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Author Topic: the little things matter
West1001
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My boyfriend and I got in a fight recently, about all the little things that matter the most. I always have a habbit of writing letters and having him be surprised when he finds them in the mailbox, I make him stuff, and I bought him a dozen roses the other week, and just yesterday I stopped by his work, and dropped off a slurpee and his favourite candy. He says the little things are the ones that matter the most. But the thing is, he doesn't really do little important things for me in return. I feel like a do a lot for him, but in return I don't get anything back. It's not like I do those nice things because I want something back from him, but it would be nice to feel appreciated every once in awhile as well.

What are some of the little things your significant other does for you? How do you let your bf/gf know they're appreciated?


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Gumdrop Girl
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one thing to remember is that gifts should be unconditional. you give a gift not because you want something in return, but because you want to give a gift.

does this let your guy off the hook? not exactly. tell him, "hey, i'm feeling a little neglected here." or, "i think you take me for granted." if that doesn't do it, well, you can always pout.

my sig other isn't perfect. he forgets sometimes, too. and i have to remind him. but y'know what? when he's good, he's terrific. he brings flowers. he comes over, dressed up and smiling. he cooks me the best romantic candle-lit dinners.

i don't have much to offer like that. the best i can do is to bring him gifts, rent movies for us, and take him on outings around town.

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confused333
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The first couple months my boyfriend always brought me flowers like every week. I was never without flowers. But now of course I don't get them as much except on anniversarys and after we have a fight.

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mistress_monkey
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i actually did something like that today!

my boyfriend called and told me he had pink eye so we couldn't spend the day together like we had planned. so i got myself showered and everything, brought my bike up from the basement, cleaned all the dust and cobweb from it, walked it to the nearest gas station and filled the tires with air, and then rode the remaining two miles to his house (in 95 degree weather) just so i could spend and hour and a half with him, before i had to leave for home to babysit.

i always like doing things for him. i don't have much money, so i'll make him mixed cds and cook him lunch, bring over movies he hasn't seen and stuff. lil' thangs.

and yeah, he returns the favor most of the time, but i really wouldn't mind if he didn't. it just makes me feel good when he thanks me.

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Zanney
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I agree, in a relationship even the small stuff counts. And small means small - it doesn't even have to be a grand gesture. For example, my bf found my mobile phone lying here the other night, almost out of battery, so he just went and charged it up for me because he knew that I would need it the next day It is small acts of kindness like that that has helped to keep our relationship strong.

When you love a person, you find you want to do small things like that for them, and as Gumdrop said, unconditionally.

That said, I acknowledge that you may be feeling frustrated that your relationship is more give than take, and really the only thing you can do is (gently) talk to him.


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celery
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My boyfriend always spends money on me, and whenever he goes away he brings me back lots of presents, even when I specifically tell him NOT to, because i feel bad.
I've never bought him anything, or giving him anything except for a stupid old ring that i used to wear.

I feel bad because over the 3 months i've been going out with him, I've never spent a penny when i've been with him!

I wish i could get him something but I really don't have anymoney to spend, actually i don't have any money AT ALL... lol

Anyone have any ideas on what i could do?


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Foozball
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I think it's really great that you know what makes him feel better and go out of your way to do it! You should write a book or something

But some guys just aren't great at doing the little things. Maybe they're not creative enough, think they can't afford it, or don't have the courage. Maybe you could TEACH him some of the things you do. Get him started. You could get him some stationary so he could write to you, or buy him a Martha Stewart magazine so he could make you something , or you could ASK him specifically to "do you a favor" like tape your favorite show if you know you're going to miss it, give you a back massage if you had a hard day.

Try working with the things you know he's good at. If he's handy, see if he can fix something for you. Work with his strengths, and maybe he'll surprise you.

[This message has been edited by Foozball (edited 08-09-2002).]


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Foozball
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QUOTE
I wish i could get him something but I really don't have anymoney to spend, actually i don't have any money AT ALL... lol

There are lot's of nice thins you could do, Celery, that don't cost a thing! You could tidy up a room in his house, or walk his dog, give him a back massage, cut his hair for him (WARNING: don't do if you've never done it before! Like I said before, play to your strengths! Find out what you're naturally good at, and work with it!


