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Love is Not In The Little Things

by | February 17, 2018

I read so many quotes, like the ones pictured in the memes below, that talk about how love is in the little things. Or, how the little things are proof of love and evidence of why you should stay with your partner. Although the little things are important and make love sweeter, people often place more importance on them than they deserve, and get side-tracked from what really matters.

You know the little things they’re talking about. The little things like the way he (or she) sweetly places the linen napkin on your lap when the two of you are out to dinner. The way he remembers exactly how you like your Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip coffee from Starbucks after hearing you order it the first time. The way he always offers you the bigger piece of cake every time the two of you share dessert. The way he is able to recall your beloved childhood dog’s name that you had mentioned months ago on your first date. The yellow sticky notes he leaves hidden in your purse or laptop computer telling you how much he loves you. The way he never fails to help you put your coat on even though you can do it yourself. Or, the way he posts gushy, lovey-dovey comments about how much he loves you on social media.

I’m here to tell you that all the sweet and caring gestures are not what love is about. You can’t measure love by the sum of sweet gestures. Love, real love, is not in the details. The little things don’t prove love. They only augment and compliment love. The little things are wonderful and important, but they do not equal love.

I’ll tell you why.

The sweet gestures are thoughtful, but let’s face it, they’re easy. Love, on the other hand, takes effort and is hard work. In my opinion, love is in the big things. Love is compromising when you don’t want to. It’s the ability to put someone else’s needs above your own. It’s fighting fair when bringing up the past could score you a win. It’s being there for your partner during the tough, messy times. It’s honoring your commitments and your word. It’s unwavering loyalty and devotion. It’s not sweating the small stuff and nagging your partner about toothpaste caps and water spots on the counter. It’s not having to always be right or have the last word. It’s being able to set aside your pride and apologize when you’re wrong. It’s taking responsibility for your actions. It’s risking being vulnerable. It’s wanting the best for your partner and supporting their goals and dreams. It’s building your partner up and being their soft place to fall.

In the absence of the big things, the little things are meaningless. They are just pomp and circumstance. Toxic people and con artists are masters at fooling and distracting people from focusing on the things that matter with showy displays of sweet but easy and relatively effortless gestures. Don’t be blinded by little gestures. Don’t let the little things help you justify staying in the relationship when he’s failing to deliver on the big things. Don’t be so distracted by all the little things that you pardon the hard stuff. Don’t be misled into believing that he (or she) has what it takes to be a good, life-long partner because he remembers your favorite color or records your favorite show when you’re not home. Those little things may be thoughtful, but when the big things are missing or deficient, the little things become a bunch of romantic hyperbole. The steady, unfaltering presence of the big things is what makes the little things meaningful and genuine.

The single most important choice you will ever make that will directly affect your mental and physical health, and ultimately your future happiness is who you choose as your mate. So, look for the big gestures. Look for effort over quick and easy actions. Look for the stuff that demonstrates character rather than romance. Find someone who remembers to fight fair, and fights for your relationship when things get heated. Someone who will be there for the long haul and will have your back during difficult times. Someone who you can depend on and treats you as a priority, consistently. Someone who places the health of the relationship above their own needs or ego. The little things surely make love sweeter but they’re not what’s going to carry a relationship or bring you contentment in the long run.

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A LITTLE ABOUT ME

Bree Bonchay, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with over 18 years of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships. Her articles have been featured in major online magazines and she has appeared on radio as a guest expert.
She is a dedicated advocate, educator and facilitates survivor support groups and workshops.

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Healing stories about surviving toxic relationships with narcissists and sociopaths.

I read so many quotes, like the ones pictured in the memes below, that talk about how love is in the little things. Or, how the little things are proof of love and evidence of why you should stay with your partner. Although the little things are important and make love sweeter, people often place more importance on them than they deserve, and get side-tracked from what really matters.

