US experts have suggested that showing gratitude for the 'little things' in relationships can boost feelings of happiness and romance.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina say that appreciating daily gestures has the ability to add meaning to the lives of both people and helps the relationship flourish.
The study authors chose to study over sixty-five couples who were already in ongoing, satisfying, and committed relationships.
They tracked the day-to-day fluctuations in relationship satisfaction and connection for each member of the relationship.
These little, everyday, ups and downs in relationship quality were reliably marked by one person's feelings of gratitude. The effects on the relationship were noticed even the day after feeling the gratitude was expressed.
This research thus suggests that even everyday gratitude serves an important relationship maintenance mechanism in close relationships, acting as a booster shot to the relationship.
"Feelings of gratitude and generosity are helpful in solidifying our relationships with people we care about, and benefit to the one giving as well as the one on the receiving end," lead author Dr. Sara Algoe said.
The study has been published in the journal Personal Relationships.