Transforming Gratitude in Relationships

Gratitude is vital to living a happy and fulfilled life. Over the course of nine years, three different studies examined the impact gratitude had on relationships, specifically romantic relationships.

A 2019 study from Germany looked at whether gratitude expressed from a romantic partner plays a critical or determining role in reducing attachment anxiety. A person with attachment anxiety doubts self-worth and has heightened concerns about rejection. Researchers found that higher levels of gratitude expressed from a romantic partner lower attachment anxiety.

Another study in 2012 out of UC Berkley looked at how feeling gratitude affected romantic relationship maintenance. Researchers found that those who feel appreciated by their significant other, also appreciate them more and were more attentive to their needs. They also reported that those who felt appreciated by their partner were more committed and less likely to consider breaking up.

Finally, a 2010 peer-reviewed article reported on three studies that examined whether expressing gratitude to a significant other enhanced their perception of the communal strength of the relationship. Communal strength is how much responsibility one feels for a partner’s welfare. All three studies found that gratitude increased relationship communal strength.

Overall, researchers once again show the important role that gratitude plays in relationships. The person with an “attitude of gratitude” gives and receives blessings.