Jack was getting pans out of the cupboard when Trish walked in. She set the groceries down on the counter, and then turned to give him a kiss.
“How was your day?”
“Good,” said Jack, hugging her. “Nothing too exceptional. The meeting went well. We came up with some good ideas for how we can speed things up with the web project.”
“Sounds like progress.”
Then Jack leaned back and looked at Trish.
“I’ll bet someone else had a REALLY good day,” he said, his eyes sparkling.
“What? Oh, yes, well–” Trish broke into a pleased smile. She had put out so many fires since their texts that morning that at first she didn’t know what he was talking about.
“That was nice,” she said.
“Nice? It’s awesome. See, he does know what a star he’s got. Pinot?”
Trish’s boss had sent out an email to the team, explaining that a bug they’d been struggling with had been fixed. And, uncharacteristically, he had given full credit to Trish and thanked her warmly. Trish was known to say her boss had two moods: grumpy and oblivious. She wasn’t at all sure he noticed how much work she put in and how many problems she solved.
But today he apparently had, and it felt wonderful. It felt even more wonderful to have Jack so happy for her. As she watched him get out the wine, she felt like home was a very good place to be.
When a guy hits a home run like that, it’s worth a second look to figure out exactly how he did it.
When you want to make your partner feel celebrated, the secret is in the details. So what were the details that made Trish feel so fulfilled?
First, Jack brought the topic up himself.
Right away. Trish got the feeling that of all the things they could have shared about their day, he thought that email was the most important.
Then, he stopped what he was doing and gave Trish 100% of his attention.
Making it seem even more important. Could he have said the same thing and continued making dinner at the same time? Of course. And it still would have been good. But probably not quite as completely satisfying.
And, Jack looked absolutely delighted.
He was just as pleased as Trish was, maybe more!
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “I don’t have time to stop and take a moment in the middle of dinner. We have to keep things rolling. There’s homework to do and clothes to wash.”
To that I say, this entire conversation took 30 seconds. That’s it. It’s not really that we don’t have the time. It’s that we’ve got the habit of running on adrenaline.
I also suspect we underestimate the value our attention has for our partners. And the impact it can have. So, we don’t put enough of a priority on it.
You mean a shot of 100% attention from me could honestly mean that much? Those 30 seconds could make her feel happy all evening? Really?
Yes, really. Try it and see for yourself. And after you do, I’d love to know how it goes.
By Claire Hatch