This post is going to start off sounding like a sappy humblebrag of how sweet my husband is, but it's not, and I'm going somewhere by the end of this post. It's kind of a long one, so stick with me.

A few days ago, J came home from running an errand with the above plant in tow, along with a very sweet "just because I love you" card. It was completely random. He wasn't making up for anything; it wasn't my birthday, and it wasn't an anniversary of any kind. I call it a plant (it's actually a Hyacinth) (and probably my new favorite flower) because on day one, it was full of tiny green bulbs, none of which had started to bloom. I stuck it by the window and figured it would take about a week to sprout, but no. On day two, it looked like the first photo above. The second photo is how it looked on day three. Now it's sprouting all over the place. It bloomed so fast! 

It was super sweet of J to grab some random flowers he had never even heard of just because he knew I'd like them. He does stuff like this pretty often but, this wasn't always the case. You know how you'll see a social media post with the caption "my love bought me [insert sweet yet slightly enviable item here] just because it's Thursday!" or "my honey made me [insert elaborate breakfast here] and brought it to the bed this morning!" or "I was feeling down so my love took me to [insert fancypants place here] to cheer me up!"? Everyone has seen these kinds of posts , and it's tempting to sip the haterade, but honestly, when someone you love does something thoughtful and caring, it's definitely worth sharing.

[Insert sermon or thinkpiece on how it's easy to see a picture, read a caption, and size up the quality of a couple's relationship here]. [Speak about how obviously we all know social media posts are not always the most accurate representation of real life here]. [Personally admit here that I still have thoughts like that sure would be nice every now and then when those posts appear].

To any men out there reading, your lady definitely wants you to do/buy/say thoughtful and caring things for absolutely no reason at all, other than you love her and want to show it. When J and I first started dating, he was really good at saying how he felt and showering me with both verbal and physical affection, but that was the extent of his outward displays. There was one time, after about six months together, he came over to my place with a DVD of Despicable Me 2. He stopped and bought it on his way over because I mentioned I wanted to see it, and I remember thinking wow, he's never bought me any kind of gift just because. I know it was just a DVD of a cartoon, but I was outrageously flattered, and it really made me feel thought about and appreciated - in a way he had never shown me before.

Well... a lot of time passed before I felt that feeling again. So much time passed that I had to say something. It feels awkward and self-centered to have to ask your partner something like "why don't you ever bring me flowers unless I'm mad at you?" but sometimes you have to suck it up and do it! It led to a series of conversations on thoughtfulness and some self-reflection on both our parts. J was never the type of person to buy flowers or jewelry or plan spontaneous gestures unless there was a special occasion. It's not that he didn't want to or care about it, it just rarely crossed his mind. When it did cross his mind to do something, he couldn't figure out what to do, so he just did nothing. (Typical male)

After we talked about it, he committed to making more of an effort, and he seriously made a big change. Now he does stuff all the time! Much of which doesn't get shared online, and it doesn't always require spending money (drawing me a bath after yoga, giving me a foot massage after a long day, taking the dog out early morning so I can stay in bed and sleep), but none of it would have happened if I didn't speak up and say something.

I write all of this to say. . . okay, I have no clue what the moral of this story is, but I wanted to share these thoughts. As well as give a shoutout to Mr. Active Spirit for choosing to do things differently for the woman he loves. I know it wasn't easy, and it probably still takes an actual effort, but I appreciate it.

As for that personal self-reflection I briefly mentioned earlier, I made changes as well, but that's another post for another day.


p.s. sometimes I go on and on in this space, and I seriously appreciate anyone out there who actually reads my whole soapbox posts. Thank you!