If you think generosity doesn’t have personal benefits, think again! Generous people typically are happier, healthier, and more satisfied with life than those individuals that don’t give in some manner. When we give, we feel as though we’ve made a difference, no matter how small.

Generosity in today’s world is perhaps one of the greatest keys to a happy relationship. Too often we get into routines with our partners that cause us to lose sight of the little things that drew us to them in the first place. In order to be a more generous person (inside and outside your relationship), one of the first steps is to make a list (mental or physical) of things for which you are grateful. Sometimes, the best way to be more generous within a relationship is to take stock of the amazing things you and your partner share.

Once you’ve begun to recognize that your relationship with your partner is a beautiful thing, recognize that true generosity has absolutely nothing with extravagance or flamboyance, as these qualities are meant to impress not to please. True generosity also holds no expectation as reciprocity; it’s simply being kind and generous because it pleases you (and others) to do so.

In today’s world of equality for all (which I’m a firm believer of), people have translated this cultural shift into relationships. If my partner buys me a $200 gift for my birthday, the commonplace expectation would be that she’ll receive a gift of similar or greater value on her birthday. We take turns visiting each other on the weekends, but it shouldn’t have to be an equally balanced “You visit me this weekend; I’ll visit you next weekend”.

Within your relationship, practice generosity without expectation of reciprocity. You’d be surprised how much happier you feel when you bring your partner flowers or kiss her cheek first in the morning (instead of the other way around) without stressing or thinking about what you’ll receive in return or how she’ll act. Do it because it makes you both happy, not to receive a certain reaction.

Does generosity without reciprocity make you feel any different? Certainly! Remember those stories of random acts of kindness we hear about? Have you ever been in a drive thru and had someone in front of you pay for your meal? Remember that feeling – a combination of surprise and gratitude? That’s how people feel when others are truly generous towards them, without any expectations attached. You’ll be surprised how much happier you and your partner will be with this one simple change.

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Dannie Fountain-Jagodzinski is a 20-year old entrepreneur and marketing professional. She loves tennis and photography and on the weekends you’ll find her catching up on my favorite Netflix show – Orange is the New Black.

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