While couples are at the beginning of their relationship, in the “honeymoon” phase, the partners will shower each other with affection and words of appreciation.
But often, as time goes on, partners may start taking each other for granted and forget to show the same kind of admiration they once did.
According to a study from 2017, one of the main reasons for long-term couples splitting up was that one of the partners was no longer showing enough affection and attention to the other.
And a study from 2018 found that young adults — aged 18–29 — who perceived that their partner put a similar effort into initiating text conversations also reported greater relationship satisfaction.
Other research has shown that women who reported being satisfied in their romantic relationships also reported that their partners were appreciative of their bodies. And, they reported increased satisfaction with their sex lives.
Finally, although material gifts are not a measure of love in any relationship, some studies have shown that when a partner can and does offer gifts, this can contribute to relationship satisfaction if done correctly.
Research from last year suggests that for a gift to increase relationship satisfaction, it has to be well thought out. The gifts we offer to others, the researchers explain, can reflect the image they have of themselves or the image we have of them.
If the two do not coincide, then it is likely that the gift we pick will be disappointing to the receiver. But, the researchers say, if we know our partners well, we will manage to pick a gift that truly fits in with their personality and hobbies — and will reflect positively on our relationship.
No matter how you choose to show your affection, though, expressing your appreciation of your significant other — and not just on Valentine’s Day — is a safe bet when it comes to maintaining relationship quality.
However, even if you put in all the effort you can muster into a romantic relationship, sometimes, it will not work out, and that should necessarily be a cause for regret.
If a relationship does not make you feel happy, secure, and valued, it may be time to turn your attention to yourself and invest more in some self-love before you decide how or whether to start afresh with someone new.