Appreciation may be the cornerstone to good communication, good sex and good relationships. Appreciation embodies respect, trust, a sense of feeling lucky to be with your partner and general kudos. Appreciation can be monetarily free - as this list will be. In this economy, we have a wonderful opportunity to reinvent our idea of appreciation and get back to the warmth and humanity all the cars in the world cannot convey. If you practice regular, sincere, deep appreciation, chances are you'll get it back in spades.
1 - Stop everything you're doing when your partner has something to say to you that seems important. Get off of the phone, tell the kids to take a few minutes by themselves, stop working, stop working out, or whatever it is that you're doing that seems so crucial, and just listen to them. Look at them, be present. This doesn't have to happen every single time you're in the middle of something else, but a few minutes of undivided attention, surprisingly, can go a very long way in showing your partner how important their thoughts, words and feelings are to you.
2 - Cook a meal for them without planning it. Simply cook it, present it, and sit with them while they eat whether or not you're also eating. You may want to check in about what they like to eat but, if you know already, don't ask about it, just do it and do it with love.
3 - Make a list of five things that you really appreciate about your partner and just tell them for no "reason." Say, "I was thinking about how much I appreciate that you always... and that you ..." - admit that it's mushy and do it anyway! You may be surprised at how good this makes both of you feel.
4 - Take a really nice photograph of your partner in a candid way - not posed but just doing an every day thing. Print it out in black and white and put it in an inexpensive frame. In this digital age we so often forget about photos in frames or albums. The hands-on touch is really sentimental and a photograph of oneself just being caught in the moment, being loved by you, can be very moving.
5 - Take extra time to give your partner a shoulder rub.