Expressing gratitude and saying thank you is something that many of us were taught to do from a very early age. Coaxing a toddler, then teenager to say “thank you” is a regularly occurring occasion for most parents. It's the polite thing to do, after all, and shows good manners. Once we're adults, saying “thanks” is often not given much thought if we remember to say it at all. In the day to day of your love relationship, gratitude tends to be completely forgotten except for those special favors we ask of each other. Making a habit of offering heartfelt thanks to the one you love can not only make your partner feel appreciated, it can enhance intimacy and bring your closer together.

As unsexy as “thank you” seems, gratitude can put you and your mate on the path to a more passionate relationship. After all, how many times have you and your partner become so busy with your jobs, the kids, the pets, the house and everything else in life that you pretty much only connect when making love? And that might even be fit in rather hurriedly. How much deeper would your intimate connecting be when it's built on a foundation of regularly expressed gratitude that comes with a sense of presence and from the heart?

Many of us feel over-scheduled and stretched beyond our limits. One friend says she'd give anything for a clone of herself just to get everything done. Hearing “thank you” more often for even the small things you do for your love would feel great. In fact, you might even harbor a little resentment that all of your efforts seem to go unnoticed by your partner. If this is the case, hearing and saying “thank you” more often would probably benefit your relationship.

But the very big catch here is that when you express gratitude to your partner, you need to be tuned in and engaged. If you distractedly utter a “thanks” as you turn your attention back to your to do list, the potential for connection is lost. In much the same way, when your love does tell you how grateful he or she is that you took out the trash, walked the ca, or cleaned up spilled milk, come back to this moment and fully receive the love that accompanies the gratitude.

Doesn't it feel good?

When you allow yourself to really engage with a compliment or words of thanks given by your love, it feel oh so good. Don't discount your mate's “thank you” by saying “it was nothing” or something to that effect. Instead, accept his or her thanks and take a few seconds to bask in the love relayed through the gratitude. The next time you notice your partner's contributions to your home, family or relationship, infuse your thanking words with the love you feel. Watch him or her revel in your those uplifting emotions.

It's this kind of sharing that, over time, builds up and can really enhance your intimate life. Just think about how much more excited you are about attending a party when you know people you share a connection with will also be in attendance. Yes, it's fun to meet new folks, but it's usually a richer and deeper experience when you already have a strong and positive history together. In a similar way, the non-intimate times in your love relationship can have a huge impact on the sensual intimate sharing that happens.

Be on the look-out for gratitude moments.

Once you see how much more passionate intimacy can be when you and your mate build connection during those non-intimate times, you might want to say “thank you” more often! As wonderful as it feels to receive your love's gratitude, it can be just as good a feeling to express it. Even if you'd like to hear “thank you” more often, you can still enjoy gratitude. Don't miss an opportunity to let yourself know how much you appreciate something about you. Perhaps you feel invigorated after a trip to the gym. Thank yourself for treating your body well.

If you mainly notice all of things about your partner that get on your nerves, see if you can find one aspect or action each day that you appreciate about him or her. It might be as seemingly insignificant as the way your mate cleans up after him or herself in the bathroom. Start there and let your mate know that you appreciate that. As you become practiced finding gratitude moments, they will probably occur more frequently and easily.

Saying “thank you” is not just for that present from grandma when you're 13. Nobody outgrows the potential benefit of expressing and receiving gratitude-- even if it's to yourself, from you. Allow yourself to be present in each moment and let your love know how much you appreciate him or her. You may find yourself realizing how grateful you are for the renewed and growing passion and love you share .

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