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"Cherish" Your Partner, Your Relationship

It's a common relationship question: What quality is most important in a relationship? Honesty? Communication? Passion? While acknowledging that one quality alone could never be enough, I give you my candidate: Cherish.

It's a verb, so it doesn't quite fit right in a list, but it's a powerful, under-used verb. With one swoop "cherish" encompasses "appreciative," "respectful," "giving," "nurturing," "kindness."

I read something once about the wedding vows where the female promises to "love, honor, and obey," and the man promises to "love, honor, and cherish." The days of "obey" are long gone, but the author was discussing the fact that what the man gave in return for the "obey" was a promise to "cherish." And how this promise to cherish was so often neglected in the demand for female obedience.

Another reference - one of my favorite books "If Love Is a Game, These Are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott devotes entire chapter to "cherish." That would be Chapter 8, "You Must Nurture the Relationship for it to Thrive." Beneath that it reads, "Treasure your beloved and your relationship will flourish."




"Cherish" even has it's own song: "Cherish" by The Association. OK, it's cheesy, and it's about a guy who's love seems unrequited, but still, it's a classic love song. "Cherish is the word," they sing.

So what does it mean really?  Yes, I'm going to give you the M-W, which features a great definition:

1 a : to hold dear  : feel or show affection for    b : to keep or cultivate with care and affection  : NURTURE
2 : to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely   

For me, it has a lot to do with how your daily words and actions affect your relationship. It has to do with being vigilant about treating your partner with care and love. It has a heck of a lot to do with respect in both word and action. I think "cherish" is the daily expression of "love."

It means don't ever take those things for granted. They are necessary throughout the life and length of your relationship. They keep it alive and they make it grow.

Some ways to cherish your partner include little compliments. So often we stop complimenting our partner, and why? Stop and think today, what do I appreciate about my partner? And then tell them. It takes mere moments, and it's so important.

Doing favors. I'm a ridiculously busy person, so I try to stay vigilant for opportunities to do a favor here or there for my partner. I know how thankful I am when he does favors for me. It makes me feel like we're a team, and I love that. And it doesn't have to be big, time-consuming stuff I'm talking about here. It can be getting up to turn off a light, or getting someone a drink. Small stuff can go a long way.

Giving respect. This is a big one for me both to give and receive. How am I actively respecting my partner, both privately and publicly, and am I being respected. So often, respect slips away as a relationship ages. Yet, an active commitment to respecting one another is so very important! It doesn't mean you always agree; it means you respect your differences and you respect and value the person you're committed to. It also changes how people perceive you as a couple, and that, too, can cycle back and strengthen your relationship. Finally, respect affects how you feel about yourself, and how you feel about yourself affects how you feel about your relationship and your partner. And that all affects the health of the relationship.

Is "cherish" a part of your relationship? If it's not, maybe talk to your partner about it, about your desire to begin cherishing each other. If it already is, maybe give it an extra thought today. Pay a compliment, do a favor, give and receive respect for one another. Cherish your partner and your relationship. See what blossoms from your nourishment.


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You are so right, Amanda, about how powerful those little things are!!! Glad you enjoyed my post. :)

I loved this mother used to tell me: "Cherish every moment you have with's may be the last." I always remembered it, but never understood it fully until, after a devistating (both monitarily and emotionally) break up, I met my fiance - two years later. He treats me like a queen; leaving "love-texts" while I'm at work, cleans the house while I take a nap, and STILL takes me on dates. And the conversation came up again..."Well hunny," my mother said, "he cherishes you...and knows and appreciates the fact that you cherish and appreciate every move he makes for you - which makes him only cherish the love you give him even more." Friends tell us that they are envious, and love the fact that we are so loving...yet are very obviously our own persons. You're right, getting a glass of water can be huge...especially if it's not asked for. Leaving a note on the bathroom mirror, giving a small compliment, picking up a favorite item at the grociery store on your way home. They are all huge in turn, but insignificant in time...and supremely vital in obtaining (and keeping) happiness in your relationship. Thanks again for making that little word once again remembered.

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