I’ve got a few quick questions for you: 

  1. Do you hold the door for your wife or girlfriend and let her enter the room first?  
  2. Do you pull out her chair for her?  
  3. Do you wait for her to sit down before you do?  
  4. Do you have the kind of romantic relationship that you want?

One of those questions is heavier than the others, right? You may be thinking “Woah, Bill, what do those simple little gestures have to do with the quality of my relationship - when I’m taking care of the BIG stuff - like getting the bills paid, shuffling the kids around, remembering her birthday, etc., etc.?” 

I’ll tell you what: romance isn’t just about telling your spouse or girlfriend that you love her; it’s about consistently SHOWING her!  

You show her in some bigger, more expected ways, like bringing flowers or presents on special occasions. You take care of the bill at the restaurant (guys, PLEASE tell me you’re doing this).  

But you also show her in small, unspoken, subtle ways.

Opening a door, letting someone go ahead of you, waiting for someone to be seated. All of those seem like small things. But small things matter. 

Sometimes small things accumulate. When that happens, they can gradually become bigger things.  Let’s say you get a speeding ticket. It happens. Everyone knows it’s hard to stay under 70 on a wide, straight interstate highway with light traffic. You pay a fine and move on. No big deal. 

A few months laters, you’re passing through a neighborhood on your way home. The speed limit’s 25, but you’re holding steady at 40. Cop lights in the rearview, and there’s another ticket. This one’s more expensive, because now you’re a “repeat offender.”

The third ticket you got was really nitpicky. A ticket for going 46 in a 40 mile per hour zone? Such a small offense. But that third ticket has BIG consequences, because it triggers EXPENSIVE problems with your insurance.

Small mistakes can lead to big problems. Each of those tickets, taken alone, could be dealt with fairly easily, but the combination of them together created a much bigger issue.

Small things are also often symbolic of larger things. Showing those small courtesies to your wife or girlfriend, not always waiting for HER to wait on YOU, sends subtle, unspoken messages that you care about her, that you put her first. Those messages build up.  Then, in more intimate moments, when you’re telling her how much you love her, she will be more conditioned to believe you and to respond to you.

Gallantry is one of The 13 Codes. And I get that “gallantry” may seem like a big word to use in connection with things like holding the door for your partner.  It’s a concept, however, that includes some big actions and a lot more small ones. Taken together, they add up to help you have the strong, intimate relationship that you really desire with your partner.

Is your romantic relationship what you want it to be? Does it have all of the intimacy and enjoyment that you want it to have? How are you doing on the little things?

If you’re struggling, enlist some help! I’m opening the doors to The 13 Codes Academy in just a few weeks, and I’m going to cover exactly how you can take practical steps to strengthen your relationship. 

Don’t settle for mediocrity in love. 

Living and leading by example, 

Bill McDonald

P.S.  My wife CJ and I had to learn the hard way how to show love, appreciation and respect for each other. When I started incorporating the daily actions I teach you in The 13 Codes Academy, our relationship got way more satisfying, if you get my drift. This stuff matters.