Everyone’s probably heard it at some point: “it’s the little things that count.” The little things are sometimes the biggest deal in relationships. The little things can add happiness and build a relationship up into something great, or the absence of them can pile up into something that you realize could become a disaster. Sometimes it’s even hard to appreciate the little things in a relationship because they are really easy to overlook. But the difference of one gesture or word or action could really turn your day around one way or the other. For example, have you ever been parking in some tiny parking lot (i.e., let’s say any Trader Joe’s parking lot) when someone who is walking towards the store but sees you slowly trying to make sure you don’t hit any other cars while parking, stops to help you and wave you into your spot? This has happened to me and that little thing made me smile and appreciate that stranger. The guy probably didn’t even think twice about it and forgot about it as soon as he hit the cheese aisle. But those kinds of things really matter, especially if you are having a bad day. The little things are even more important when you are trying to sustain a relationship. Not everyone is perfect, and sometimes when your partner doesn’t do certain things or say certain things, this starts to kind of add up in your mind and may make you question whether this person is worth the time. There are tons of big mistakes a person can make, but if you are seeing them do several of the following 15 things consistently, is it worth it to keep the relationship going with them?
15 He Doesn't Text You Back
This could also be chalked up to “he doesn’t call you back.” This isn’t the same as before you were a couple when things are just starting up and each of you are doing that dumb thing where you want to wait a certain amount of time before responding to texts or calls or adding the other on Facebook and all that. In a relationship, there’s a degree of responsibility towards each other, and not only is not answering a text aggravating for the other person, but it can also be chalked up as rude or even scary (for example, if they aren’t home when they said they would be and you can’t get ahold of them). The in-person post-text response is also important as being the little thing that really matters. Did he apologize for not texting you? Did his phone battery die? Or does he say something like “oh. Whatever” and walk away? If this is a scenario that gets repeated often, isn’t this a little thing that could end up being an issue?
14 He Doesn’t Ever Open The Door For You
I don’t think that nowadays women expect men to do all the standard chivalrous things like hold doors, give up their seats for you, or take off their hat when they come into a room or an elevator. The hat one is pretty outdated, but the point is, common courtesy from one person in the relationship in the form of a little thing such as holding the door or letting you order first in a restaurant shows that they are respectful and thinking of you first. To be honest, I’ll hold doors for anyone if they look like they need help—older people, younger people, kids, people in wheelchairs, whoever. It’s just really nice when a guy does hold the door for you sometimes. If this is something he doesn’t do when he’s walking in front of you, and ESPECIALLY if you aren’t paying attention and end up crashing into the door (and bonus negative points if he laughs at you on top of that), you might want to add this to your list of little things that are becoming the big thing that translates to “breaking up.”
13 He Doesn’t Hang Out With Your Friends
It isn’t obligatory that your man hang out with your friends. It's probable that the majority of the time you are going out with the girls, he is happy staying in and doing boy things, or hanging out with his friends. But friendships are a relationship too, and you’ve most likely had relationships with some of your friends longer than you’ve had a relationship with the person you are dating. And if both are to continue, paths will have to cross at some point and he will have to hang out with them. If your friends (especially your girl friends) are mutual friends then it may not even be an issue. He may even love going out with these people. But when the red flags should start popping up for you is if every time you mention hanging out together, he makes an excuse not to go out or flat out refuses to go. Not hanging out with your group could seem like a little thing, but potentially could be something that when grouped with the other little things will cause big problems for your relationship.
12 He Never Asks About Your Day
He doesn't ask about work and he never really asks about your day. You let it go but it’s usually nice to talk and catch up after not seeing each other for a day or more. This may become a little bit of an issue if he never ever asks about how your day was. Does he know what you do for work? Does he know where you go every day? Does he seem tuned in to how you look when you come home after work? And does he ever ask about why you might look down, or really excited about something that happened while he wasn’t around? Not asking about your day shows that he doesn't care, and that is not something to look past. And after time, that could be a little sign that he’s not the right one for you.
