Do you want to give your spouse or partner a gift that will not only mean something dear to them but also enhance your relationship? Do you want to give a gift that will last far longer than flowers or a box of chocolates? This gift is one that has been scientifically proven to strengthen relationships and while it can be given on any day – it usually isn’t. The gift I am alluding to is a compliment! It may sound simple but the act of appreciating your partner can, and often does get lost in every day living. It becomes much easier to notice what you don’t like about your partner. It is easy to become critical and find fault with many things about each other. Some people may even feel they are being “helpful” by letting their partner know about such defects. Unfortunately, while criticism may come easy it can be toxic on a relationship. Here are some ways to balance out the negativity that may be affecting your relationship

“I love how you… keep the house clean, read to the kids etc.”
“I appreciate they way you….”
“When you…. I feel proud, happy, loved etc”.
“I am so grateful for you and this relationship”
“Wow! I love it when you do that!”

A good ratio to ensure a healthy partnership may be 6 compliments to 1 criticism.
If you and your life partner have been in a critical rut for too long, and are having difficulty turning it around, couples counseling may help.

Editor’s note: While appreciating your partner will go a long way in maintaining a long term healthy relationship, the writer asks that no readers use this blog post to justify why they did not also bring their partner flowers, chocolate etc.