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starlight23
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i do little things for my boy alot. i tend to be the more thoughtful one in the relationship, but he tries, he really does. i dont tend to spend alot of money on him tho (ok, one time i bought him a bathing suit but he needed it! we were going to the beach the next day!) but i like doing little things that make him smile. he does the same for me too tho. after finals he had to go on this trip for the day so i didn't get to see him until that night. he was walking past a candy store and saw my favorite candy (chocolate covered gummy bears) and bought them for me. no reason. just knew i loved them. i just thought it was a wicked sweet gesture. he was also going to suprise me with incubus tickets (my fav. band.) but i asked him to go w/ me before i bought them. lol. as nice as it is to have someone willing to spend money on you, i value the actual things he does more than anything...like the time he thought i was hurt so he climbed back up the mountian (black diamond) that we had just gone down....too bad i was waiting for him the lodge....haha but it was the thought. we both just like doing things for each other cuz we love to see the other happy so much.
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KittenGoddess
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I do little things for my partner all the time. There's hardly ever a week where he doesn't get something from me. A card, a letter, a package...whatever. I do it because I simply love doing it. And I really want to let him know how loved and appreciated he is, and what a wonderful person he truly is.

Having said that, my boy isn't much on getting me stuff. Now generally speaking this doesn't bother me too much, although I do wish sometimes that things were a bit different. We're in an LDR, and sometimes it's just nice to have that little physical reminder that he was thinking of me during the day (or whenever he bought or wrote what he sends me). Unfortunately, I learned that I'd somehow managed to screw that situation up myself. Last Christmas he bought me some stuff from Bath & Body Works...which isn't bad in and of itself. He got me two lotions and two body sprays, all in the same fragrance. Now I recieved this gift, and said thank you and that I loved it and everything...but I also mentioned something about how now I had more than enough of that stuff, so not to necessarily get me any more of it. I thought this was constructive criticism. And honestly I was a bit taken aback by the gift itself...Bath & Body Works stuff is generally what you get someone when you have no idea what they want, or you don't know them well enough to pick out a real present for them (and I've got like 25 bottles or so of that stuff already). Apparently he was very hurt by my saying this. He thought it was a very thoughtful important present since he (a guy) had to take the time to go shopping in this terribly girly store and smell all sorts of stuff before picking something out for me. So anyway, in the end, I was a bit confused by both my present, and the lack of presents since then, and he was hurt by what I'd said. I've apologized since then. And I realize where the miscommunication occured so hopefully we can avoid that problem in the future. But it's also taking him a long time to feel comfortable picking out a present for me now.

So, the moral of the story is that maybe you should ask your partner why he doesn't do the little stuff for you. Maybe it just hasn't occured to him. Maybe he thinks he's already doing it. Or maybe something happened in the past that needs to be mended before the process can be fixed.

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autex
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Does anyone have any suggestions for me, i'm a highschool student and i don't have a real income so the buying part of gifts is a bit hard to manage. What would a girl want that doesn't cost any money. I'm a bit behind on getting gifts for her
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summergoddess
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My fiance does a lot of things for me unconditionally. Like for an example, he surprised me Friday by coming to my work and picking me up (I wasn't expecting to be picked up as I was planning on taking the bus down to his place). My fiance gives me a lot of massages, and stuff. There are surely lots of things that he does that doesn't cost a penny

I do a lot of things for him too. Things like surprise visits, flowers, doing laundry/cleaning his room, and etc.

We're both hopeless romantics

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~Jules

[This message has been edited by summergoddess (edited 04-03-2005).]


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Aria51
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My partner and I have been together for five years and we've never been big gift-givers. He'll buy me the latest neat little gadget I've been lusting after if it's my birthday or Christmas, but that's the extent of it. He's never given me flowers, and to do some little gesture would be completely out of character for him and I'd have to wonder what's wrong.

The best gift you can give your partner is respect. No, really! If they're not a gift-giver, they're not a gift-giver. The worst thing you can ever try to do is change someone.


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Gumdrop Girl
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My previous reply in this thread was from way back in 2002. I have a new partner. He can't afford to buy me lots of gifts, but I don't mind.

Inexpensive ways he has shown his affection in the past 2 weeks:
1. a big batch of cookies (consumed during a 7 hour bout of studying)
2. he taught me to understand curcuits and Ohm's Law (as a biologist, i have a natural phobia of physics)
3. wearing that shirt i like that he doesn't like

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morganlh85
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My boyfriend and I had the exact same problem. I am a hopeless romantic, but he just didn't "get it." We fought about it so many times, almost to the point of us breaking up. The thing is, sometimes the little things you do for him are different than the little things he does for you.

I would always give my bf gifts, a candy bar, a card, just to show I was thinking of him. I begged him to do this for me but he never would. But once I thought it through really hard, I realized that he does TONS of little things for me in a way that is comfortable for him. When I had a dance or an event to organize at school he would stay after school and help me set up without my even asking. He would come to student council events and volunteer with me. He would carry my grocery bags or go get me a glass of water because I was being lazy.

I realized that the little things he does are really so important to me, I was just looking for the wrong little things! Each partner has their own way of expressing their feelings, just make sure you aren't taking his for granted!


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