The Importance of Generosity in a Relationship

A generous person is willing to share what he has.
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Generosity might be more important than anything else in making a relationship work, says Joseph Nowlinski, supervising psychologist at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Generosity involves freely sacrificing time and emotional energy, and can come in the form of forgiveness, praise, romantic gestures or acts of service. When relationships do not involve this kind of free giving, it leaves room for bitterness, miscommunication and frustration. Taking the time and initiative to incorporate generosity into your romance will deepen your affection for one another and strengthen your relationship.

1 Accepting "I'm Sorry"

Relationships provide opportunities for generosity in the area of forgiveness. Every partner makes mistakes and has moments where grace needs to be extended. "Score-keeping," or keeping track of your partner's wrongs, is a danger sign in many relationships, says author and founder of "Marriage Done Right,"James Sheridan, in the News-Sentinel article "Marriage Advice: Generosity Helps Build a Happy Marriage." Being willing to offer continual, generous forgiveness is vital to the health of your relationship.

2 Speaking with Praise

Uplifting and positive words are a vital component of generosity in a relationship. Taking the time to compliment a partner by saying "I think you are so talented" or "I'm so proud of you" boosts confidence in your partnership. Extending encouraging language to the one you love is offering a message of generosity. According to Keith Ferrazi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, a research institute and consulting firm, generosity is based on one important question: "How can I help you?" If each partner in the relationship is intentional about extending these words to the other, the partnership grows.

3 Romancing the Heart

In her book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Marriage," therapist Laura Schlessinger points out that the real element that makes a relationship work is when each person gets up in the morning and thinks about what they can do to make the other person happy. Taking the time to plan a romantic date, buy a personal gift, or initiate hugs and kisses are all ways to show generosity to that special someone.

4 Offering to Serve

Those in a relationship can be generous toward each other by extending a caring attitude. A generous spirit is willing to go out of his way to serve his significant other without expecting anything in return. You may offer to help your sweetheart in writing a paper or take the initiative to bring him a snack after football practice. It means doing something that would make his life easier. A person who is focused on openhandedness, gives because her motivation is the sheer joy or comfort that generosity instills in those who are on the receiving end, says Nowinski.

Based in Florida, Courtney Newbery has worked in the mental health field for several years and holds a Master of Arts in counseling from Dallas Theological Seminary. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in her home state.