“What you appreciate appreciates” -Proverb
Happy Partner Appreciation Day! Here’s how and where it all began…
After living together for two months, we introduced a Relationship Zen habit to adapt to the changing nature of our time spent together. When we lived apart, getting together was like an event or an occasion in our calendars.
Since we moved in together, most of our time together has been committed to routine: cleaning, preparing meals, paying bills, talking about work, getting ready for work, and getting ready for bed. See the difference?
It’s become easier to take each other’s presence and companionship for granted because we’ve become part of each other’s everyday routine. As a result, acts of service like making your partner’s lunch, cleaning the washroom, sweeping the floors, making dinner, and generally helping out are more likely to become expected and ultimately unappreciated.
Moreover, the special characteristics about our partner that we used to notice and enjoy may also begin to lose their appeal because they become normal.
At around the two month mark of living together, we made the observation that if we continued to live like this, we could harm our relationship. In response, we decided to be proactive and adapt to our new environment by introducing a nightly Relationship Zen practice.
Our Nightly Practice
Once we settle in for the night, we make time for acknowledging the things we appreciate about the other person. This is almost like a verbal appreciation journal for one another. Since we journal almost every night anyway, we thought it would be an easy add-on!
Try this together near the end of the day:
- Snuggle in bed or connect over an evening meal or chat.
- Take a minute to mentally note what you could be grateful for about your partner. This could be something they did or said, how they made you feel, or something about them in general.
- Take turns sharing your appreciation (i.e. “I appreciate that you made and packed my lunch for tomorrow” or “I appreciate the way you smirk when you’re about to tell a joke”).
- Ask questions and get curious about your partner’s opinions.
- Hug it out!
It’s a short and simple, yet very powerful practice. It can really enhance your connection and make your day – even a tough day – the best! As we list off appreciations, both the speaker and receiver feel a sense of warmth.
The receiver not only feels appreciated, but also becomes more aware of the impact of their actions on the other. In turn, the speaker not only becomes more grateful for their partner, but feels happier for making someone else feel good. It’s a win-win scenario that builds connection through gratitude, one of the most effective ways to increase your and your receiver’s overall mood and consciousness!
The practice also reminds us that even though the proportion of time spent together in routine has increased after moving in together, it’s still time that we can cherish and make memories from.
Do you and your partner have any appreciation tips that you can share? Let us know on our Relationship Zen Facebook group or in the comment section below!
Sending you positive vibes,
“If you would stop analyzing everything and just look for the things to appreciate, you would live happily ever after. “-Abraham Hicks