5 Things your partner really wants

Kate Taylor

If you’re stuck on what to give your partner this Christmas, forget the big, showy gifts. Here, our relationship expert reveals the secret things your partner really wants from you.

1. Not to be told what to do

Everyone has an idea of the best way to do things—from how to roast the turkey to the mysterious art of wrapping presents.

But don’t forget that you married your partner precisely because they could add new ideas and information to your life. Before you rip the wrapping paper out of their hand, or laugh scornfully at their idea about barbecuing the turkey—stop! Take a step back. Let go. Give your partner the space and respect to express their own ideas.

When I meet couples that are seething with resentment at each other, it’s always because one of them has taken it upon themselves to control both partners’ behaviour.

 

2. Ideas on how to make you happy

We all want our partners to make us happy, but we don’t make it easy for them, do we? When was the last time that you told your partner what you’d really like to watch on TV, or eat for lunch, or do at the weekend?

In long-term relationships, we get into the habit of making “compromise suggestions”; rather than express our real desires, we suggest things that we feel our partner would enjoy too. This sounds like a recipe for happiness, but it denies your partner the chance to make you happy. And eventually, you feel resentful.

So instead, start by expressing your real desires and tastes, without feeling guilty or second-guessing what your partner would prefer.

 

3. Honest and sincere appreciation

Appreciation is so powerful that Dale Carnegie made it one of the main principles in his best-selling book, How To Win Friends And Influence People.

We all long to be appreciated. If you’re in a long-term relationship, your partner is constantly looking for appreciation from you. So give it!

Start small. Find one lovely thing they’ve done today, and thank them for it, sincerely. If you’re writing their Christmas card, make list of five things you love about them. Let them overhear you praising them to someone else. Notice the things that they do. You’ll see a difference in them instantly—and you’ll soon find more and more things to appreciate.

4. Support through the good times

Research has shown that celebrating a partner’s good news has a hugely beneficial effect in relationships. So, don’t just concentrate on being a strong, supportive partner when things go badly—ensure you’re a fun, enthusiastic partner when their life goes well.

When your partner starts a new hobby, receives a promotion at work, launches a health kick, or wins in the raffle, be delighted for them. Ensure you’re the first person they want to tell good news.

 

5. To feel great about themselves when they’re with you

A popular wedding reading by American poet Roy Croft begins: “I love you, Not only for what you are, But for what I am when I am with you…” All of us want a partner who brings out our best side, our funniest side, our inner awesomeness. But how do you do that, especially when you’ve known your partner for so long that you’ve become well acquainted with their faults?

The answer is, focus on the good bits! Give your partner a fine reputation to live up to, and they naturally will. Trust their better nature, praise the efforts they make, notice their positive qualities.

When you first met, you naturally noticed and encouraged the things you loved about each other. Over time, it’s easy to overlook them. Make an effort, today and every day, to help your partner feel genuinely positive about themselves, and you instantly become irreplaceable.

 

You can read more from Kate on her website

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