11 He Picks Up Food For Himself But Not You
Let’s be honest. It’s just easier to get food on the way home from work then to put a whole meal together for two people, let alone just one person. Even heating up food can be a pain because then you have to WAIT for it, and that is slower than something already pre-cooked and ready to be eaten. Food stuff is more like a “medium” thing than a little thing for me. If food is there and ready to eat when I get home, I get really excited. It’s really the thought that counts. If he brings something home for you while picking stuff up for himself, that is not only bonus points but the normal thing to do. It’s when the thought of you doesn’t even cross his mind that it becomes one of those little things. It’s not a make or break moment, but if repeated little incidents where the thought of you doesn’t occur to him start to accumulate, you might want to think about if he’s thinking about you as much as you are thinking about him.
10 He Takes Your Stuff and Doesn’t Replace It
In this instance, a good example again is food (told you food was bonus points for me!) Sometimes you might be at the office and thinking about that leftover burrito you left in the fridge yesterday, and how that might be really nice to have after work. And if you come home and it’s gone because he ate it, it’s a little bit of a bummer. There are other things in your fridge or your city that you can easily eat. It’s more about him not thinking about if you might have actually wanted your burrito that counts. This non-consideration can cross over into other things too, like if you have some cash he borrowed and didn’t pay back, or he used all of the towels in the house for washing the car but then didn’t clean them so you don’t have a towel after the gym (that might be a LOT of towels, but you get the point). The little thing in this instance is no foresight, and although the outcome might not be significant, this little action could prove he isn’t right for you.
9 He Doesn’t Ever Suggest Hanging Out
I’m sure as a couple, you must have things in common that you like to do together. How did you meet? Was it at a bar? You both probably enjoy drinking. Or maybe you both work in entertainment and really bonded over your love of movies. Does he ever suggest doing a shared activity like heading out for happy hour or seeing something in IMAX? Are you always the one bringing these things up? Couples do not have to do everything together. It is healthy to have your own things that you like and your own activities to do and for him to have his alone time or soccer practice on weekend mornings. If it seems he never brings up wanting to hang out doing something together, that might be one of those little things. You shouldn’t have to always be the one to initiate the plans. If he wants to do something fun and brings it up, that is nice. It is the absence of this over time that might be a little sign he doesn’t care as much as you do about spending time together.
8 He Never Gives a Compliment
It’s always nice to be told you look nice, you smell nice, your new haircut is really cool, or you are doing a great job and working so hard. It’s almost like a tiny present when your partner says something super sweet to you out of the blue. It’s even nicer if it happens every day. But this becomes one of those little things when it doesn’t happen at all. And what is worse is if you subconsciously realize this and start to fish for compliments, which brings out unnatural compliments to you in return. It’s nice to get affirmation if you ask “do I look ok?” but when you don’t get any positive feedback ever, it could even make you feel a bit insecure. If you never get compliments, take note, because this in itself is just a little thing that could make you a tad less happy and therefore could make the relationship a little less of a nice place to be in.
7 He Doesn’t Make An Effort With Your Parents
I don’t think the guy in your life has to be BEST FRIENDS with your parents or anything. It just shows he cares when he makes an effort with them. The parents are going to be around in some cases, be it holidays or maybe just intermittent dinners. If it does get to the point where he meets the parents or maybe has even hung out with you and them on multiple occasions, the effort put in is key. Is he being himself? Is he showing basic manners? Or is he ignoring them most of the meal and spending time on the phone or looking for an escape route? Just meeting the parents is a big deal, so if he doesn’t even want to do that and keeps avoiding it that might be a little problem especially if you want to be in a long-term relationship with this guy.
6 He Doesn't Listen
There are tons of distractions around us, most obviously: the smartphone. So sometimes it’s easy to get sidetracked during a conversation with your partner and lose your concentration on what they were saying. I’ve admittedly done this while holding my phone and also while the TV was on. But this little thing can become a big thing when your guy does this during conversations together. Maybe this is something that happens daily. It’s even more of a big deal when you have something important to talk about, maybe something that happened at work that was really great or something that you wanted to get off your chest about a friend and needed someone to talk to about it. If you find yourself asking him over and over if he’s listening to you or his body language is constantly screaming “DON’T CARE” when you are talking, maybe this little thing could become the deal breaker in the relationship.
