It was actually pretty close to this time last year when I penned the piece "How To Get Through The Holidays If You Don't Observe Them". Unlike some of the other articles that I write for the site, I pulled that one from very personal experience. Being that my personality is very wired to "be good" on something once I know its origin, holidays are something that I tend to take a pass on; this includes Thanksgiving (some insightful reads on its origin are found here, here and here). Still, this doesn't mean I'm not aware of the fact that many people use this time of year to reflect on their blessings and to say "thanks" for all the good that has come their way. Since I like to write on relationships a lot, I thought to myself, "Why not come up with ways for people to show gratitude to their significant other?"
Not only is it a kind thing to do, expressing gratitude can also be a proactive way to preserve your relationship as well. Why do I say that? It's because, more times than not, whenever someone talks to me about how their relationship has gotten to the point where it's basically on life support, one of the main reasons why is because they feel taken for granted and not appreciated.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Whether you've only been with your boo for a few months or it's been several-years-and-counting, before you sit around a Thanksgiving dinner table to share all of the things that you are truly thankful for this year, please make the time to show your significant other why you're so grateful for them as well. If you need a little inspiration to come up with a cool way to do it, I've got a few.
How To Express Gratitude In Your Relationships
1. Write a List of What You Appreciate About Them. Then Frame It.
"Appreciate" is a dope word. It means "to be grateful or thankful for" and "to value or regard highly; place a high estimate on". The reason why I think a lot of people feel taken for granted in their relationship is because their significant other tends to overlook another definition of the word—"to be fully conscious of; be aware of; detect".
All of us like to feel that the person we are seeing not only values us, but they also have the desire to make sure that we're aware of just how much they do. To jot down a list of reasons why you love or admire the special individual in your life and then frame it, not only is that a sentimental gesture, it's something that they can hold close to them for the rest of their life.
2. Mail a Handwritten Thank-You Note for a Week Straight
While checking out an article on Lifehack's site, it brought up some points about handwriting letters that I definitely thought was worth sharing. It said that handwriting sentiments was a really classy thing to do. Plus, it showed that you cared enough about someone to make the time to write your thoughts and feelings down. It even shared a study that revealed writing things can make you feel happier and more self-satisfied.
These days, we're so used to everything coming in the form of an email or text that, imagine how surprised the object of your affection will feel to receive seven handwritten thank-you notes—one for each day of the week. The only thing that would impress them more is if you actually sent them through the mail. Because who doesn't like to see something other than a bill in their mailbox?
3. Send an Email with 10 Ways They’ve Inspired You
Not to say that emailing isn't also effective. If you take 5-10 minutes to think about what your boo has brought to your life since knowing them, you can probably easily come up with 10 ways that they've inspired you to become a better person. By expressing your gratitude in this way, not only will it be nice for your significant other to hear, it can also remind you of why you're with them in the first place. It'll be the best email they've received in a while. I'd be willing to put a good amount of money on that.
4. Create an Appreciation Jar
One of the best gifts that I've ever received, hands down, was from two friends who gave me a box. When I opened it up, there were different colored pieces of construction paper on them. Each had a word that my friends said described my personality. Come to think of it, I've had that box for about 15 years now. It's still on display and I still adore it because it was extremely thoughtful. It also gave me insight into how other people see me.
Another way to show your partner just how much you appreciate them is to create something similar; maybe something like an appreciation jar. Go to a local arts store, Walmart or Target to get a Mason jar (make sure it has a lid). Then, cut up some pieces of paper. On each one, type or handwrite one thing that you appreciate about them. Try and come up with enough things to fill the jar, at least halfway. It can be a great pick-me-up if they choose to place the jar on their desk at work. All they need to do is open it, pull out a piece of paper and bam—they will have an instant reminder of why there is at least one person on the planet who values them and is truly thankful for them. Not just for one reason but many.
5. Make Them a Gift Basket
My godchildren's mom was recently telling me that she encouraged my older goddaughter to make the people in her life Christmas gifts this year instead of buying them. My godchild has particular taste, even at eight years of age, so she wasn't impressed with her mom's suggestion. But I can honestly say that the things that I've gotten from my goddaughter that have moved me the most are things that she handcrafted.
