Successful relationships are all about paying attention to the so called little things .
One among these 'little things' that works wonders to boost feelings of love and happiness in a couple is the habit of showing gratitude. In fact, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of North Carolina, appreciating daily gestures has the ability to add meaning to the lives of both the people in the relationship and helps it to grow and flourish.
The study, conducted on 65 couple who were already in onging, satisfying and committed relationships, tracked the day-to-day fluctuations in relationship satisfaction and connection for each of the members. And the findings? Well, the the results suggest that showing gratitude on an everyday basis and saying thank you serves as an important maintenance mechanism in close relationships and in fact, acts as a booster shot.
Agreeing with this research, relationship counsellor, Rachna Kothari says gratitude is the best attitude. "Gratitude may not directly boost romance per se, but what these gestures like thank you's, acknowledgments, appreciations, etc do is help in boosting one's spirits and self-confidence. This in turn makes an individual feel worthy and overall sees him/her with a positive self-image and assurance. Also, it will encourage them to attempt those loving deeds again," she explains.
According to Rachna, though being cognisant of ones partner is always a good idea, it is often overlooked, especially when it comes to the little things. Elaborating further she says, "For example, while you may feel a high if your lover gets you an expensive gift, you may ignore to acknowledge if s/he merely gets you a rose or just gives you a shoulder when you desperately needed one. These may be small gestures, but a lot of love and emotions are being invested. Hence, it is an excellent idea to appreciate what's been done for you. Make it a point to enjoy the little things as one day you may look back and realise that they were in fact, big things."
Actress Mahima Chaudhary says she and hubby Bobby Mukherjee hardly express their gratitude to each other. "In fact, he says thanks more often than I do. I know I should say it out loud more often but, I'm more worried about the sorry's than the thank you's," she says. Talking about the survey results she says, "Why only your spouse, one should also express gratitude to other family members. It is a sure way of letting them know that you've noticed that they have done something for you, even if it's as simple as organising your closet."
IT consultant Dhruv Makhija says at the start of their relationship, he and wife Seema made a special effort to express their gratefulness for what the other had done. "Though we don't say thanks that often now, we make sure that we appreciate each other. For example, I take over the kitchen duties on Sundays. Also, we do some of the household tasks together. I don't look at it as a burden but as a way of forging a stronger bond with Seema," he says.
Meanwhile, explaining her hesitation to say thank you for everything that Bobby does, Mahima says, "I don't want to make him complacent. But I am definitely grateful for a lot of the things he does, especially when it comes to our child. I always say thanks when he leaves everything to take care of our daughter when I am busy with work or have to go out for events. But the one time I couldn't thank him enough was when he was with me inside the operation theatre when I was giving birth. During the labour I must have kept abusing him, but after the baby was born, I just kept saying thank you and telling him how grateful I was that he was there besides me."
Rachna concludes saying, "Many people tend to take their partners — and what they do for them — for granted. Sometimes, a partner might 'feel' grateful but may not express the same. The key lies in expressing it and letting the other know that what s/he has done has indeed made a difference. Also, it's very easy to forget or brush aside the smaller things in the hustle-bustle of daily life. Showing empathy, appreciation and respect for your partner is one of the keys to a lasting relationship."