How To Show Appreciation To Your Partner: 23 Practical Tips

Updated October 1, 2023  

Everyone feels grateful to the love of their life.

However, do you make an effort to show it? 

This doesn’t mean planning a grand vacation or getting them the most expensive gift you can find. 

Sometimes, learning how to show appreciation to your partner lies in the little things.

It’s about making an effort every single day, even when times are rough.

Unfortunately, most people get lazy and comfortable in their relationships, and in time, people take their spouses for granted.

After all, life can get chaotic and busy.

It feels like you have so many things to do, and you develop a tunnel vision that makes you forget the blessing in front of your eyes.

This article will inspire you to think of more ways to show gratitude, love, and care for your partner in your daily life.

Importance of Appreciation in a Relationship

Before we let you in on how to show appreciation to your husband or wife, we need to define what it is first.

Appreciation refers to the recognition of someone’s good qualities.

Having and practicing gratitude in your life has a massive effect on your happiness and the happiness of others as well. 

When you stop and appreciate your partner, it makes them feel loved and valued.

When you recognize something that your partner has done, it signals that you appreciate what they're doing.

After all, nobody wants to be taken for granted.

For instance, if your spouse spent the whole day cleaning the house and you compliment their effort, they will feel appreciated. 

But if you walk through the door and do not even acknowledge your sparkly clean house, they may feel irritated.

Or worse, they’ll think that they’ve put in so much effort for nothing.

Whether it's appreciating small or big things, developing a culture of appreciation and gratitude in your relationship is integral. 

This is one of the best ways to stay contented and happy in your marriage

Recognizing all your partner's contributions in making your life easier should become a permanent habit.

If you think your partner is feeling underappreciated in a relationship, you are bound to notice signs.

For example:

  • They may make plans without talking to you
  • They may be quieter than usual
  • They may get triggered over little things
  • They may become distant
  • They may stop making an effort to be romantic

20+ Ways to Show Appreciation to your Partner

By now, you may be very excited to show your partner that you appreciate them.

Here are some ideas on how to show appreciation to your partner.

1. Say it

Perhaps the most obvious way to show your spouse that you appreciate them is to say it more often.

Saying “thank you” may seem like a mundane task, so it’s easy to neglect it.

But intentionally saying it to your partner will make them feel special.

More than that, it will make them feel like you notice their efforts.

2. Say thank you in their love language

Another way to ensure your spouse feels valued is to show gratitude based on their love language. 

There are five languages. This includes:

  • Quality time
  • Physical touch
  • Words of affirmation
  • Acts of service
  • Receiving gifts

Knowing the love language of your partner is crucial.

This way, you can pattern your appreciation based on their needs.

For instance, if your spouse’s love language is receiving gifts, you can give them their favorite chocolate when you come home. 

If their love language is physical touch, you can hold their hand more often or hug them. 

Following their love language will ensure that your gratitude will resonate better with them.

You might also like: What Are the 5 love languages (By Gary Chapman)?

3. Reciprocate favors

This tip is a game-changer in how to show appreciation. 

If you feel like your partner is doing most of the work in a relationship, especially house chores, learn to return the favor.

The secret to a successful marriage is developing a cycle of reciprocation and support.

Think about it - if you genuinely love someone, you will try hard to serve them.

For example:

If your spouse has been cooking your dinner for the past week, maybe you can go home early from work and cook them their favorite meal.

Related: Division of Labor in Marriage: 10 Ways to Make it Fair

4. Pay attention

Paying attention to your partner may seem straightforward, but you’ll be surprised at how many people fail to do this.

Listen well when your partner talks to you or shares how they feel.

Make eye contact, mirror their gestures, and understand where they are coming from instead of thinking about your reply. 

This will assure them that you value what they are trying to say.

5. Prioritize little things

If you’ve spent years with your partner, it's easy to become comfortable in your relationship. 

However, the time to pause and think about how your partner is contributing happiness to your life.

Little things such as kissing them before they go to work, hugging them when they get home, or simply chatting with them will make a difference. 

This tip on how to show appreciation may seem like a small thing, but it will ultimately add up.

6. Be specific

Serious about learning how to show appreciation to your partner? 

You need to understand that saying thank you to your partner is great, but it’s not enough.

Generic compliments have a place, but if you want your gratitude to be felt by your spouse, you need to be specific.

Considering this, think about what you would like to say or what you want your partner to know.

Are you thankful for them because they cook the best pasta?

Or maybe they did something simple like picking up your kids from school when you can’t?

Saying exactly why you are thankful to your partner will make your appreciation more tangible.

7. Compliment them

Receiving compliments from your partner is one of the best feelings.

Compliments make you feel seen and appreciated.

For example:

If your partner made an effort to look good on your date, tell them that they look beautiful.

Or is your spouse excelling at work? Tell them that you’re proud of them.

One of the best ways to learn how to show appreciation to your husband or wife is by praising them in public.

This doesn’t have to be flashy.

Simply telling other people that you’re proud of your partner will do wonders for their self-esteem.

8. Celebrate important dates

It makes a huge difference to remember the milestones in a relationship.

Whether it’s your anniversary, birthday, or whatever it is, remember important dates.

If your memory is not the best, use technology to your advantage and set reminders on your phone.

You don’t need to plan a huge celebration around these events.

Even sending your partner a thoughtful text to remind them of the special event can do wonders for them.

For example, you can text them something along the lines of “Today is the day we met ten years ago."

Would you like us to have dinner later?”

9. Give them quiet time

It's easy to get into a routine when you're in a long-term relationship. 

One of the best exercises to show appreciation to your partner is to give them a break and let them rest.

