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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Date & Relate > Little Things Mean A Lot

Date & Relate
by Sara Hodon

The Little Things Mean A Lot

I used to date a guy who told me more than once that he wished he had more money to take me places and buy me things.  I don’t know any girl out there who doesn’t appreciate a present or a trip now and then, but really, I’m a low-maintenance kind of girl.  I can usually cover myself when I go somewhere, and there’s not a material thing in this world that I need.  So even though I thought that was a nice thing to say, I felt he was getting bummed out unnecessarily.  I think I said something along the lines of, “That would be nice, but it would mean more to me if you started my car and scraped my windshield the next time it snows.”

You don’t need to spend a lot of money or make big plans to show your significant other that you care about them.  I think most people would agree that the little things you can do are just as important, if not more.  The little things that you do for the person you care about shows that you’re paying attention and really do want to make their day better.   These little gestures shouldn’t stop as your relationship evolves.  It’s more important than ever to keep the romance, attraction, and common courtesy alive as things get more serious.  In other words—don’t take each other for granted!

What kind of “little things”?  Anything.   And they don’t necessarily have to be romantic.  They can be those mundane tasks that are often seen as a nuisance, but are things that we all have to do; picking up or dropping off your significant other’s dry cleaning; filling their tank if you borrow their car (or even if you don’t); making dinner or cleaning up afterward when they’ve had a hard day.  Who wouldn’t appreciate someone going out of their way to do something nice for them?

Still not convinced?  Below are a few simple ways to make the day of the person who means the most to you: 

  • Cook for them.  Nothing’s more attractive than a man who can cook.  Lots of guys will whip up a fabulous meal early in the relationship because they’re trying to win you over, but as things get serious, making the effort falls to the wayside.  Why not surprise each other every now and then with something delicious?  The timeless breakfast in bed gesture never gets old, but how about planning a great dinner for the two of you?  Or be creative and have a picnic. 

  • Do laundry.  Or vacuum, or whatever other household chore they dislike the most.  At least pitch in to lend a hand.   They’ll be pleasantly surprised (and grateful) for your helpfulness.   It’ll make the time go faster, which means the quicker the boring stuff is done, the quicker you’ll be able to have your time together!

  • Plan a road trip.  You don’t have to go all out and plan an elaborate expensive weekend away.   Surprise them with a spur of the moment day trip and be a tourist in your own backyard.   Get a copy of your local visitors’ guide for ideas.  You can find historical sites, museums, or unique shopping areas anywhere.  Or go further from home and walk around your nearest city.   You get a change of scenery, a little education, and quality time together—what more could you ask for? 

  • Pay attention.  Is there a chore or task that your significant other’s been putting off because they either dislike it or, well, have just been putting it off?  This may be your opportunity to sweep in and wow them with your resourcefulness and know-how.  Personally, I tend to put off doing things around the house, so nothing makes me happier than having someone offer to do some of those things!   Everyone has a list like this.  Maybe your car has needed a thorough washing and waxing for some time.  Or those bags of old clothes you’ve been meaning to drop off for charity keep staring you down, but you haven’t gotten a chance to drop them off yet.  Or you’ve been saying for weeks that you need more space in your closet, and could really use more shelves put up.  Keep an eye and ear open for chances to be helpful. 

  • Send a card.  Not a text or an email (though they’re nice, too).  Old-fashioned thoughtful gestures never go out of style.   Since they are so rare, that makes it even more special when you make the effort.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy card with a flowery sentiment written inside.  You can purchase a card for under $1.00 and simply write “Thinking of you” inside.   There—that didn’t take long, did it? 

  • Be reliable.  Really, the best thing you can do for your significant other to show them you care is to follow through.  If they ask you to do something—whether it’s a chore, attend a family event, do a household project, or run a quick errand for them—please be courteous and thoughtful enough to make the effort to do it for them.  I used to date a guy who never remembered to turn his cell phone on, so he never got the message when I called.  This was why I’d usually end up running to the store, even though it would’ve been easier for him to do it, or there would be a miscommunication about dinner plans because he never got the message.  It would annoy me to no end.  Just offer to do things for your significant other, and do it because you want to, not because they’re forcing you into it.

           

Date & Relate is published every Thursday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Sara Hodon.


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