US experts have suggested that showing
gratitude for the ‘little things’ in relationships can boost feelings of
happiness and romance.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina
say that appreciating daily gestures has the ability to add meaning to
the lives of both people and helps the relationship flourish.
The study authors chose to study over 65 couples who were already in ongoing,
satisfying, and committed relationships.
They tracked the day-to-day fluctuations in relationship satisfaction and
connection for each member of the relationship.
These little, everyday, ups and downs in relationship quality were reliably
marked by one person’s feelings of gratitude. The effects on the relationship
were noticed even the day after feeling the gratitude was expressed.
This research thus suggests that even everyday gratitude serves an important
relationship maintenance mechanism in close relationships, acting as a booster
shot to the relationship.
"Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our
relationships with people we care about, and benefit to the one giving as well
as the one on the receiving end," lead author Dr. Sara Algoe said.
The study has been published in the journal
Personal Relationships .