How to Make Your Partner Feel Special

Affectionate brunette couple hugging at kitchen sink

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Making your partner feel special and loved requires a little knowledge and some effort. But it's these simple and often small gestures that help express and reinforce the love you have for one another.

Below are just a few ways to make your partner feel special and improve the quality of your intimate relationships by showing your appreciation in the way they like to receive it, taking responsibility for your emotions, supporting their goals, and sending sweet messages throughout the day.

Speak Your Partner's Love Language

Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages has changed the way many people talk about getting their needs met in relationships. Chapman makes the case that people receive messages of love in different ways, which he refers to as their "love language." The five languages he identifies are:

Perhaps your primary love language is "words of affirmation" and your partner's is "quality time." Hearing from them how wonderful you are is one thing that communicates love to you, but that love language might not work for them.

Instead, your partner may feel most loved when doing an activity together. Take time to discover which love language works for your partner and then make an effort to "speak" their love language.

Learn to Self-Regulate

While love languages can help communicate understanding and appreciation, according to a 2017 study published in Personal Relationships, relationship satisfaction is less determined by aligned love languages and more determined by the ability of both partners to self-regulate.

Taking responsibility for your moods and not expecting your partner to make everything better is one of the greatest gifts you can give them. A 2010 study of partners working towards positive changes in their relationships found that positive relationship evaluations were correlated more with self-focused improvement than with partner-focused improvement.

Especially when you are in conflict with one another, focusing on your own growth and taking responsibility for your contributions is the best way to improve the relationship.

Share Chores and Responsibilities

According to a 2018 review in the scientific journal Emotion, people experience gratitude when they perceive their partner to be doing something for them over themselves.

You may feel like your to-do list never seems to end. But doing things small or large that are on your partner's to-do list, even when you've got a full plate yourself, can show how special they are to you. Ask your partner, "What can I do to make your day better?"

Support Your Partner's Goals

While your own self-growth is very important for relationship satisfaction, your partner still wants to feel like you are invested in the relationship and their goals, too. According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, people who received active messages of support from their partners for their self-expansion reported higher relationship satisfaction.

Send Sweet Messages

According to a study review, sending spontaneous text messages helps to convey a sense of continuous presence in your partner's life. The feeling that conversation could be taken up at any time (while respecting healthy boundaries) and even across distance, communicates a sense of closeness and helps construct a sense of shared space.

During the time you spend apart, consider sending a text that shows your appreciation. Let them know you're thinking about them. It can be as simple as a flirty message, sharing something that reminded you of them, or simply asking them how their day is going.

A Word From Verywell

The key to making your partner feel special and loved is a genuine desire to focus on them and their needs, wants, and wishes. The ideas above are ways you can routinely express your love for your partner with simple acts, but every person and every relationship is different. With time and experience, aim to discover the things your partner appreciates most and use that knowledge to guide your acts of love.

6 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Bunt S, Hazelwood Z. Walking the walk, talking the talk: Love languages, self-regulation, and relationship satisfaction. Personal Relationships. 2017;24(2):280-290. doi:10.1111/pere.12182

  2. Hira SN, Overall NC. Improving intimate relationships: Targeting the partner versus changing the self. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2010;28(5):610–633. doi:10.1177/0265407510388586

  3. Visserman ML, Righetti F, Impett E, Keltner D, Van Lange P. It's the motive that counts: Perceived sacrifice motives and gratitude in romantic relationships. Emotion. 2018;18(5):625-637. doi:10.1037/emo0000344.

  4. Fivecoat H, Tomlinson J, Aron A, Caprariello P. Partner support for individual self-expansion opportunitiesJ Soc Pers Relat. 2014;32(3):368-385. doi:10.1177/0265407514533767

  5. Licoppe C. ‘Connected’ Presence: The Emergence of a New Repertoire for Managing Social Relationships in a Changing Communication TechnoscapeEnvironment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2004;22(1):135-156. doi:10.1068/d323t

  6. Janning M, Gao W, Snyder E. Constructing Shared “Space”: Meaningfulness in Long-Distance Romantic Relationship Communication FormatsJ Fam Issues. 2017;39(5):1281-1303. doi:10.1177/0192513x17698726

Additional Reading

By Wayne Parker
Wayne's background in life coaching along with his work helping organizations to build family-friendly policies, gives him a unique perspective on fathering.