The Importance of Dinner and Saying Thank You
Couples in counseling frequently ask me for concrete suggestions to improve their relationships. While every romantic pairing is unique with specific needs, all relationships can benefit from some simple, yet meaningful gestures.
Creating a special meal for your partner is both a concrete way to nourish him or her, as well as a symbolic act that communicates caring and nurturing. The time and energy involved in planning a menu, grocery shopping, and cooking are thoughtful undertakings that should not be taken for granted. Most couples are extremely pressed for time with work, kids, and other commitments, which makes executing a special meal all the more impressive. Even if you don't consider yourself a cook, occasionally attempting to make your partner's favorite foods and carving out time to sit down with them and enjoy it can be a intimate experience. Sometimes couples forget how much they communicate to their partners through their actions. Hopefully you have a partner who will recognize your hard work and respond appropriately.
This leads me to the importance of saying "Thank You" and not taking your partner or their efforts for granted. Sometimes couples who have been together for a significant amount of time forget to say these simple words. It is vital to remember that everyone wants to be recognized for their efforts, even in cases where the effort is expected. So even if your husband takes out the trash every night because it is his designated responsibility, it might be a good idea to say "Thanks." And if he makes you dinner and burns it, I would suggest also appreciating his intention--even if the outcome could be improved. If he feels appreciated then he may be more apt to make that lasagna again (practice makes perfect!).
Unexpectedly thank your partner for something and see what happens. It can only improve your relationship!