Relationship: How thoughtfulness makes your relationship work

Oftentimes our partners tell us what it is they are longing for from us, but for whatever reason, we don't hear them or we forget their needs too quickly. A little thoughtfulness is something we all need in our lives. It will make your relationship, and your life, a better place to be.

Thoughtfulness doesn't require anything more than acknowledging something that's important to the one you love. Perhaps your partner has had a bad day at the office. Offer your empathy, say that you are aware of how hard work can be, and let your love know that you appreciate everything he or she does for you and your family. Those few words can help lift anyone out of a potentially uncomfortable emotional spiral. In the same respect, thoughtfulness also means truly hearing what your partner says to you. If your mate opens up to you about something that's hurting him or her, or causing stress, be sure you're really listening. Your partner always wants to know that you care about what's going on.

True thoughtfulness comes from deep within the core of your heart. When you really love someone, you want them to know it; those acts of thoughtfulness (no matter how small) are a great way to show that you care. Your mate will feel it in a way that will deepen the intimacy in your relationship.

There are many ways to show you care, and one of the best is a simple verbal reminder that you love your partner. Saying the three little words, "I love you," is not only thoughtful but also reinforcing, and it will make your mate feel better, no matter what is going on.

You can also text love notes, take your partner out on the town, or prepare a nice meal at home, so you can both relax and feel special. All of these are thoughtful actions. Then there are the really little things, such as saying, "Bless you," when your partner sneezes and offering an extra hankie, or dropping what you are doing, so you can help the one you love find some missing keys or glasses. These are tiny, but true acts of love. 

When someone is thoughtful enough to be there for you through the little inconveniences that life throws at us, you can pretty much count on that person being there for you when you really need him or her. There is nothing more comforting than having the love of your life by your side when things go wrong.

One of the best parts of thoughtfulness is that, when it becomes integrated with your heart and soul, you will feel as good (if not better) than the person you are being thoughtful toward. The real beauty is that this behavior gets stronger every time you use it. Knowing that you have a thoughtful partner makes getting through those rough patches much easier, because you know that your mate will be there for you, no matter what.

(Dr. Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, Calif., is the author, most recently, of "100 Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence -- Believe in Yourself and Others Will Too." Email him at Barton@BartonGoldsmith.com)

(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, shns.com)

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