by Christine Carter, PhD
A buddy recently stopped by for tea and was telling me in a sweet moment how much he loves his wife. This is someone who has written books about relationships, a guy who has actually figured out how to make a marriage great. He said something that really struck me.
“I text her three things every day:
“I love you.
“You are beautiful.
“And thank you.”
(A side confession: After I heard this, my go-to reaction was an envious wish that my guy would send me texts like this throughout the day, NOT that I could start texting him. So much easier to wish others would change than to take action ourselves.)
Anyhoo, here’s the happiness tip: We can increase our own feelings of being in love by expressing gratitude for our partners. Or even just by THINKING about what we are grateful for.
When my friend texts his wife, he is cultivating his own feelings of gratitude, as well as expressing them. Research suggests that when we cultivate feelings of gratitude towards our sweethearts, we feel more satisfied with our relationship, and our partners feel more connected to us and more satisfied with the relationship, too.
Expressing gratitude (rather than just fostering the feeling) to a romantic partner can also make us feel more satisfied with the relationship and increase our sense of responsibility for our partner’s well-being.
Take Action: Reflect on what you are grateful for in your honey right now. (And maybe even send a text!)