The Value of the Small Gesture

When it comes to matters of the heart, we were raised to think that the grander the gesture, the truer the love. The belief seems to stem from cinema, where we watched leading men publicly profess their love by singing a song on the bleachers, kissing the girl at a school sports game, or playing music over a boombox hoisted over one’s head. In real life, we’ve seen countless viral videos of flash mob proposals, each one more outlandish than the last.

I have to admit that I was also programmed to expect the Grand Gesture. No matter how many times I say I want a simple and uncomplicated relationship, there’s still a part of me that’s hoping for fireworks and Champagne, similar to The Great Gatsby. No wonder I’m still single.

I began to value the Small Gesture last Valentine’s when I was developing a story on how couples first met. I interviewed 14 couples and none of the stories mentioned anything about extravagant dates, expensive gifts, or surprise helicopter rides. Most of them were about quiet nights in coffee shops, sharing a croissant and just contemplating life.

It reminds me of Doublemint’s ad sharing the love story of Sarah and Juan. The two start as high school sweethearts, and the ad shows the different stages of a relationship: the spark, going to prom together, the first kiss, a fight, and living far apart. It ends with a beautiful climax, and it’s better for you to see it.

The ad did so well, getting one million views on YouTube and four million views on Facebook. Other Filipinos found it touching, sharing:

You might argue that it ends with a Grand Gesture, but I believe it’s a collection of Small Gestures that Juan carefully collects. Yes, Grand Gestures are romantic, they are dazzling, but love can be found in the little moments, in the in-between, when infatuation has set in, and there is nothing left but the two of you.

To celebrate love in all its gestures, Doublemint is holding a Lovewraps contest, where people can submit kilig-worthy stories and get a chance to win a romantic trip for two to Boracay. For more details on joining, visit

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