5 [things] your partner wants to hear

1. I appreciate you

Everyone wants to be appreciated, but sometimes it can be hard to remember exactly how to show someone that you appreciate them. Everyone shows appreciation in different ways and everyone interprets appreciation in different ways. Do you tell someone how you feel? Do you show them with gifts? Do you do something for them? Do invite them further into your life? Sometimes it can feel like you are being very upfront and honest about your feelings, but your partner isn’t getting the kind of validation that they’re looking for or need. Integrating these various methods of showing appreciation can make sure that your partner knows you’re there.

2. You contribute to my life

In addition, make sure your partner knows how important they are to you. How do they contribute to your life? How do they make you happy? Is it something you share together? Is it a conversation that you had that really influenced how you see the world? Is it that sexy technique they thought you that forever changed how you view sex? Let them know how their presence contributes to your life. Let them know why they’re important people.

3. Yes and No

Indecision can be weighted in the inability to communicate how we really feel, or the insecurity in owning how we really feel. Give it to yourself, and your partner, the strength to say how you really feel. Yes. No. I like that. I don’t like that. This is what I want to do tonight. I don’t feel like doing that tonight. Learn to communicate how you really feel to one another, and find a groove where you can be honest and open.

4. I am attracted to you

In short or long term relationships it’s important to tell your partner how much you enjoy being around them. Whether that is physical attraction or intellectual attraction or just those emotions that you have when you’re around them. NRE (new relationship energy) is that tingly honeymoon period at the start of a relationship where you’re so new to each other that these things are hard to forget. The longer you’re together the easier it becomes to just assume you know those things already and you don’t need to say them. Don’t pass up opportunities to make your partner feel like you’ve just started seeing each other again. Smack them on the bum, kiss them on the neck, whisper something in their ear, whatever your thing is. This is a style of appreciation, I think, and reminds your partner “I’m still falling for you.”

5. What they need to hear

There’s no right or wrong way to have a consensual relationship between two or more people. As you get to know someone, you’ll learn the kinds of things that work for that particular relationship. Do you know that they really like surprises? That they really like to be told they’re beautiful? That they really enjoy to be appreciated in ___ way? Do they need reassurance? Do they need encouragement? Do they need support? What do these things look like? Sometimes it’s about telling your partner what you know they need to hear, and being aware of when you’re going to need to say those things. Being attentive will take you far, and going out of your way to say something because you know it makes your partner happy can contribute to the success of your relationship. Don’t lie, don’t be facetious, be honest and giving and pay attention. Listen to what your partner needs and tell them what you need and try as hard as you can to remember these small things because they can be easy to forget.

While many of these things may be more or less applicable depending on the style of relationship you’re in, I think a basic sense of appreciation is important in any relationship. Take the time to tell someone how you feel about them and don’t forget to keep telling them.

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