7 little ways you’re taking your partner for granted without realizing it

We all want to feel cherished in our relationships. But are we?

It’s a tough question, I know. We often think we’re doing enough, making our partner feel valued. But then what happens?

Yep… misunderstandings, miscommunications, and before we know it, we’re in a rut. Sometimes, it can feel like we’re just going through the motions, not really appreciating the person next to us.

If you’re nodding right now, you’re not the only one. It’s a common slip-up – taking our partners for granted without even realizing it.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad partner. It might just mean you’ve lost sight of some little things.

Today, we’re going to explore seven little ways you may be taking your partner for granted without even knowing it. Some of these might sting a bit.

While going through this, understand my intention is not to make you feel guilty. Instead, I hope to help you recognize these patterns and make small changes that can lead to a huge difference in your relationship.

Ready to take a closer look? Let’s dive in.

1) You’re not actively listening

This one hit me hard.

I remember a time when my partner was talking about something that was important to her. It was about her day at work, and she was sharing her frustrations. I was there, but not really there.

I was nodding along, but my mind was somewhere else – on a football game, on my work emails.

She realized it. And it hurt her.

Active listening isn’t just about being physically present. It’s about giving your undivided attention, asking follow-up questions, showing empathy. It’s about showing your partner that you genuinely care about what they are saying.

When we don’t actively listen, we make our partners feel like their thoughts and feelings aren’t important to us. And that’s one way we unknowingly take them for granted.

2) You forget to say ‘thank you’

We all like to hear the words ‘thank you’, don’t we? It’s a small but powerful phrase that shows appreciation.

I used to be terrible at this. My partner would do little things for me every day – making coffee in the morning, doing the laundry, sending me a sweet text during the day – and I would take it all for granted.

One day she asked me, “Do you even notice the things I do for you?” That question was a wake-up call.

Saying ‘thank you’ is more than just good manners. It’s an acknowledgment of the effort your partner is putting into the relationship. It tells them that you see them and appreciate them.

3) You’re not celebrating the small wins

In life, it’s easy to focus on the big milestones – promotions, anniversaries, birthdays – and forget to celebrate the small victories.

These smaller achievements, like your partner finally learning that guitar riff they’ve been practicing for weeks, or finishing a book they’ve been reading, might seem insignificant in comparison to larger milestones.

But here’s the thing: according to Harvard Business Review, celebrating small wins can significantly boost our happiness and satisfaction levels.

When we celebrate our partner’s small victories, we show them that we value their individual growth and progress, no matter how small it may be. It’s a simple act that can go a long way in showing your appreciation.

4) You overlook their feelings

pic1504 7 little ways you're taking your partner for granted without realizing it

In the rush of our daily lives, amidst work stress and personal responsibilities, it’s easy to lose sight of our partner’s feelings. We get so caught up in our own world that we overlook the emotional needs of the ones we love.

Think about it. When was the last time you checked in on your partner’s feelings? When was the last time you asked them how they were doing, not out of politeness, but because you genuinely wanted to know?

We often assume that if our partner is upset, they’ll tell us.

But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, they just need us to be there for them, to hold them, to listen to them.

Understanding and acknowledging our partner’s feelings is a vital part of any relationship. It shows that we care about their emotional well-being, that we respect their feelings.

5) You’re not spending quality time together

I’ve been guilty of this one. In the early days of our relationship, my partner and I spent a lot of time together. We’d go on walks, watch movies, cook dinner – it was wonderful.

But as time went on, life got in the way. Work became demanding, social commitments piled up, and before we knew it, we were spending less and less time together.

One day, my partner said, “I miss us.”

That hit me hard. I realized that while we were physically spending time together, it wasn’t quality time. We weren’t sharing experiences or making memories – we were just co-existing.

Quality time isn’t about the quantity of hours you spend together. It’s about being fully present and engaged with your partner. It’s about making an effort to connect on a deeper level.

6) You’re not showing affection

Affection is the language of love. It’s those small gestures – a gentle squeeze of the hand, a lingering hug, a loving gaze – that convey warmth, love, and connection.

I remember reading studies published in the journal Physiology & Behavior that revealed something fascinating. It found that non-sexual touching boosts relationship satisfaction and reduces stress. It’s because these small gestures create a sense of security and bonding.

Yet, in the hustle and bustle of life, we sometimes forget to show affection to our partners.

We get so caught up in our routines that these small gestures get sidelined. Showing affection to your partner might seem like a small thing, but it can have a big impact on your relationship.

7) You’re not appreciating their uniqueness

Each one of us is unique. We have our quirks, our idiosyncrasies – those little things that make us who we are. And often, it’s these little things that initially attract us to our partners.

But over time, we tend to overlook these unique traits. We start focusing on their flaws, their shortcomings – and forget to appreciate what makes them unique.

I’ve been there too. I used to get irritated by my partner’s habit of leaving notes everywhere – on the fridge, on the mirror, in my lunch box. I used to see it as clutter until one day when I found a note that said, “I love you.” It hit me then – her notes were her way of expressing love.

So take a moment to appreciate your partner’s uniqueness. Celebrate their quirks. Because it’s these little things that make them who they are – and why you fell in love with them in the first place.

Listen, appreciate, love

In conclusion, recognizing the subtle ways in which we may unintentionally take our partners for granted is crucial for nurturing healthy and fulfilling relationships.

From acknowledging the little gestures to expressing gratitude for their presence, every effort counts in fostering mutual appreciation and understanding.

By actively listening, showing appreciation, and prioritizing quality time, we can strengthen the bond with our partners and create a supportive and loving environment.

Let’s cherish the small moments, communicate openly, and continuously strive to cultivate an atmosphere of respect and gratitude, ensuring that our relationships flourish and thrive in the long run.

Picture of Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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