why you should always sweat the small stuff

by - July 24, 2015

Whenever we start a new relationship, at some point us girls will get to the point when we can't help but think "is this the guy?". A lot of people say they know right from the start but I think of it more of a slow burn than a lightbulb moment. At least that's how it worked with me.

From our first date I knew my boyfriend was someone I wanted to get to know better; we laughed a lot right from the moment we met and I knew we had a connection. But it wasn't until a couple of months down the track that I "knew".

That probably had something to do with the fact I knew that at some point we were going to have to tackle the whole long distance thing. Well, here we are almost eight months down the track and I'm planning to move states so we can be together. My instincts were right!

I'm aware though that a relationship is based on more than a feeling. There are any number of stories online that talk about communication, openness and loyalty but yesterday I read a story about the little things in a relationship that can show true commitment.

"Anyone with cash can spend a bomb on a romantic dinner out or a balloon ride over the Serengeti, but real love means showing up for the more mundane daily labours of affection," psychologist Zoe Krupka writes on news.com.au.

"When it comes to love, it pays to sweat the small stuff. And as my mother would say, the ability to be kind, to say please and thank you, to put yourself out for other people, to listen and to be dependable are all things that show character. And good character and good loving go hand in hand."

Reading through Zoe's list of five small affections that spell big love I'm happy to report all are present in my relationship (thank goodness). So what are they? Read on!

  • Small kindness "Making her tea in the morning, turning the electric blanket on when he’s coming home late, getting her clothes off the line before it rains; all these small acts of kindness build a kind of loving safety in your relationship," says Zoe.
  • Saying thank you "People who love you well aren’t afraid to say thank you and they’re not too proud to sing your praises either. Without someone reflecting back our good points we become like cats with no pats; a bit feral and prone to straying. Praise and thanks make us feel seen, appreciated and important," says Zoe.
  • Trying "their thing" "One of the most important ways to show some real love action is to risk doing something your sweetie really enjoys that you’re not so sure about. I’m not talking about sex you don’t feel like or major tax evasion, I’m talking about movies, food, sport and travel destinations that are a bit outside of your comfort zone," says Zoe.
  • Making time to check in "I’m not suggesting you pester your paramour with constant queries and messages of love and life minutia, but please don’t forget the business of checking in with how they are," says Zoe. "Ask about the things they’re working on and struggling with. And don’t forget the key ingredient to a good check in; really listen to what they tell you."
  • Protect "us" "Make your time together sacred. If you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you say you’re going to show up, show up. Don’t let your plans together be hijacked by work, chores or general slackness," says Zoe.

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