5 He Never Pays for Anything
In relationships, every vibe is different. Sometimes the woman makes more money and can afford to get the bill more times when going out. Sometimes it’s the guy who makes more and is cool putting up the cash for all of the groceries. I’m not one to expect the other person to always pay for everything, especially when going out. But it’s when he never makes an effort to get the check or just expects you to pay for everything all of the time when this little thing can start to become a big thing. This can work both ways too. It makes sense if it’s understood between the two parties that if this is how it’s going to be, that they are cool with this setup and that it works for them. It’s when this is not the case and he starts getting complacent about the money angle when this gets a bit upsetting. It’s nice to have both people in the relationship offer to pay for things or even share costs in some situations. The effort put in financially is something that is only understood by the couple alone, but if you are not happy with this and in the back of your mind your irritation is growing, this might be a little thing that will soon become a bigger problem.
4 He Always Has A Reason Not To Clean
There are a million reasons not to clean up your apartment or house and number one for me is “I don’t want to clean up the house.” But that’s not a good excuse. No one I know LOVES cleaning. That’s why it’s called a chore. But if he constantly leaves dishes in the sink for you to do or leaves piles of laundry everywhere and never attempts to move them, this is not cool. Especially if this goes on and on for days or weeks and there’s always a reason why these messes are still there. It’s understandable if the place needs a bit of cleaning and both parties have been working so much that there is literally no time to mop and change the sheets or whatever the particular mess in your place may be. But when the mess is constant or it’s the SAME mess over and over (like cigarette butts covering the porch or food encrusted pots still on the stove from weeks ago that have no hope of being saved) and there’s no attempt at putting in the effort for this, that can become a big issue.
3 He Interrupts You All The Time
This little thing could become a big deal when it happens all the time. Interrupting people is straight up rude. It shows he doesn’t have the courtesy to hear what you have to say. It also shows that he thinks what he has to say is way more important than whatever you are saying. There are times when people can get so excited about the topic of what you are talking about that they interrupt something that goes along with the topic you are discussing, and they could jump in with something like “oh my god, that totally happened to me too!” This scenario would make sense. But if you are constantly being interrupted by your partner, are they even listening to what you have to say at all? Not being able to finish what are you saying is frustrating, but so is not being heard and even worse, having the entire story be entire ignored.
2 He Forgets Your Birthday Or Anniversary
If you are anything like me, your birthday is a big deal. People you haven’t talked to in a while hit you up on Facebook. People give you things. You can demand cake for days. Anniversaries are similar: it’s a great time to celebrate when you started dating, or the happy day when you got hitched. Not everyone is a materialistic person who needs diamonds or vacations or any of that. If it’s the little things that matter, then a “happy anniversary!” and a big hug mean a lot. But if the guy in your relationship constantly forgets these special dates, it kind of makes you question: “does he even care about me or us?” Again, there can be extenuating circumstances…maybe he was in surgery or overseas where there was no cell service. But it makes sense that you would get a phone call later on then. Forgetting special dates can be a little thing that ends up mattering more than you think.
1 He Never Shows Affection
This could be the biggest little thing of the bunch. Not everyone needs to be petted and coddled constantly. There are people who freak out if they don’t get a certain amount of hugs or kisses every day. Everyone is different. Some people just really don’t like holding hands because then their palms get super sweaty and the hand holding ends up not being as nice as it started. But affection is important. It’s a physical sign of the love you are feeling. Saying you love someone to their face is probably the ultimate sign that you in fact, do love them. There’s never really a wrong time to tell someone you love them, it’s just one of those really nice things. A hug from your guy is always sweet. The absence of these things is a little thing gone wrong though. If the other person can’t bring themselves to give you a little show of affection by words or touch now and then, is this something you can live with long-term? It’s definitely something to think about.