Forget ‘I Love You’: Experts Say These Two Words Are The Secret To A Happy Relationship

Reckon those three little words are the key to keeping your relationship sweet? How about two?

Young happy couple

‘I love you’.

There are few things sweeter than hearing your new beau confessing their feels for the first time, but while those three mushy little words are totally sweet, there’s another key relationship phrase you should be saying on the regular – and it’s often neglected.

The magic words according to researchers at the University of Carolina? ‘Thank you’.

The researchers found that regularly expressing gratitude to your partner was key in maintaining a happy relationship.

The study examined 50 couples who had been in their relationships for about 15 months. Each couple was asked to fill out a questionnaire for one week, documenting how appreciated they felt and how appreciative they were towards their other halves. Nine months later, they were asked to complete the same survey.

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The results? The couples who regularly expressed their gratitude reported feeling more appreciated and were less likely to have split up nine months later.

Study researcher Amie Gordon explains to the Daily Mail that her team of researchers found that “feeling appreciated by your partner influences how you act in your relationship, and how much you want to stay in that relationship.

“What goes wrong in a lot of relationships is if you start to take your partner for granted,” she adds. “You get used to having them in your life and forget why you chose to be with them.”

So how can you make sure you and your SO feel appreciated? The researchers say it really is all about saying ‘thank you’, even for the little things.

“When you are appreciative and you notice the value in your partner, it helps you realise what you have and makes you want to hold on to it,” Amie concludes. “You have something good and you think, ‘I want to keep it.’”

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