You know the little things they’re talking about. The little things like the way he (or she) sweetly places the linen napkin on your lap when the two of you are out to dinner. The way he remembers exactly how you like your Venti Iced Skinny Hazelnut Macchiato, Sugar-Free Syrup, Extra Shot, Light Ice, No Whip coffee from Starbucks after hearing you order it the first time. The way he always offers you the bigger piece of cake every time the two of you share dessert. The way he is able to recall your beloved childhood dog’s name that you had mentioned months ago on your first date. The yellow sticky notes he leaves hidden in your purse or laptop computer telling you how much he loves you. The way he never fails to help you put your coat on even though you can do it yourself. Or, the way he posts gushy, lovey-dovey comments about how much he loves you on social media.

I’m here to tell you that all the sweet and caring gestures are not what love is about. You can’t measure love by the sum of sweet gestures. Love, real love, is not in the details. The little things don’t prove love. They only augment and compliment love. The little things are wonderful and important, but they do not equal love.

I’ll tell you why.

The sweet gestures are thoughtful, but let’s face it, they’re easy. Love, on the other hand, takes effort and is hard work. In my opinion, love is in the big things. Love is compromising when you don’t want to. It’s the ability to put someone else’s needs above your own. It’s fighting fair when bringing up the past could score you a win. It’s being there for your partner during the tough, messy times. It’s honoring your commitments and your word. It’s unwavering loyalty and devotion. It’s not sweating the small stuff and nagging your partner about toothpaste caps and water spots on the counter. It’s not having to always be right or have the last word. It’s being able to set aside your pride and apologize when you’re wrong. It’s taking responsibility for your actions. It’s risking being vulnerable. It’s wanting the best for your partner and supporting their goals and dreams. It’s building your partner up and being their soft place to fall.

In the absence of the big things, the little things are meaningless. They are just pomp and circumstance. Toxic people and con artists are masters at fooling and distracting people from focusing on the things that matter with showy displays of sweet but easy and relatively effortless gestures. Don’t be blinded by little gestures. Don’t let the little things help you justify staying in the relationship when he’s failing to deliver on the big things. Don’t be so distracted by all the little things that you pardon the hard stuff. Don’t be misled into believing that he (or she) has what it takes to be a good, life-long partner because he remembers your favorite color or records your favorite show when you’re not home. Those little things may be thoughtful, but when the big things are missing or deficient, the little things become a bunch of romantic hyperbole. The steady, unfaltering presence of the big things is what makes the little things meaningful and genuine.

The single most important choice you will ever make that will directly affect your mental and physical health, and ultimately your future happiness is who you choose as your mate. So, look for the big gestures. Look for effort over quick and easy actions. Look for the stuff that demonstrates character rather than romance. Find someone who remembers to fight fair, and fights for your relationship when things get heated. Someone who will be there for the long haul and will have your back during difficult times. Someone who you can depend on and treats you as a priority, consistently. Someone who places the health of the relationship above their own needs or ego. The little things surely make love sweeter but they’re not what’s going to carry a relationship or bring you contentment in the long run.

