement for lasting love success.

Mutual gratitude can become a welcomed habit, where a happy cycle of appreciation is naturally created – and makes the effort to love all the more fulfilling.

Remembering the occasions

Actively remembering those occasions when your partner did something nice for you is a great way to keep your gratitude alive and ready for that next opportunity to do a kind deed for your partner.

If you’re really serious about love success, don’t ever make the mistake of overlooking and forgetting about your partner’s praiseworthy actions—show your gratitude!

 The end of the day

At the end of the day, a healthy attitude of gratitude will only add to a shared feeling of mutual warmth and satisfaction, not only for all kindnesses performed, but for having the good fortune to be in such a wonderful relationship.

Gratitude: It’s always worth the effort!

If you have something to add to this brief discussion of gratitude in love relationships, please feel free to enter your remarks into the comment section below. Who knows, what you have to say may just help to save a marriage!

And to learn more about a variety of relationship issues and challenges, check out the other articles on this site, as well as my book, Honeymoon Forever. Enjoy!

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