The small details are the reason you care

I noticed when you didn’t wash your hands.
I noticed when you borrowed something and didn’t put it back.
I noticed when you put a scratch on my car and didn’t tell me.
I noticed when you were late and didn’t apologise.
I noticed when you didn’t hold my hand the same way you used to.
I noticed when you said that it didn’t matter but acted differently.
I noticed when you rolled your eyes as you turned away.
I noticed when you saw me but pretended that you didn’t.
I noticed when you didn’t chip in for dinner.
I noticed when you put me down in front of your friends.
I noticed when you didn’t put the toilet seat down.
I noticed when you didn’t clean up after yourself.
I noticed when you told me a white lie.

I also noticed when you made the effort for me when you didn’t have to.
I also noticed when you remembered me even though you were busy.
I also noticed when you ran your fingers through my hair when we kissed.
I also noticed when you were genuinely happy to see me.
I also noticed when you fought for me even though I wasn’t around.
I also noticed when you really considered me in your decision.
I also noticed when you took the time to listen to me.
I also noticed when you held my hand after I fell.
I also noticed when you were patient and compassionate with me.
I also noticed when you hugged me with your whole body.
I also noticed when you didn’t expect anything in return.
I also noticed when you looked me in the eye.
I also noticed when you told me the truth because it mattered.

Broad strokes and frameworks are important to set the scene but they’re not the reason people stay.

We don’t furnish our homes with unfinished pieces of timber or propose with a vaguely fitting ring. We demand detail; we pore over the minutiae. We notice the colosseum from afar but want to get up close to admire the detail. It’s a different type of appreciation.

Once we have the general picture set by the broad strokes, we differentiate ourselves in the detail. If broad strokes represent the book, the detail is the story inside. When we experience the detail we seek, we become adorers. When we don’t experience the detail we seek, we become contemptuous.

Detail is the crux of powerful relationships.

As quoted by Maya Angelou, an African-American poet, actress and civil rights activist:

“People will forget what you said; People will forget what you did; But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Details (or lack thereof) are directly connected to how people feel.

Whether intimate, friendship or business, your broad strokes are important to set the scene. Please stop relying on them to serve as detail.

I know that you’re a beautiful girl or my local bank or a fellow member at my club. We’ve established that broad stroke.

I now want to see how important the details are to you. I want to see how mindful you are. I want to see what you do when you don’t think anyone is looking or if anyone will notice. It’s the unspoken truth about you and it’s the reason I feel the way I do.

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