As human beings we crave loving, supportive relationships. We just do! We want to have someone to rely on, to encourage us, and to build partnerships with. Having positive relationships (romantic & others!) are essential to living a happy, purposeful life.
But sometimes in long term, committed relationships we can totally be thankful for our relationships, but lack the enthusiasm and gratitude we once had. Sometimes we make excuses like, “the honeymoon’s over” or “we’re nesting” or other general sentiments that suggest we’ve settled in.
I was recently talking to a good friend about her relationship. She’s one half of the a super cute, healthy, and loving couple, but life circumstances put some hardships in their way, and she was beginning to feel the weight. Can you relate? I know I sure did.
During our conversation she said, “Ya know, things are good, but I want them to be great!” There wasn’t an ounce of desperation in her voice, just pure committment. I shared with her a fabulous tool and at the end she said, “Yeah, I want that!”
So here it is! A 10-second strategy to get your relationship from good to great!
PAUSE, EXPAND, SHARE
Let’s break it down…
Pause. Let’s say your significant other takes out the trash. You’re aware and typically might squeeze out a “Thanks for taking out the trash. Can you plug in my phone?” (guilty!)
Expand. This is where the gold is! How does this action make you feel? How are you grateful? What’s possible because this action took place?
Share. This is where GREAT relationships are built. Perhaps it might sound like, “I really appreciate you taking out the trash. Even though it’s crazy sometimes, I love this life we’ve built, and couldn’t imagine a better partner in crime.” It literally takes 10-seconds (I timed it :).
I suppose if there had to be a formula it could look like:
“Thank you so much for __________. I really appreciate it because _________. I love our ________. You’re amazing and I’m so grateful for you!”
And then listen to the response. Participate in it. Feel it.
It’s so simple. And here’s a secret. Yes, you’re acknowledging the other person, but it’s for you. YOU get to experience the thoughtful act, and feel genuine gratitude for your partner, your relationship, and your life!
We want to hear from you! How do you take your relationship from good to great? How has gratitude taken your relationship to the next level?
About the Author
Haley VanCox, ICF-ACC, is a Certified Positive Psychology Coach and Life Coach. She helps women get what they want using scientifically proven strategies grounded in Positive Psychology. Read more at HaleyVanCox.com