The Unconditional Gift of Caring Behaviors

Ah! The New Year! A time for change, New Years resolutions, and setting new goals.

I want to share a New Years resolution that I made to myself. I made a commitment that this year I was going to write articles to help couples give a jump start to their relationships and learn how to develop

supportive, loving and healthy relationships. Why? Because I noticed that most couples who come in for counseling have lost their way and are having a difficult time finding their back to the love that they felt for each other in the beginning of their relationship. So this year, I propose that couples take the time to give their relationship a tune up or what I call the gift of Caring Behaviors.

The most priceless gift you can give your intimate relationship is to demonstrate how much you love, appreciate and value your partner. This is a gift that all of us are capable of doing and it is essential in developing a loving, supportive and healthy relationship.

What are Caring Behaviors

What does your partner or loved one do that brings a smile to your face and a warm feeling to your heart? What makes you feel appreciated, special and loved? What do you do that makes your partner feel the same way towards you?

I am often touched by the loving gestures and words that I receive in my personal and professional life and by being able to give love to those around me. For me a caring behavior is anything that makes me feel connected, seen, appreciated and loved.

Personal examples are when my husband comes home and greets me with a kiss and a warm hug, or when he knows that I am going to be getting home later than he is and has dinner ready before I get home. Another example is when my son tells me that he enjoys spending time with me or appreciates the love and caring we feel towards him. These words and gestures are priceless and are precious memories that I can revisit at anytime.

At one time or another couples will face pain and disconnection in their relationship. We all go through periods where we are both on the same page, having fun, laughing together, sharing intimate moments and then there are times when it feels as if we are both speaking a different language and no matter how hard we try we just can’t connect. These are the normal rhythms of a relationship. When a relationship is in pain for a long period of time and couples are struggling to stay connected it is time to take a look at how partners are relating to each other. It has been my experience that many of these relationships are fraught with negativity, criticism, blaming and defensiveness. There is a lot of pain and distance between the couple. Partners are often unsure of how to reconnect, afraid of rejection, exposing themselves to receiving more hurt they each retreat from the relationship space and the love that existed in the relationship gets buried under a carpet of resentment, anger and hurt. One of the first things I recommend to these couples is to reconnect with the qualities and the ways they once expressed their love for each other. This is what it needed if the relationship is to move from dying to thriving. A dose of caring behaviors is just what the relationship so desperately needs!


Reconnect with the Loving Words, Gestures or behaviors you once gave each other. Try the following:

1. On a separate sheet of paper each partner is to make two columns. Label one column: the ways I feel loved, cared and special to you are and label the other column: The ways I used to feel loved, cherished and special to you.

2. Think of this as your wish list, as if you are going into a candy store and able to pick out all of your favorite treats. Be as creative as you can.

3. Exchange lists and try to do one to two things for each other on a daily basis.

4. Remember to thank each other and express how it feels to receive these gifts.

5. Most of all have fun surprising your partner and bring the joy and laughter and intimacy back into your relationship.

Caring behaviors is the oxygen that keeps relationships vibrant, alive, and loving. It is the daily dose of love that your relationship needs to stay connected, supportive and loving!

Cindy Ricardo, LMHC is an Imago Relationship Therapist with a private practice in Coral Springs, Florida. She specializes in running workshops for Couples about how to create loving and supportive relationships. She also counsels couples and individuals on learning how to create a balances, joyful and empowered life. For more information please call her at 954.793.6442. or visit [] to learn more about her services. For free information, tips and exercises about relationships please visit her blog at

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