Relationship Advice from a Charlotte, NC Therapist

See short video regarding appreciation in Relationships:

What’s a relationship if it isn’t with it’s up’s and downs? Right… Well, when we get into a relationship with someone, the plan is to be in love and loved. Yet because of miscommunication and different values and upbringings, we have conflict.

How can we keep love alive? Appreciation. This small thing can go such a long way. The definition of appreciation is the recognition and enjoyment of the good qualities of someone or something. You might ask, “Why do I need to communicate this, shouldn’t they know I appreciate them?” While this is the case for some others like to hear those words of affirmation. According to Amie Gordon and others study  “When people experience gratitude in their relationships, they feel closer to romantic partners and more satisfied with their relationships” (Algoe et al., 2010; Gordon et al., 2011).

The act of showing gratitude and appreciation for the other individual can promote a long and healthy relationship. How can you show appreciation?

The point is to notice your partner. Say they hate doing the dishes but decided to take care of them anyways. That’s a chance to say, “Hey, thanks for doing the dishes.” It seems straightforward, but when we get into a rhythm of work, eat, sleep, clean, repeat whatever it may be, we skip the process of appreciation.

Loving someone else means not just being able to say “I love you” it’s about enjoying their time, enjoying the piece that they can offer in the relationship, showing you care for them through various forms of love languages. And if you don’t know your love language, you can find out on this website:  https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/. The 5 love languages are an excellent start at learning how to show your partner love so that they can feel understood and accepted.

The last important piece is to have appreciation and gratitude for yourself. If you find that this is lacking in your relationship frequently, self-love is the culprit. Loving your true self, which only your close friends and family may know, is the way to let others into your heart. This self-love generates a warmness and kindness that spreads and grows.

To create a happy and healthy relationship, it takes work and communication. Starting with appreciation by noticing your partner, understanding their love language, and loving yourself in the process are all great ways to be available to love. If you find that additional resentment or events have caused damage to the relationship, reach out to a mental health professional for support. If you’re in the Charlotte area, check out https://charlottecounselors.com/ and schedule an appointment with me, Jasmine Colegrove, today!

References:

Gordon, A. M., Impett, E. A., Kogan, A., Oveis, C., & Keltner, D. (2012). To have and to hold: Gratitude promotes relationship maintenance in intimate bonds. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(2), 257-274. doi:10.1037/a0028723

Moody, G. P. (2020, April 24). Quizzes. Retrieved from https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/