After being together for a while, it’s common to start taking one another for granted. But doing so can seriously harm your relationship. If you and your partner have fallen into that trap, it’s time to put the focus on appreciating each other more. Read on to find out how.
Feeling underappreciated? What it means
Most couples do end up taking each other for granted at some point, and dialing down the effort they put into love when things were new. Taking your partner for granted means that you’re not appreciating the way they contribute to or enhance your relationship and expecting things of them without asking or discussing them first. Being taken for granted often feels like being used – definitely not a feeling that fosters romance.
How it happens
There are two main ways people take each other for granted:
Lack of acknowledgment and consideration for the other person:
- Not thanking your partner when they do something nice for you
- Not acknowledging your partner verbally or with eye contact when they are speaking
- Not being considerate of your partner's time by being late
- Not letting your partner know that you appreciate the small things they do each day
Using your partner to meet your needs:
- Objectifying and pigeonholing your partner into specific roles and not seeing them beyond those roles
- Expecting that your partner should meet all your sexual or other needs without giving anything in return
- Expecting your partner to carry the financial responsibility for the household
- Expecting your partner to look after all the household chores
Make a note: As you both work towards an improved relationship, remember to acknowledge your partner’s efforts, their acts of kindness and the traits that drew you to them in the first place, all of which encourage teamwork and mutual support. It takes effort and a willingness to make things work as a team to have a fulfilling relationship.
How to make things right and appreciate each other more
If you’ve been guilty of taking your partner for granted, all is not lost. The important thing is to start putting the focus back on appreciating your partner, and even the little things count. Even simply saying thank you if your partner brings you a cup of tea goes a long way.
The next step is to recognize the problem and take ownership of your role in it no matter how large or how small that role may be. Remove blame and begin to work together as a team to make the changes in the relationship that you both want.
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