True Love is Revealed When No One is Watching

Filed in Living by on November 5, 2015 4 Comments

colorful_socks_in_a_laundry_basketIt used to be that the classic example of a PDA was kissing in public. Now I think it has been replaced by a Facebook post of your “adoring” love for your significant other. Not that I mind these—they can actually be kind of sweet, and any expression of love should generally be encouraged. I just think that real, true love is expressed when no one else is watching. It is revealed in the small sacrifices we choose to make for our significant other in the course of our daily lives.

The other day I was getting ready to make dinner for myself. Elaine and I usually each make our own dinner since we have different schedules and tastes in foods. Earlier in the day I thawed out four pieces of salmon, one for each of the coming four weekdays, so I was all set for dinner for the week. Before I began to cook a piece of salmon for that night’s dinner, I realized that Elaine was gone all day, had just sat down to rest, and hadn’t yet had dinner. So I asked her, “Honey, I’m cooking some salmon. Would you like a piece for dinner?” And she responded, “Yes, that would be great!” Oh well, so much for my well-laid plans for the week, but Elaine was very appreciative of my small gesture.

Elaine does all of our clothes washing and folding. But when all of the clothes are washed, dried, and in the clothes basket ready to be folded, she usually leaves the basket out for me to fold my own socks, since she knows I am finicky about this. I have all sorts of different socks, and it annoys me if they are mismatched. If I go to put on a pair and they don’t perfectly match, I think, “Now where the hell is the matching one, in this sea of folded socks in my drawer!” (Just call me “OCD” boy.) So, I fold my own socks. When I do this, I first separate my socks from Elaine’s, putting them in two piles on the bed. After I fold all of my socks, then I am left with her pile of socks sitting there. It would be quite easy to rationalize just putting those back in the basket with the rest of the clothes, figuring that Elaine can just fold her own socks. This would be defensible. But I never do that. I always carefully match and fold her socks, too, and put them away in her dresser for her. (I even sometimes fold the rest of my clothes, but I admit that is quite rare.)

Bear in mind, there are a lot of times when I am selfish and not as helpful or loving as I could be. But at least I get it, and often do the right thing. It feels good to do something that I am not expected to do, and for which I get no reward or praise from others. It makes me feel closer to Elaine—almost like a real husband!

Do you express your love to your spouse or significant other in small, selfless ways when no one is watching? When the clean dishes have been sitting in the dishwasher for days because both of you have been so busy, do you occasionally bite the bullet and take a couple of minutes to put them away so your spouse doesn’t have to deal with it when they get home? When you are driving your spouse’s car and it is low on gas, do you stop to fill up the tank, and maybe even get it washed?

The ways in which you can express true, deep love in your daily interactions is endless, and endlessly worthwhile.

P.S. Elaine reads all of my articles before I post them, and after reading this one, she mentioned that I could do a better job cleaning up after our dog in the yard. I guess she was suggesting that I might be capable of showing just a bit more real, genuine love!

About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

Comments (4)

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  1. Lynn crotty says:

    Rog, lynn, Bob, and Ellyn all read this together over a very nice bottle of wine, we all agree that it’s nice when we all “get it” sometimes we are “BUSY” Lol. I’m sure you can emphasize the “BUSY” per our conversation last week.
    However, doing the unsaid and unnoticed things do make a relationship. As good friends we do notice all that is done for us and truly is a blessing and a symbol of love.

  2. Karin says:

    I can totally relate!!!

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