Richard Burton showered Elizabeth Taylor with some spectacular gifts during their tempestuous romance – jewellery, yachts, cars, furs and of course the famous $1 million dollar Taylor-Burton diamond. Such grand gestures of love are reserved for the small few who can afford to make them, and whilst I’m sure many a lady wouldn’t turn her nose up at a sizeable sparkler, I’ve talked to so many women who say it’s the small gestures that are the big deals in our relationships these days.

In the key relationships women have in their lives, be it with their husband, partner, mother, father, siblings, friends and children, their happiest moments are characterised by those little gestures that strengthen the bonds and make their days a little brighter and their step a little lighter.

For some it’s as simple as having a piping hot coffee freshly made and waiting for them as they step out of the shower before starting the chaos of the school run. It’s the goodnight phone calls at 10pm on the dot when their husband is working nights. It’s the unexpected texts to say ‘I love you’ instead of the ones that say ‘Can you iron my best jeans for me going out tonight?’ It’s the sharing of the load when it comes to household chores, the getting up in the night with the poorly child when the other has a big day ahead. It’s putting on the electric blanket on a cold night, and switching on the radio so we can sing along.

It’s the friends sharing the load and cooking meals once a week for both families, it’s the Saturday morning lie-ins, the bringing home of a bar of chocolate and a favourite trashy gossip magazine after work on a Friday.

It’s the mums bringing posies of flowers from their own gardens when they come to visit, or sending little packages filled with newspaper and magazine clippings of the things that make us laugh. Dads growing new plants in their gardens for us, coming to look after us when we feel ill and still calling us their wee girls even though we’re in our 30s and beyond.

We see this in our relationships with our children too. There is nothing more warming than a mis-spelt but heartfelt letter from a child, telling us how much we’re ‘luved’ or how we make ‘grait pankakes’. Spontaneous cuddles and kisses and telling us we’re the best mummies in the world, pretty daisies (or dandelions even!) picked for us on weekend trips to the park – the little things are all we need from those little people in our lives.

It’s the simple things we do for those important people in our lives that make the biggest differences.

What small things strengthen your relationships? What simple thing could you start doing now that might just start to make a big difference in your relationships?

I’m off to text my husband and tell him I love him. I only hope he takes it as intended and doesn’t think I’ve reversed the car into the wall again …

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