This couple is showing how effort is attactive.

Why Effort In A Relationship Is So Attractive To Your Mate

The beginning of a relationship is fun, exciting and easy, but it doesn’t seem to last long without some maintenance.  That’s because to make a relationship last, you have to commit time and energy to it.  You may wonder, if that is the case, why some people invest effort in a relationship but don’t give 100%. 

Why Is Effort Important In A Relationship

Effort in a relationship means that it matters to you. Putting effort in a relationship means that you want it to last and be sustaining. Putting effort in a relationship usually indicates that you want it to flourish and grow. 

What Does Putting Effort Into A Relationship Look Like

As a couples counselor, I frequently ask the following question to couples who come for counseling and are struggling to make their relationship work: what did you used to do that you are not doing now? The answer usually has to do with putting effort in the relationship. 

What Does Effort Look Like:

• Finding Time – You make time for each other. You find the time to see each other and text and call each other during the day. You are never too busy and look for opportunities to connect with your partner. 

Ask Yourself – Do I make time like I used to? Do I stop and do nice things for my partner like I used to? Do I text them, “Thinking of you” with 🙂 like I used to?

• Dates – You plan and go out on dates. You look forward to the next date.

Ask Yourself – Do I plan dates? Do I suggest we go out to eat, grab a coffee, take a stroll at the park or other romantic outings?

•Appreciation/Kindness – You think about ways to express and show kindness to your partner, whether it’s making them a cup of coffee (yes, I like coffee), sending or bringing flowers, or preparing a special dinner.

Ask Yourself – Do I perform small acts of kindness daily? Does my partner appreciate them?  (If you are unsure why your partner needs to appreciate your kindness, then read my article on 5 Love Languages.)

• Care About Yourself – When you first started dating, you probably made sure you looked presentable and smelled good. You might have exercised and taken care of your physical appearance.

Ask Yourself – Do you have stains and spills on your clothes? Did you change your shirt or have you worn the same clothes for two days straight? Did you brush your hair? Did you used to wear makeup? Do you exercise, or have you let yourself go because you are in a committed relationship?

Talk and Connect – You took time to talk to each other and connect over everything. You wanted to know everything about your partner – their likes, dislikes, interests, family, friends, hobbies, goals, future plans… 

Ask Yourself – Are we just roommates? Do we just discuss paying bills, taking out the trash, doing the laundry and other chores? When was the last time we talked about us, our relationship, and/or our future goals? Are you on your phone instead of connecting with your partner?

• Loving Talk – When you first met you spoke nicely, politely and kindly to each other. 

Ask Yourself – Do you still speak respectfully to your partner? Do you speak more nicely to friends and co-workers than to your partner?

• Romantic Acts – You used to think of ways to be romantic. You thought of creative ideas to keep the romance and passion in your relationship

Ask Yourself – When was the last time you took time to be romantic? When was the last time you surprised your partner with a romantic gesture (if they like surprises)?

Hug/Kiss – At the start of your relationship, you may have hugged and kissed spontaneously as you entered and left the house and before bed and when you woke up. You relaxed into each other’s arms and looked forward to the next embrace. 

Ask Yourself – Now, are you yelling from the other room “bye?” Are you waiting an hour to acknowledge your partner has arrived home? Do you give each other a peck on the check or maybe a 1 second hug? Do you continue checking your email or looking at Facebook or Instagram when your partner comes home?

You may think that at the beginning of the relationship, you have to do lots of things to interest the person enough for them to stay in the relationship, but that you shouldn’t have to work so hard after that. You may ask yourself “Why do I have to keep trying so hard?” You might think that at the beginning, it was important to put effort in the relationship – otherwise it wouldn’t last – but that at some point you would be able to “relax”.

Guess what? 

Your relationship won’t last if you don’t make the time and effort in the relationship. 

How Much Effort Should I Put Into The Relationship

You should put 100% effort in a relationship.

Effort in a relationship was and is attractive to your mate. The more you give to your partner, the more your partner usually wants to give you.

You want to feel cherished and loved by your partner. You want to know your partner is putting in effort into your relationship. 

Effort in a relationship is vital and will make it sustainable for today, tomorrow and the future. Use the suggestions to learn how to put more time, energy and effort into your relationship to be more attractive to your mate.

If I can help you with putting in greater effort in your relationship, or understanding your partner better, please reach out.


Lisa Rabinowitz

Lisa Rabinowitz, LCPC is a certified Gottman therapist working with couples in the US and internationally. Lisa has worked for many years with couples who have both diagnosed and undiagnosed ADHD. Her certifications and experience uniquely qualify her to support couples with relationship challenges that often feel insurmountable. Please reach out for a free 20-minute consultation with Lisa today.

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