Just like my goddaughter, I think a lot of adults also underestimate the impact of what a handmade gift can do, especially if you're looking for ways to show someone how grateful they are to have them in your world. If you're open to considering making your partner something, how about a gift basket of some sort? You can create one that centers around a theme like a pampering or a favorite memories basket, or you can just put a variety of random small special items in it. Items like what? Your partner's favorite cookies; a framed picture of the two of you; a CD that features some of y'all's favorite songs; tickets to a movie or upcoming concert; a bottle of wine that the two of you can share; some scented candles; a copy of a book that they've been wanting to read—these are just some ideas to get your creative juices going. Once you know what you want to put into your basket, all you need to do is go to a local arts and crafts store to pick up a basket, some cellophane to wrap everything up in, along with a big ole' bow. Just like that, you're good to go.
6. Treat Them to Something They Enjoy Doing
Something that a lot of guys tell me that they hate about dating is the fact that, oftentimes, the date is centered around what the woman wants to do, not them. Some of us don't even think about this when we're talking to our man about what to do the following weekend.
No matter what your guy's love language may be, I don't know one man who wouldn't be moved by the "acts of service" decision to plan an entire date around the things that he enjoys most.
Maybe it's tickets to a game. Maybe it's doing something super adventurous. Maybe it's getting a meal from a favorite food truck and sitting in a car and talking for hours. The point is hone in on what his likes are and then to show how much you adore him by customizing a date that is totally centered around those things. The thought itself is something that will deeply move him. It really will.
7. Have Some “Thank You Flowers” Delivered to Their Job
There's a platonic male friend of mine who I once brought flowers to. He had an acting debut and I thought that a bunch of sunflowers would be a cool gift. When I handed them to him, he said, "I've never received flowers before. I never thought that I would like getting them this much." He still talks about that to this day. That's why sending flowers makes this list. Although traditionally, we think of floral deliveries going to women, I think it would put a smile on a lot of men's faces to get a fresh bouquet at their place of business. Especially when it's from their lady and includes a sweet note.
As far as what kind of flowers to get, ones that specifically express gratitude include roses, irises, chrysanthemums, sweet peas and any kind of yellow flower. If you want to be symbolic, that is.
8. Give Them a Personalized Gratitude Journal
Another way to show your boo just how grateful you are for them is to gift them with a gratitude journal. The reason why this can ultimately prove to be the gift that keeps on giving is because there is a significant amount of scientific evidence to support that expressing gratitude on a regular basis enhances relationships, improves one's physical as well as psychological health, improves our self-esteem and even makes it easier to sleep at night.
Make the journal an extra special present by getting it personalized with their name on it, along with a favorite love quote, song lyric or an original sentiment about how you feel about your partner. Don't forget to write an inscription on the inside of the journal too. As far as where you can get a personalized journal, off the top of my head, I know that Etsy offers some that are at a pretty reasonable price.
9. Purchase Something Made Out of “Gratitude Crystals”
If you want to give a gift that comes in the form of jewelry or maybe even a keychain, how about giving your partner something that is made out of crystals that evoke feelings of gratitude by making the individual feel good about themselves? Druzy crystals promote feelings of self-love. Sodalites promote feelings of self-awareness. Danburite encourages people to let their light shine. Rhodochrosite symbolizes joy and compassion in one's life. Green Aventurine is both a comforter as well as a heart healer. A gift that has these kinds of meanings will make the receiver grateful to receive it, and grateful every time that they wear it (or use it) and the gift-giver comes to mind.
10. Get a Wall Calendar and Write a Memory You Cherish for Each Month of the Year
We are right on the cusp of a new year. Something else that you can do to keep your partner organized and make them feel appreciated is to get them a 2020 wall calendar. Then, for each month, write a memory pertaining to you two's relationship that you truly cherish. It's kind. It's thoughtful. And it's something that they can make use of for the next 365 days.
I can just imagine how much closer a lot of people would be in their relationship of expressing gratitude was a priority. Set the bar by doing something creative for your partner over the next few days. It will make both of you feel that much closer. Gratitude always does.
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