Small selfless acts between spouses aren’t just nice—they also are necessary, experts say. When acts of kindness and caregiving disappear, it is an indication the relationship needs help. And when you are compassionate to your partner, it increases your own happiness at least as much as the other person’s.
Here are some great ways to show appreciation and let them know just how special they are to you:
1.Speak highly of your partner to your family and friends. Saying nice things about your spouse will inevitably get back to them, and nothing says you’re appreciated like hearing a great compliment you received.
2. Surprise your partner with flowers, coffee or lunch at work. This is a small, but thoughtful, gesture that is sure to make their day and make them feel appreciated.
3. Read the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, in which he discusses the ways people give and receive love (physical touch, quality time, gifts, acts of service and words of affirmation). Once you have their love language figured out, do things that speak to them in their love language as often as you can.
4. Have a date night where you and your partner write a bucket list of everything you want to do in life. Then, pick out something on one of your lists and make plans to do it together. This shows that you care about your partner’s hopes and dreams and you want them to be fulfilled.
5. Propose that you spend some time simply reveling in your favorite memories of the past. For example, think about when you first met, how you first told each other that you were falling in love, and what it was like when you first moved in together. Look through photographs from important times in your relationship, and share stories and laughter as you recall these significant events.
6. Over the course of a few weeks or months, compile a romantic snapshot of your partner’s worth. Every day, write down something that your partner did that made you experience strong feelings of love or appreciation, describing the event and explaining why it was so important to you. This will make a very memorable and touching present that you can choose to give at any time you feel the desire to show your partner how much you care.
7. If your partner is busier and more stressed than you are at some point, make sure you do more than your fair share of chores so that they have more time to relax and unwind. If you simply do this and wait for your partner to notice, it will be clear that you did it out of compassion. In addition, knowing that you are so loving and considerate will give your partner something to smile about during this period of stress.
8. Sit down and consider all the things that make your partner an invaluable part of your life, then make a list of the most meaningful reasons why you love them. For example, think about why they are so attractive and also about all of the times they have supported you. Do your best to make the list as unique as possible, and then present it to your partner as a gift.
9. Consider making an easy but effective sacrifice so that you can spend more time doing something romantic with your partner. You might choose to reschedule a minor social event and take your partner out to dinner instead, or you could record your favorite TV show and spend an hour enjoying a shared hobby with your partner. When you make this sort of gesture without being asked to, it makes a statement about how much you enjoy spending time together.
10. When you know your partner will be going out to work or leaving for a trip, write a little love note that says something short but meaningful about how much you love them (and why). You can then slip this into your partner’s jacket, bag or pocket, and look forward to hearing about their reaction when it is eventually discovered.