When I was a little girl, and even a teenager, I really believed that being in love was like it was in the movies, full of fancy dinners and carriage rides and moonlit walks. I thought it was about flowers, chocolates and a guy outside my window with his boombox over his head (cue ‘In Your Eyes’ by Peter Gabriel, which is still to this day my all-time favorite song).
Maybe you had similar romantic thoughts, too?
Fast forward 25 years or so to 2014. I was divorced twice with 3 kids, a house and stressful career. By this time, I had gone on a ridiculous amount of dates and was becoming a bit cynical about finding my knight in shining armour. Well, along comes Austin. On our first official date (the one after we met just for coffee), he poured me wine and cooked me dinner. Very romantic, indeed.
A couple of dates later, I was cooking dinner for him this time and he took out my trash! GASP!
Without being asked! SWOON! (Clearly my idea of romance had changed after being a single parent for so many years).
A couple of months later, he drove 45 minutes to my house on Thanksgiving Day to leave shrimp enchiladas in my fridge and turn on my heat because my kids and I were arriving home that evening from Disney. He drove home before we arrived so that we could just settle in after a week of travel. I wondered if I was falling in love.
Eight years later, when I think of all the ways that Austin shows and has shown me that he loves me, I don't think about big, fancy romance. I think of how he listens to me, hugs me, surprises me with coffee and washes the dishes. I think of the thoughtful moments like turning on the heat and taking out the garbage and making and delivering enchiladas. I believe (pray, hope) he would share similar things about how I love him as well.
Here’s what I learned:
One of the keys to a great relationship is knowing that little things have BIG impact in our relationships.
When life gets busy, and we get really comfortable with our partners & spouses, we can often forget to simply be kind and thoughtful.
That’s all the ‘little’ things are: the kind and thoughtful things that make life a little simpler, that says “I was thinking of you”, that shows you appreciate and value them.
Perhaps we think that bringing a cup of coffee to our partner isn’t that big of a deal, but it is.
Perhaps we don’t think we need to say ‘Thank you’ when they do a chore that is their responsibility anyway, but we do.
Take a moment and think about it for yourself. Which would mean more to you and have a longer lasting impact on your relationship – one really fancy date night a month, or to receive one little thing every day for a month?
A fancy date night of getting all dressed up and going out for a delicious dinner, to a concert or the theater is a lovely way to spend time with your partner and I’m definitely not at all trying to discourage your from doing that. In fact, I encourage it. Just recognize that while the night might create a spark, the spark will die pretty quickly if the flame isn’t fanned.
Think back to when you were dating your partner. While the actual dates were super fun, it was the hours talking on the phone, sharing all your dreams and desires and funny stories that probably meant the most to you. Perhaps there were love notes (if you are as old as I am) or flirty texts (if you’re not!) that made your heart beat faster. It was laughing and dancing and being silly doing “nothing” that were often the best times. Perhaps it was giving or receiving candy, ice cream or soup when one of you wasn’t feeling well or was having a bad day. Those are the “little” things that your relationship was actually built on; not the big fancy dates.
I know life is really busy right now. Maybe your building a business, going back to school, climbing the corporate ladder, taking care of your home and/or raising a family. I totally get it.
But if you truly value your relationship, you do need to nurture it. You do need to give it a little time and energy. But it doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming or expensive.
I promise you, if you can think of one little thing to do each day to love on your partner, your relationship will be so much more playful, passionate and full of partnership. It can be as simple as a a hug that is 10-15 seconds longer than normal. That easy!
When your partner starts to feel the love, kindness and thoughtfulness that you are showering with them, they are likely to take the hint and start returning those same types of “little things” to you, too. Win-win!
I’m here to make it even easier for you! Sign up for my free “30 Days of Little Ways” to get a daily tip, trick, or reminder of these ‘little things’ texted to you so you don’t even have to think about it! Simply text FREE30 to 262.384.5673
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