We all claim we know exactly what we want from others, whether it be a significant other, a sibling, a friend, or even a co-worker. I’ve argued that spending time with one another is one of the greatest gifts you could give someone in a relationship, and that the memories created during that time are quite frankly priceless.
Yet the more I think about it, the more I realize that all of our desires for our boyfriends or girlfriends or friends to act a certain way stem from one “c-word” in particular.
It’s not compassion. Or confidence. Or charm.
And no it’s not “care” (although that’s real close).
To be a considerate boyfriend/girlfriend/sister/brother/friend/etc, is a pretty broad ask of another person. Yet, I place such an emphasis on consideration because it’s roots lay in what may be the most valuable and basic lesson that is taught to children the second they enter into pre-school. “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”
How cowardly is it to ask something of someone who you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself?
How can you expect your boyfriend to be waiting outside your class with your favourite coffee if you don’t even know what his schedule is for the day?
One of the main reasons why relationships crumble is because selfishness and putting one’s individual concerns first gets in the way. It’s common sense that relationships are a two-way street, but I think it’s also common sense to acknowledge that we seem to be reminding society of this on a regular basis.
Consideration and caring share a sibling relationship; one leads to the other and vice versa.
To be honest, it wasn’t until I wrote this article that I fully understood the distinction between the two. According to the dictionary, care is looking after someone or something, and tending to their needs. Consideration, is defined as careful thought, specifically over a period of time. Essentially, being considerate is constantly caring; routinely acting in a careful, kind matter.
Or more blatantly, showing that you actually care.
I’ve had enough guy friends complain to me over the years that girls are a whole other C word – crazy.
They’ve argued that females are impossible to read and point the finger at us when relationships become too complicated or when the forbidden commitment conversation comes knocking at the door. Apparently they consider us to be too picky, and too indecisive. We take relationships too seriously, and as a result, we become attached too quickly. But my personal favourite?
“This girl is so needy.”
That sentence right there is a prime example of the confusion that exists between need and consideration. Don’t get me wrong, we all have needs but wanting you to text her good morning, walk her to class, or surprise her with her favorite coffee now and then is not a huge request.
Wanting to get to know your friends and family isn’t invading your life.
Wanting to spend time with you isn’t being needy.
Wanting to know about your day isn’t being snoopy.
Those are all byproducts of being considerate, and showing that she cares. And no offense, but as a partner, if you don’t start recognizing and reciprocating these actions, don’t expect this relationship (or friendship or whatever millennials call dating these days) to last.
I think all a girl ever wants is for a guy to think of these little things, and most importantly, think of them first. And that statement extends beyond a heterosexual relationship or marriage to include friends, siblings, whatever. They say the little things count, and hell they are right about that. Being considerate requires you to actually know the other person you are caring for. You need to have actually listened to their likes and dislikes, and genuinely be interested and emotionally invested in them.
So the next time she texts you asking how your day was, I would hope you remember to reciprocate the question.
Not because she’s needy, but because she just wants you to care.
And more importantly, hopefully you do care.
Like routinely care.
Like actually care.
Hopefully, you are considerate too.