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"𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚" 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝 𝐏𝐫𝐞𝐦𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝟒 𝐦𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝟐𝟐𝟎 𝐜𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐉𝐮𝐧𝐞. 𝐈 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐡𝐨𝐧𝐨𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐬𝐤𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚 𝐩𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐥𝐚𝐮𝐧𝐜𝐡 𝐰𝐡𝐢𝐜𝐡 𝐢𝐬 𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐎𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐛𝐞𝐫 𝟒‒𝟏𝟎. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐃𝐫. 𝐆𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐫 𝐌𝐚𝐭é, 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝’𝐬 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐠𝐮𝐞𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐛𝐲:🍃𝐑𝐮𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐁𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝🍂𝐓𝐢𝐦 𝐅𝐞𝐫𝐫𝐢𝐬𝐬𝐖𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐢𝐬 𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐨𝐨𝐭 𝐜𝐚𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐮𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐰𝐞 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞. 𝐎𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚-𝐬𝐞𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞, 𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚-𝐢𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐜𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧, 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐢𝐥𝐥𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬, 𝐜𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐢𝐜 𝐩𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐬𝐬 𝐬𝐥𝐢𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤𝐬, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐠𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐥𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐧𝐚𝐫𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐚 𝐯𝐢𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐨𝐩𝐞, 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐝𝐢𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐝 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝. 𝐓𝐨 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦, 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐝𝐜𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐜𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐚 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐒𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐. 𝐓𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐥𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬 𝐟𝐞𝐚𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥 𝟑𝟎+ 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐫𝐭𝐬 …🍂𝐁𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐞𝐥 𝐯𝐚𝐧 𝐝𝐞𝐫 𝐊𝐨𝐥𝐤🍃𝐉𝐞𝐰𝐞𝐥🍂𝐉𝐚𝐦𝐢𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐞 𝐂𝐮𝐫𝐭𝐢𝐬🍃𝐑𝐢𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐒𝐜𝐡𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐳🍂𝐀𝐬𝐡𝐥𝐞𝐲 𝐉𝐮𝐝𝐝…𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬. 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐰𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐞𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐡𝐮𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 — 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐯𝐞 𝐝𝐨𝐧𝐞, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐰𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐰𝐞’𝐯𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡… 𝐖𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐛𝐞𝐠𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐩𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐢𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝. 𝐓𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐖𝐢𝐬𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐨𝐟 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐏𝐚𝐫𝐭 𝟐 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐤𝐬 𝐨𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐮𝐦𝐚 𝐬𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬, 𝐩𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐞 𝐜𝐥𝐢𝐜𝐤 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐤 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐰——->🍂https://freefromtoxic--sand.thrivecart.com/supporter-fall/🍃***I want to be transparent and share that I do receive a small affiliate fee on any sales. ... See MoreSee Less
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You can’t expect to get your needs met or have true emotional connection with someone who at their core has an “All About Me Agenda”. Intimacy- “into me see” is not going to happen when the other partner is blinded because he/she only operates in the “me, my, mine” mode. Follow me on IG @breebonchay and join my over 65k followers on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/freefromtoxic#narcissist #narcissisticabuse #smearcampaign #flyingmonkeys #wnaad #freefromtoxic #ifmywoundswerevisible ... See MoreSee Less
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Don’t waste your time and emotional energy trying to convince mutual friends of the truth or to side with you. The narcissist has already anticipated what you might say and has been preemptively planting a very credible- sounding rendition of the truth in the mind’s of mutual friends and anyone else who would listen. The narcissist, most likely, has been doing this for a very long time and that’s why reversing the damage and trying to change people’s minds is absolutely futile. Follow me on IG @breebonchay and join my over 65k followers on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/freefromtoxic#narcissist #narcissisticabuse #smearcampaign #flyingmonkeys #wnaad #freefromtoxic #ifmywoundswerevisible ... See MoreSee Less
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Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

Get the book

‘I Am Free” is both a cautionary warning and illuminating light. It empowers readers dealing with the aftermath of a toxic relationship and serves as a wake-up call to those who are in-or think they may be in- an abusive relationship with a narcissists or sociopath.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

About me

Bree Bonchay, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist with two decades of experience working in the field of mental health and trauma recovery. She specializes in helping people recover from toxic relationships and shares her insights about narcissistic personality disorder and psychopathy in her blog, FreeFromToxic. She is the author of the book, “I Am Free” and has appeared on radio as a guest expert. She is also a board member of the Association for NPD/Psychopathy Educators & Survivor Treatment, a member of the International Association of Trauma Specialists, and is also the founder of WNAAD.

1 Comment

  1. Remembering Lives

    Fantastic advice Bree. Yes the little things are nice but if somebody is not there in a crisis, those small gestures are ultimately meaningless.

    Reply

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Copyright © 2021 - Bree Bonchay/ Free From Toxic ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No material on this website may be reproduced in any format without prior written permission of Bree Bonchay.