Ladies: It’s Not Actually The Little Things

Today was a day like many others, where all the girls (many of them single, to be perfectly honest) of Facebook posted about what relationships should be like, what guys should say to their women, and how it’s the little things that matter. The importance of “the little things meaning the most” is certainly not a new concept, but it is one that people use to justify staying in bad relationships or tearing apart good ones.

I don’t really feel all that jealous when I hear about a guy who raced his girlfriend home to make her a hot fresh dinner, and I’m really not sad that I don’t come home to fresh flowers every day. Sure, those things are nice, and it’s always important to show that you appreciate someone, but little gestures are not always the best way to do it. I don’t mean to sound like I’m advocating grand gestures as a signal of appreciation, either, because I’m not.

What I mean is that we should be more focused on the way that we are treated every day, all the time. I obviously wouldn’t be mad if there was a gift waiting for me in my car after a crappy day or if there were flowers sent to me at work, but I would rather have someone who is loving, kind and supportive no matter what. I don’t think my boyfriend has ever once brushed the snow off my car for me so I could sleep in, and he’s never said or implied that I’m his “whole world”. He does, however, support me in anything that I decide. If I told him I was quitting my job to go to modeling school or something that probably wouldn’t bring in a ton of cash, he would be on board. I can be as weird as I want and dance around the house with a shower cap on if I want to. He never tells me I’m bad at anything, but will give advice on things he knows better than I do. We all have our strong points.

And you know what else he does? Change me. Before you freak out – this is a good thing. We need to embrace it. Stubbornly saying that we want (no, deserve) to be with someone who won’t change us is ridiculous and quite frankly a waste of a relationship. Spending so much time with someone who is open minded and so incredibly non judgmental has changed me. A lot. For the much, much better. Whether you are religious or not, finding someone who can help you grow into a stronger and better person should be a goal.

I’ve dated a guy before who would have bought me the world. He’d hide flowers for me and get me candy when I was sad. He spent far more money than anyone else ever has on Christmas presents and showered me with random gifts that would arrive to me at work. But he was a jerk. He called me out on my quirks, was never there to talk when I needed support, and wasn’t accepting of the choices I had made for my future.

I’m not trying to say that a girl shouldn’t get flowers from time to time. Basically, though, don’t date someone just because they give them to you. Make sure there is still room for love underneath all the “little things”.

Cate is a student from Grand Rapids, MI who dabbles in a little bit of everything. Her favorite things are snowboarding, food adventures, drawing and running. Somestimes, she makes YouTube videos.  Find her on Twitter or Instagram @hiimcatee.

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