122: Love in real life
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Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, so I’ve been thinking about love. I thought I’d share with you some of my random thoughts regarding big gestures, little things, and “knowing each other”. As always, the podcast episode has WAY more info than these “show notes”, so give it a listen if you want more. 😉
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Love in daily life – being together
My husband always tells me that I’m weird, because whenever we’re able to be together, I tell him that we’re on a romantic date. No matter what we’re doing—chopping wood, butchering chickens, standing in the freezing cold waiting filling our tank with fuel oil…
He usually asks me if I’m high. Or what I’m on. Or tells me I’m nuts.
I like to think that the fact that we are together is the celebration. The “romantic date” is just celebrating real life.
Why don’t we ever just celebrate real life?
Some of us have created a life where we are “waiting” for that fancy dinner or that trip to the fancy resort.
Note: there is nothing wrong with a fancy dinner or a fancy resort. It’s just that we shouldn’t set up our relationships or our lives to wait for the “special things.”
Love is in the big AND little things.
That’s not to say that big, grand gestures aren’t romantic. They are. The issue is when we rely on those. You can’t rely on those as the basis of happiness or strength in a relationship.
We need to teach the young people in our life about this. And we need to be an example for other adults.
If your relationship is built on how are they going to prove to me that they love me? What big thing, what big sacrifice, what big ta-da is going to happen for me to know they love me? —just, no. No, my friends.
Some of you are on the opposite end of this, feeling like you have to perform to receive someone’s love. What big thing, big sacrifice, big ta-da can I do to let them know I love them? Again: no, my friends.
Is your life so busy and hectic that you need a big fancy grand gesture to get your attention to snap you back to “hey you and me, we’re trying to do a thing here, trying to live a life together”?
There are some relationships that didn’t make it through this last year of quarantine and lock downs. I personally know people who struggled in their relationships during quarantine because they looked at their significant other and thought, what. This is all there is? Meaning, without all the extras, without the grand gestures, without the ta-da that they couldn’t do in the middle of quarantine or couldn’t afford because of employment changes, they realized what a very thin thread their relationship was built on.
Remember when promposals were a thing? Creative? Yes. Sweet? Yes. But I remember seeing them online and thinking wow, if your promposal is that big, what’s your engagement proposal gonna be like?
If you start at level gold star 100, where do you go from there?
The problem with love always being shown in some huge, grand gesture is that those itty bitty everyday things aren’t such a big deal anymore. And that’s a problem because those itty bitty everyday things is what life is built on.
Brush snow off the car.
Start the car for them.
Go out and fill the woodstove.
Pump gas for them.
While you’re picking up something at the store, go grab them a little bag of their favorite caramel corn. Just because.
We need those little gestures right now because y’all we need some love and awesome in the world right now.
Again, big grand gestures are great, but they’re supposed to be the icing on the cake. The cherry on the sundae. The garnish on the drink. They’re not supposed to make up the entirety of the thing.
Love is knowing someone else.
Love is knowing that your spouse is not going to understand what you’re trying to explain unless you draw them a picture because they are visual.
Love is knowing that your significant other needs a project to keep them busy or they will go nuts, and if they spend all day in the garage, it isn’t because they don’t want to be with you, it’s just because they want to keep their brain busy.
Why is that love? Because if you didn’t care, you wouldn’t care. You wouldn’t care enough to know that other person. In relationships, you pay attention and you file these things away so you know a person. If you didn’t care, you wouldn’t care. And we show love because we care.
What are those things you know about the people in your life? Your significant other if you have one. Your kids if you have them. Your parents if they are still around. Your friends. And how can you use them in small, everyday gestures to show them you care?
Remember, even if you don’t know someone personally, you’re in relationship with them as a fellow human being. We buy coffees for the people behind us in line, not because we know them, but because we want Humans to make it through and survive “all this” with a smile.
In all honesty, the little things matter so much. A bunch of little things together are the big things.
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