Why the small things matter most in relationships


While big moments like anniversaries and grand gestures may seem like the most significant moments in a relationship, it’s often the small interactions that make the biggest impact. If you find yourself craving the big moments in relationships or even asking your partner for more grand gestures then chances are it is actually the small little moments that are missing in your relationship. The small little moments of intimacy are the building blocks to your relationship. Here are a few reasons why:

Small interactions build intimacy:

The little things we do for one another every day can build a deep sense of intimacy between partners. Holding hands, making our partners a cup of coffee, greeting them at the door, or simply sharing a smile can all help to strengthen the bond between two people. These gestures communicate that you value your partner and prioritize their happiness.

Small interactions show effort:

Relationships take effort, and small interactions demonstrate that effort. When we take the time to listen attentively, offer a hug when needed, or drive them to an appointment without being asked, we demonstrate that we care about our partner’s needs and are willing to put in the work to support them. It is these efforts which communicate “I value you” and in turn leads to us feeling valued. While grand gestures might be the icing on the cake they won’t compensate for lack of regular small positive interactions. It would be akin to doing a big clean up in your home. You would feel really satisfied initially. But if you have not developed the daily positive habits to keep your home tidy your home starts to deteriorate quickly just like your relationship will.

Small interactions create positive associations:

Positive associations are the mental connections we make between an experience and a feeling. Small, positive interactions with our partner can create powerful positive associations that make us feel happy, loved, and supported. Over time, these positive associations can help sustain a relationship through tough times. Think of it as the relationship connection compounding in a positive way. The higher value connection you have, the more healthy and secure your relationship becomes.

Small interactions can form habits:

In any relationship, there will be moments of conflict or misunderstanding. However, if we make a habit of small, positive interactions, they can offset those negative moments and make the relationship feel more secure. When we develop a habit of showing affection, expressing gratitude, or offering support, these small acts can become automatic, creating a strong foundation for the relationship. Establishing these small habits in the relationship also leads to faster conflict resolution. Rather than being comfortable with unresolved conflict there is a natural tendency to want to resolve matters and realign with one another. 

In conclusion, the small interactions in a relationship may seem insignificant, but they play a crucial role in building intimacy, demonstrating effort, creating positive associations, forming habits, and sustaining the relationship over time. In order to try and commit to forming new regular small positive habits it is important to try and connect with a deep meaning that you can identify with. For example, if you are trying to embody patience, gratitude, compassion and care toward others then committing to these habits becomes easier. That is, your daily interactions with your partner become an opportunity to solidify the values you align with. So the next time you’re tempted to overlook a small interaction with your partner, remember that it may be the very thing that makes your relationship stronger.

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