This is such a big deal for people who are overworked or busy taking care of children. 

As much as you can, give your partner the opportunity to enjoy quiet time. 

They can use this time to read a book, watch their favorite show, or enjoy a soak in the bathtub.

10.  Cook dinner

Every person has their favorite comfort meal.

If not, your partner may have mentioned a recipe that they’ve wanted to try.

One of the best ways to show your appreciation is to cook this dish.

This won’t take much effort, and it will make your spouse feel like you are paying attention.

11.  Go on romantic dates

It’s easy to forget the importance of romantic date nights.

Related: 50+ Fun & Intimate Date Night Questions to Ask your Partner

However, these moments will reignite the spark in your relationship.

Take time to plan a romantic date with your spouse to thank them for everything they do for you.

Make a reservation in their favorite restaurant, buy movie tickets, head to their favorite park, or plan a weekend getaway.

Make this date all about your husband or wife.

12.  Give them a small gift

When was the last time you bought something for your partner? 

If you want to learn how to show appreciation, you must understand that purchasing even a small gift can significantly impact your relationship.

You can get something that your partner wants but is not willing to buy for themselves.

You can also buy them something you think would be useful in their life.

To make it even more memorable, attach a note of gratitude. 

Whether you go for an affordable gift or you plan on splurging, giving gifts is such a great way to show appreciation.

13.  Notice when they are feeling stressed

Chances are, you already know the signs when your partner is stressed.

If they are exhibiting symptoms of stress or frustration, make an effort to turn their mood around.

Pick them up from work, take them out to dinner, give them back scratches, or take over their chores for the day.

Whatever it is, giving them time to clear their head will surely be appreciated.

14.  Take care of yourself

How can you meet the needs of your husband or wife if you don't know how to take care of yourself first?

For instance, make sure you're getting enough sleep.

This way, you won't be cranky throughout the day.

Sleep is associated with increased conflict because it can make you more irritable.1

If you take care of yourself, you will have a better disposition and mindset to deal with issues more rationally.

15.  Keep a shared journal

You may think this is cheesy, but it's such a great tip on how to show appreciation.

Keep a journal around your room that can be easily accessible.

You and your partner can write down notes of gratitude for each other whenever you feel like it. 

This can range from simple things like thank you for making breakfast or writing song lyrics that remind you of your relationship.

Journaling is an effective tool, especially if you’re shy to express gratitude in person.

16.  Deliberately spend time with them

Even if your spouse’s love language is not quality time, you should still spend time with them intentionally.

Nothing says "I'm grateful for you" more than investing a couple of hours each day for quality time no matter how busy you are.

Over time, material gifts will be forgotten, but the gift of quality time is something that your partner will remember forever.

You might also like: 20+ Intimacy Ideas for Married Couples

17.  Take an interest in their hobbies and life

It feels great to have your partner ask you about what you want to do or what’s going on in your personal and professional life.

It’s even a better feeling when the person you love remembers the things that you’ve told them.

For example:

If your partner mentioned preparing for a significant report at work, make sure to follow up on it and ask them how it’s going.

18.  Flirt more often

Just because you've been in a relationship with your partner for a long time doesn't mean you should stop flirting with each other.

Do you still remember how much you flirted with your partner during the early months of your relationship?

Flirting is a way to show gratitude and appreciation because it makes your partner feel desired and wanted.

Intentionally flirting with each other is one of the best tips if you want to keep the spark going.

Even if you have gone past your honeymoon stage. 

Throwing compliments like “you look good today” or “I can’t wait to see you tonight” will go far.

19.  Enjoy your time together

Whether you’re sharing breakfast, riding in your car on your way to work, or having dinner, enjoy every moment you spend with your partner.

Pay attention to them and minimize distractions such as scrolling through your phone. 

Initiate meaningful conversations, laugh with your partner, and be playful.

20.  Give them a massage

If your husband or wife is feeling under the weather or stressed, shoulder or neck massages are one of the best solutions you can offer to relieve the tension in their body. 

It can even help with headaches.

If your partner has been on their feet all day, a foot massage will feel like the best thing in the world.

21.  Remind them that you support them

Everyone has dreams and goals, including your partner.

These things matter so much to them, and in return, they should matter to you as well.

Support them to achieve their dreams and aspirations, whether in their health, career, or other relationships. 

Intentionally tell them that you believe in their abilities and that you’re always there if they need support.

22.  Encourage your spouse to spend time with friends

Just because you’re in a relationship does not mean you should spend every waking hour of your day with each other.

Sometimes, the ultimate way to show someone that you’re grateful for them is to understand that they have a life of their own.

If your spouse wants to spend time with their co-workers or college friends, let them.

If you continue stopping them from enjoying their life, it will only make them feel caged. In time, this will turn into resentment.

23.  Give them security

It’s normal for your spouse to doubt themselves and even how much you love them. 

One of the best tips on how to show appreciation to your partner is to make an effort to reassure them of how much you love them, faults and all.

Remind them of how awesome they are, even if they don’t see it all the time.

Further reading: 15+ scientific ways to improve your marriage

Your turn

I hope you enjoyed my tips. 🙂

Which one are you going to start doing?

Something not on the list? Let me know what YOU are doing to show your appreciation in the comments.

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About the author 


Sebastian loves analyzing statistics about anything that has to do with the dynamics in a love relationship. He enjoys researching why people behave the way they do (and drinks horrendous amounts of coffee when he's in the zone).

He uses his knowledge to help couples in troubled relationships reconnect with their partners and create a perfectly imperfect relationship.

Dowload my free 14 mistakes ebook 

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