Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Filling People's Love Tanks

You can’t teach thoughtfulness.

What you can do is create a system that makes thoughtfulness easier, reminds people to keep practicing it and rewards them for doing so consistently.

Kahnoodle is an app that gives you points every time you do something thoughtful for your lover, like bringing home flowers, writing a sweet note or doing the dishes. You can even cash your points in for discounts at popular stores. And if you haven’t done anything in a while, the app sends a push notification to nudge you in a thoughtful direction.

The reviews were through the roof.

Women said it helped them feel like they were dating again. Men said it rekindled their relationship’s romantic flame. Even marriage counselors said they prescribed it to their clients who were having problems communicating.

Kahnoodle dubbed this process, “filling people’s love tanks.”

Isn’t that the perfect definition of thoughtfulness?

It’s just sweet enough to be memorable, just visual enough to be useful, and just simple enough to be effective.

Filling people’s love tanks. Awesome.

So I couldn’t help but wonder, why stop at couples? Why limit thoughtfulness to just our romantic partners? Shouldn’t we extend that same practice of care and generosity and delight to people we aren’t sleeping with?

After all, relationships work when we work at them. And whether it’s business or personal, it’s less about labor and time and more about intention and attention.

As I go about my day, one of the questions I try to ask myself is:

“Who do I love that needs to see this?”

Maybe it’s an article I find, maybe it’s a product I buy, maybe it’s a picture I take, maybe it’s a person I meet, or maybe it’s a book I finish. But whatever it is that I experience, I always try to observe it with a filter of thoughtfulness. 

And then I share it with them. 

That way, the people that I love, know that my thoughts are full of them.

Because thoughtfulness isn’t a big thing, it’s a thousand little things.

And if we need an app to nudge us along in the right direction, so be it.

Whatever it takes to fill people’s love tanks.