I’ve said it before: I’m a simple girl. I don’t do “fancy.” And I most certainly don’t do high-maintenance. But it goes deeper than preferring T-shirts and jeans to dresses and pearls. It’s about the love that can shine through the simplest, easiest moments in life.
As this new relationship continues to blossom, I’m reminded daily what a difference a small gesture of love can make. Like holding the door. Or carrying a bag. Or letting me use the bathroom first. Or hiding his shirt in my suitcase because he knows I miss how he smells when we’re apart.
I think people forget how much an act of love can mean to someone. An act that doesn’t even take any effort or forethought at all.
I’ve talked before about how much some people take their partners for granted — constantly complaining about how good single people have it. I think know there are people I’ve talked to who don’t appreciate how much their partners give to them, how the mere presence of love in your life can change you.
Now, before I go any further, let me admit that I fully recognize that this relationship is new. I know we’re still in that let’s-be-disgusting-and-smooch-and-hold-hands-all-the-time phase. I get that this doesn’t last forever. (Don’t forget — I’ve been on the other end of it, too.) But, really, why shouldn’t this last forever — at least part of it? Heck, it even goes further than husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends. It’s about remembering to show the people you love that you love them by being nice. (I know, it’s a novel idea, but just hear me out.)
Why should we stop being kind to each other just because we’ve been together — or known each other — for a while? It’s such a strange concept to me that we’re nicer to people we don’t know than the ones who make our worlds go ’round. Maybe it’s because we know our loved ones will forgive us our crankiness and our rudeness because they love us — and they have to. But, just as strangers deserve our kindness, those we love should receive it as well.
I mean, really. People hold doors for strangers all the time, but not for the person they share their homes with (yes, I’ve watched husbands and wives close the door on each other). I often pay for a stranger’s coffee, so of course I’ll do that for my partner. And, yes, I would offer a hug to someone if I thought they needed it. I most definitely will pass out hugs to my family, my friends, my boyfriend as absolutely often as I can.
“For lack of an occasional expression of love, a relationship strong at the seams can wear thin in the middle.” ~Robert Brault
It makes me sad when I see people let their love grow cold because they’re too tired or busy or lazy to brush their partners’ hand as they pass or tell them “I love you” before they hang up the phone or pick up their favorite kind of apple at the store — even if it’s not on the list. “Life” is not an excuse. Because, really, love should be a welcome part of your life — not a nuisance.
So, yeah, I’m a simple girl. I find more joy, feel more love, in the words someone says or the small, daily gestures they make than in the big gifts and the shows. A funk-ified T-shirt in my suitcase will always warm my heart more than a gift given because it’s a gift-giving holiday. And a warm hand when my fingers are ice cold will make my knees weak and my heart beat just a little faster.
Love is what matters. Kindness is what matters. And not forgetting to let those you love know how important they are. Because you never, ever know how many more opportunities you’ll have.
“If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?” ~Stephen Levine