We all know giving is nice, but did you know it could be the missing link in your relationship? According to a recent survey by the National Marriage Project, generosity might be the key to happiness in your relationship.
Fifty percent of women and 46 percent of men who reported above-average generosity in their marriage also reported being “very happy” in their marriage, while only 14 percent of men and women who reported below-average generosity thought they were “very happy.”
Though the study was specific to married couples, you can apply this concept of generosity to your own relationship. There are a few things you should keep in mind before blindly giving:
- Know what your partner likes. According to the survey, a factor in generosity leading to happiness is whether the generosity is catered to your partner’s interests. Buying a girl a bouquet of flowers or your man new toys might make him/her happy, but it will not reinvent your relationship. Invest the time to discover the little things you can offer that will really mean something.
- Bigger is not always better. Piggybacking on the last tip, remember that sometimes, small things can brighten up your partner’s day more than grandiose gifts. By small things, I mean anything. Doing one of your partner’s chores that they hate is a sign of generosity and shows a lot more compassion than a credit card swipe.
- Focus on your partner, not you. If you go to the ice cream shop, buy your favorite flavor and bring it home as a “gift,” don’t be surprised if your partner does not perceive your gift as an act of generosity. There are certain situations in which a thoughtful gift can make both of you happy, but be careful. Gifts like lingerie, vacations together, food at your favorite restaurant, clothes (for a girl), gym memberships, etc., should all be given with caution. Essentially, be weary of occasion appropriateness and prior interest, i.e. don’t give your girlfriend a gym membership for Valentines Day.