It’s The Little Things
By: Michele Russo
Hi Dimes! After a short break, I’m back with a fresh outlook on relationships. The best/worst part about producing creative content is that you have no control over what comes to you. I’ve chosen to follow my own timeline when it comes to writing. If I don’t have a piece of content I feel strongly about sharing, I’d frankly rather not share. That being said, my time off has given me a lot to think about. I typically find myself writing about all the things that go wrong in relationships, but I’ve recently thought to myself- “What’s behind the magic of a successful relationship?
When I think about the strongest relationship I’ve seen, I instantly think of my parents. They’ve been together for nearly forty years. As some relationships do, theirs never struck me as anything forced out of convenience. Although I’m sure its no walk in the park, I do know that its built on a strong foundation of trust and respect. Their story has stood the test of time and left me wondering, what the hell made it so right? Each time I felt I failed in a personal relationship, a flash of the greatest union I’ve seen would enter my mind. It has taken my whole life, but I’ve finally figured it out… When it comes to relationships, it’s the little things that matter.
A little back story on me: I grew up behind the counters of my Dad’s outdoor power equipment dealership. Far from girly, I know, but the experience will forever be the greatest character building experience of my life. We sold everything from large to small mowers, for both homeowners as well as the large landscapers you would expect. Whenever I would come home boasting about selling a large $10,000.00 mower, my Dad’s response was the same. “That’s great, but always remember it’s just as important to sell a $2 spark plug.” Being young and not fully grasping the concept, I brushed his response off time after time. Now at the age of nearly thirty, I finally understand what my Dad meant all those years. It is this very understanding that led him to become a successful businessman, husband and father.
If you think back at some of your relationships that may have ended, consider the root of your problems. Deep down, at the very primitive level, there is some sort of unraveling that begins with a lack of effort. Even in the case of cheating, there is normally some sort of need thats not being met that influences a persons decision of looking outside of their relationship for the fix. On a very basic level, what if we went to the root of the problem? What if, like my father, we not only were present for the large aspects of a relationship- birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine’s Day. What if we were present enough to make little efforts at all times? It’s important to develop a sense of presence in all of the relationships in your life, whether you want to be a great partner, great boss or a great friend, the formula is the same. Show up. Give a shit. Show with your whole heart that you give a shit.
It’s easy for a person to show up for the obvious times like a special occasion. However, the things that are necessary for a lasting marriage are far beyond the obvious. For my parents, love wasn’t built over a giant engagement ring or long trips to Greece. Love was built over the little things: bringing my Mom coffee every morning or planting her favorite rose bush outside, for example. It was sitting at the table talking until 3 a.m. until the issue thats been bothering her was resolved. It was finding a way to let your partner know they aren’t alone in whatever they’re battling. Those are the little things that add up to the big picture of a love that lasts. Remember that the next time you see a couple blasting their love over Instagram. Don't get me wrong, trips and material things are great, but if that’s all you have, it will eventually wear out. When the thrill of a fancy gift fades, you are left with the bare bones of the relationship. If you don’t have a way of showing the other person you care besides the obvious, you’re in trouble. At the end of the day, I think most women just want to know that they mattered. When you listen, we feel like what we had to say mattered. When you make a little effort, we know we matter to you. We’re all overcomplicating things when it comes to dating and marriage. Revert back to your childhood for a second, did your Mom ever write a little note in your lunch box wishing you luck for a test or soccer game later that day? Mine did, and while it was simple, it was the greatest surprise of my day. It took her five seconds, but it let me know she cared and was thinking about me. Let the other person know you care, build trust and show up for the small things as well as the big moments. What you’ll find is a relationship you can depend on.
Until next time, Xx.
Michele is a former St. Louis Rams Cheerleader living in St. Louis. Follow Michele from the sidelines of the NFL to the sidelines of the modern dating world.