Gratitude at Thanksgiving: How a Non-Romantic Holiday Can Strengthen Your Relationship


Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve and even Christmas usually get all the credit for being romantic holidays. Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is more about food and football.  Right?  Certainly, there isn’t much on the surface of Thanksgiving to put you in the mood for amore.  The family drama that inevitably comes with holiday gathering means you may be more likely to squabble than express love. And, thanks to post-feast bloating and lethargy, the only physical affection is likely to be elbowing each other for more room on the couch for your nap.

 But, beyond the turkey and the pumpkin pie, this holiday is really all about gratitude. It’s right there in the name. Thanksgiving is a time to examine what we are thankful for. Most of us can tick off the checklist of the things we are (or think we are expected to be) thankful for. Family, friends, and home typically top the list. But, true gratefulness is deeper than a laundry list of blessings. And, gratitude and love are tightly entwined. Developing a real sense of gratitude within a relationship can strengthen the partnership and make Thanksgiving the most romantic of holidays.

 What is real gratitude?

 True gratitude is more complex than simply naming good things in your life. There are two distinct parts of gratitude and examining both of them, and the way they work together, is the key to building stronger bonds within a relationship.

 The first, and easiest to understand, portion of gratitude is an acknowledgement of good things. This is the part of thankfulness that we are the most familiar with; it’s that laundry list of blessings we talked about earlier. But, simply recognizing that you are grateful for your partner isn’t enough.  In order to use gratitude as a tool for strengthening your relationship, you’ll need to be more specific.  What characteristics or attributes are you thankful for?  Are they kind, patient or generous?  Do you appreciate their sense of humor or their compassion?  Affirming the characteristics that are meaningful to you is the first step to experiencing gratitude within your relationship.

 The second, and potentially more important, part of gratitude is recognizing that this goodness, and the impact it has on your life, comes from outside of ourselves. Within a relationship, this means acknowledging that your partner, and the good things about them, are gifts in your life and that these gifts improve your life. Take a moment to consider how your partner positively impacts your life.  Do they listen patiently to your work stories?  Do they put up with your high-maintenance family?  Do they pretend not to notice when you take the best piece of cake for yourself? Or maybe they rejuggle the budget after you blow it in the shoe store.  However your partner changes you life for the better, an important part of gratitude is realizing that they freely share their gifts with you without you needing to earn or deserve it.

 Choosing to be grateful

 Wouldn’t it be nice to automatically feel thankfulness without any effort?  Certainly, gratitude can occur in spontaneous flashes.  These sudden sparks of gratitude are sure to make you feel head-over-heels in love, but they aren’t the norm. Like most things in relationship, infusing a partnership with gratefulness takes a bit of work and effort. Feelings of gratitude within a relationship are often a conscience choice. 

 The relationship between love and gratitude

  There’s no argument that gratitude is a positive emotion and expressing it is always worthwhile. But, what is the connection between gratitude and love?  Expressing gratefulness helps both partners feel more closely connected and satisfied with the relationship.  Acting graciously toward each other is a key component of a long-lasting partnership. In fact, gratitude can help carry couples through difficult times. The best news is, when you express gratitude everyone benefits. Not only will your partner appreciate hearing that you are thankful for them, but expressing gratitude will give you a boost as well.

Why Thanksgiving?

 Between basting the turkey and planning your Black Friday shopping, you have plenty going on during Thanksgiving. So, why is it so important to make time for showing gratitude to your romantic partner on this day? Truthfully, there isn’t anything extraordinary about the fourth Thursday in November.  It is always the right time to shower your partner with love and thankfulness.

 However, expressing gratefulness on Thanksgiving is in keeping with the spirit of the day. It is a natural time to remind your loved one that you appreciate them.  But, that expression shouldn’t be a one-time event. This year, use Thanksgiving as a jumping off point for ongoing gratefulness.  Maybe you can’t take your fall favorite pumpkin-spiced latte into the rest of the year, but the same isn’t true for gratitude. Turn the meaning of the holiday into a lifestyle and experience the rewards all year long.

 There is another reason that Thanksgiving is the perfect time to amp up your expressions of gratitude.  This holiday is uniquely positioned at the start of the most hectic and stressful time of the year. In the month ahead, there are full social calendars, financial concerns and family dramas to contend with. These are just a few of the joys of the holiday season. But, jumping into the most festive and hectic time of the year with a strong, durable relationship can make all the stresses more manageable.  During the holidays, we could all stand to hear that we are appreciated, so gratefulness can be a real gift to your partner. Whether it’s on during the road trip to grandma’s house, or over a plate of leftovers, take a few moments this Thanksgiving to let your love know what you appreciate about them. 

 Personalized expressions of gratitude

 By now, even Cupid is seeing Thanksgiving as a romantic holiday. But, how do you go about expressing your newly-found gratitude?  The most obvious way is to simple say, “thank you.”

 However, as with most emotions, actions speak louder than words. Acting graciously and finding personalized way to demonstrate thankfulness will be more meaningful than basic words.

 Expressions of gratitude are not one-size-fits-all. What feels profound and special to one person may fall flat for another. When expressing gratitude, look for ways that will hit home for your partner.  It’s also important to focus on specifics, rather then generalities. When tailoring your message, circle back to the two components of gratitude and focus on the specific characteristics you are grateful for and the impact they have made on your life.

 If your partner enjoys being the center of attention, try making a public display of affection by updating your Facebook status with a note of thanks for something special they have done.  Or, if they prefer more private and sentimental touches, try writing a note of love and thanks to slip to them during a quiet moment.

 Gifts are also a often-appreciated way to show thanks. The holiday season is often overly focused on material gifts, but a thoughtful gift given unexpectedly before the gifting season kicks off can be especially meaningful.

 Expert guidance into gratitude

 Your journey of discovering and expressing gratitude doesn’t need to be a lonely road. Whether thankfulness comes easily for you, or if trials and troubles overwhelm your feelings of thankfulness, a psychic advisor can help guide your journey. Using the tools of the tarot, astrology and numerology, an expert advisor can help you strengthen and build your romantic relationships. 

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