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Men are constantly being encouraged to appreciate women—like men are the only ones who forget to appreciate their partners.
But ladies, appreciation goes both ways.
I’ve been guilty of this in my past relationships.
In a society where nothing ever seems enough, including us, it can become easy to mirror this in our personal lives and relationships.
We are expected to be thinner, more attractive, more successful, more outgoing, and more helpful—I could go on forever here.
We develop high expectations for ourselves, and sometimes all that we come to expect from ourselves can be projected onto others, including our men, our partners in crime.
In the beginning, we rave to our friends and family about our men, but somewhere along the way, all the positives give way to negatives.
I know I’m not the only one who has gone to mom or dad, or a friend, and divulged less than flattering details about my partner and relationship.
We all do this, we just don’t like to talk about doing it.
“He hugs me and the world disappears,” is replaced by, “He always leaves smelly socks under the bed.”
“He’s so good to his family,” becomes, “He forgot I had an important meeting this week and didn’t wish me luck.”
This is a person who stole our hearts, inspired us to be better, to love more, and stirred the passion deep within our soul.
This is a person who wiped the tears from our eyes, listened to our stories without running, and made us feel like we were more than enough.
I’m sure he has changed, we all do, but chances are, the qualities that had us falling head over heels for him are still there.
When we become focused on only the negatives, we invite in more negativity. When we focus on the positives, we invite in more positivity.
If we complain and nit-pick constantly, it can leave our men feeling like there isn’t anything we love about them.
Eventually, they’ll begin to question why we’re with them. They’ll become focused on themselves and all the ways they must be lacking.
It doesn’t leave them with much time to show their appreciation for the woman they love, and it can create one very grumpy person.
Although society is making us believe that women are sensitive and men are not, this simply isn’t true.
Men are just as sensitive as women, they can feel and sense subtle changes and negative energy, too.
Men are not from Mars, and women are not from Venus—men and women walk this earth together, and their needs and wants are very much the same.
If we want our men to show us appreciation, we can be the kick a*s leaders we are as women, and literally model for them the type of behaviors we wish to see.
We can also openly communicate with our men if we are feeling under-appreciated, instead of just passive-aggressively posting articles about our concerns.
Chances are they will reassure us, and our men will also be far more likely to express their own concerns and feelings with us in return.
We could find that they feel equally under-appreciated and, at that point, we can discuss each others’ expectations so both partners are better able to meet them.
Open and honest communication is an extremely important part of healthy relationships of any kind, especially our romantic partnerships.
If we don’t clearly communicate our expectations, feelings, and concerns, the people around us don’t know what we need, or what we want.
Deep down, even if they don’t voice it, like we as women so often don’t, men want to feel appreciated and cherished.
We can tell them how much we appreciate that they took out the garbage.
We can tell them how much we appreciate when they listen to our concerns without judgement.
We can tell them that we appreciate them giving their heart, their kind soul, and their artistic abilities—anything—we just can’t forget to appreciate them like we wish to be appreciated.
Placing a focus on the positive parts of our partners, ourselves, and our relationships, is the quickest way to usher in more positivity.
If we’re lucky to be in a relationship, to have a partner investing their energy and pouring their love into us, let’s cherish them, be open with them, and try to focus on the good we see in them.
Then, we can watch and enjoy the real magic of a balanced relationship flourishes and unfolds.
Author: Amanda Dobby
Image: Flickr/Christian Lauer
Editor: Sara Kärpänen