Rules of Relationships – Saying Thank You

expressing thanks to your partnerOne of the first things that we learn about manners when we are children is to say “thank you” when someone does something nice for us or gives us a compliment.  As adults we usually keep up this habit of saying thank you to casual acquaintances, but we often get a little lax with expressing gratitude to the people who are most important to us.  We’re usually good about saying thank you when we receive a compliment from our partner, but it’s easy to fall into a trap where we forget to say thank you for all the everyday nice things that they do for us.

Here are some basic rules for saying thank you to your partner.  I’ve also thrown in some of the common excuses that we use for not saying thank you when we should.  Here are some “thank you” tips to keep in mind, especially if you have been in a relationship for some length of time.

Say Thank You Even if You View it as “Their Job”

Most households have a separation of chores to keep things running smoothly.  As newlyweds, you would probably say thank you if your husband swept the floor after dinner while you loaded the dishwasher.  Of course over time it’s typical to view sweeping as “his job” which usually designates this as a task that is no longer worth a simple thank you.  Instead of just dismissing this as his job, think of all the men out there that don’t sweep the floor (and possible don’t even know where the broom is kept) and be sure to say a little thank you every now and then.

Don’t Withhold a Thank You Because You Had to Ask

When it comes to chores, most households have one person who knows what needs to be done around the house at any given time.  The other person is often willing to help, but first they need to be told what needs to be done.  Just because it is obvious to you that there are dishes in the sink that need to be washed doesn’t mean that everyone who steps foot in the kitchen will notice this.

The person who washes the dishes because you asked them to deserves thanks every bit as much as the person who noticed that the dishes needed to be washed and did it on their own.  Even though it seems like a much bigger deal if the person didn’t need to be told, remember that takes just as much work to wash the dishes whether you were asked to do it or you did it on your own.  And of course a task that completed is that much less work for you no matter why it was completed in the first place.

Don’t Over Analyze a Thank You

For some strange reason there are people who cannot take a compliment at face value and must search for a deeper meaning.  If you just made a fabulous dinner and your partner thanks you for making a delicious meal, then just take this at face value and be happy they noticed.  Do not try to find a deeper meaning by examining what this compliment says about all those other meals that you made that didn’t get a compliment–weren’t they delicious too?

So yes, thank you is an important component to any relationship, but especially to a long term relationship where it can be easy to take things for granted.  Another important part of saying thanks is that it force us to focus on the positive things about our partner instead of honing in on every negative.  One other benefit to keep in mind when it comes to saying thank you as that these words are often contagious.  Not only will expressing thanks make your partner feel more appreciated, but it will often prompt them to say thank you more often to you as well.

What do you think?  Are there some tasks that you find no longer merit a thank you, or do you regularly express your thanks?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Related Posts:
Avoiding Arguments in Relationships
Are “The Rules” Empowering Women or Demeaning Them?


  1. bingkee says:

    I ‘m a thankful person so it comes naturally to me –to thank my husband every day—from taking out the trash, cooking dinner, giving me a massage, driving me to do errands, for loving me, for understanding me, for being patient with me, for everything. I don’t think that the person is doing it because I’m privileged or that is his responsibility…’s sincere gratitude that he’s doing it just so.

  2. Terez says:

    Expressing sincere gratitude to our partners is a very simple, yet powerful way to keep our relationships strong and vital. Showing appreciation regularly helps to stave off complacency in our relationships. Every “thank you” reminds us not to take our mates for granted. Great post Tina!
    Terez´s last blog ..Should You Lend Your Boyfriend or Girlfriend MoneyVideoMy ComLuv Profile

  3. Been There Before says:

    My big problem is often feeling that he benefits too and not saying thankyou. We both benefit when you run the dishwasher, so why should I thank you for it? You’re right that if he didn’t do this I’d have to do it myself, so maybe I have been skimpy on the thank yous.

  4. Very important facts you mention Tina, and now that you ask the question I wonder if I ever say thanks enough…. but I think I do, coz whenever someone does something for me, I do appreciate it.

    From now on I am going to make a point of paying attention to whether I always thank people.

    Thanks for sharing….( see I remembered)… and have a super day.

    sexy legs and body´s last blog ..BATHROOM FASHION – BETTERBATHROOMSCOMMy ComLuv Profile

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