"Love is not just tolerance. It's not just distant appreciation. It's a warm sense of, 'I am enjoying the fact that you are you.'"


"Love is not just tolerance. It's not just distant appreciation. It's a warm sense of, 'I am enjoying the fact that you are you.'"

- N. T. Wright


Motivating quotes about love and relationships, such as the one above, encourage many people to forge a closer, more meaningful, and even a more spiritual relationship with their significant others. The key to building this type of relationship is a strong and abiding appreciation for the other person.


Appreciation plays a much bigger role in relationships than most people realize. Sure, there are a lot of factors that go into a successful romantic relationship, such as trust and communication - so why single appreciation out? Well, while those other factors generally grow with the development of a relationship, appreciation is sadly one of those components that tend to fade with time. It turns into a type of "distant appreciation" described by N.T. Wright, a mere tolerance where your partner and their actions sink into the background.


In the early stages of a relationship you likely notice every nice thing that your partner says and does, and you let them know how wonderful they are for it too. You enjoy and appreciate your partner for exactly who they are, and you fall in love with them because of it. But, over time, it becomes easy to take their thoughtful words and deeds as a commonplace occurrence, making it all too easy not to notice them anymore.


A decrease in how much appreciation we feel and express effectively means that we are taking our partner for granted. It seems to be an inevitable consequence of getting very close and feeling too secure with someone. For example, think of how often you take your family members for granted, even though they have probably been there for you time and time again.


While it is nice to have this kind of emotional security, and while most relationships do not need the sort of attention that partners lavish on do not in the beginning in order to remain happy and healthy, letting your partner know how much you value them is also positive and healthy.


When one or both partners in a romantic relationship do not feel appreciated enough, it may cause a rift big enough to lead to a breakup. If you are at all worried that you might be nearing this point, or if you simply want to make sure that it doesn't happen, then all it takes is a bit of extra effort.


It's as easy as making sure that you tell your partner every single day how much they mean to you and what you love about them. This seems deceptively simple, but it's something that couples can forget to do over time. You can also try leaving little notes either before work or before bed, thanking your partner for cooking or cleaning, or just for being there for you.


Giving your boyfriend or girlfriend some small gifts here and there is not a bad idea either, but you should not rely on material items to fix things for you. What is more important is that you properly express why you are giving the gift and why your partner deserves it.


If you are in need of some urgent one-on-one time, then head out of town for the weekend, just the two of you.  Take in package at a special place and let yourselves get lost in your own little world for 48 hours. It might not be that the two of you appreciate each other any less than you used to, but that the stresses of everyday life get in the way of you expressing it.


Sometimes it might look like a relationship is in trouble, when all it really needs is a good dose of appreciation. If you suspect that this might be the case for you, then try out some of the suggestions above and you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.