Happy relationships aren’t just about grand gestures, often it’s the little things that mean the most.
Are we too demanding?
Over the years, the notion that women are difficult to please because they’re too demanding has become quite popular. But we aren’t convinced that it’s entirely true, so we asked clinical psychologist and author of The Truth About Relationships Stefan Blom, to share his thoughts.
‘I don’t agree with the statement that women are more demanding than men,’ he says. ‘This dangerous stereotype is quite judgemental towards women. Being a strong woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to be open and honest with her partner certainly doesn’t make her “demanding”, but this negative perception discourages women from speaking about their needs because they don’t wish to come across that way.’
Stefan believes that in any relationship you have the right to say what you think and feel. ‘Your needs shouldn’t be debated, judged, or dismissed. The balancing and meeting of the needs of both people in the relationship shows happiness in action,’ he says.
We tested the theory
We wanted some real examples of ‘happiness in action’ from real couples so we asked three couples to tell us the one thing their partner does that makes them feel happiest or most special. Here’s what they had to say:
Jenna and Jarred
Jarred: When she shows me that she appreciates me and the small things I do for us, I feel really special. What makes me really happy is seeing her happy and excited; it’s the best feeling in the world!
Jenna: Jarred loves me unconditionally; even when I’m at my very worst, I know he still adores me.
Carla and Greg
Greg: Knowing that she cares for me and would do anything to make me happy makes me feel so special. It’s great to be with someone who cares so much and so openly.
Carla: When he holds my hand or gives me a hug or kiss just because, it makes me so happy and reminds me how much he loves me.
Julie and Charles
Charles: The fact that she brings me a cup of coffee every morning and makes time to cook dinner in the evenings even though work and the kids keep her busy really makes me feel special and happy.
Julie: When he shows my kids (his step-kids) affection it means the world to me. It shows that he loves and accepts me and my family, in spite of all our baggage.
It’s all about the little things
Each of the six people we ‘tested our theory’ on showed us that grand gestures aren’t always the best way to show someone your love and care. The little things like affection, appreciation, acceptance, and a home-cooked meal go a long way in meeting your partner’s needs and maintaining a happy relationship.
Written by: Candice Curtis