What’s Your Word Worth?

We’ve all been there. Someone promised us-they promised us- that they would be around to lend a hand with something. Be it a fundraiser, pulling an engine, helping to paint the house, or organize the attic. Maybe we asked, maybe they just offered but…when the big day arrives…the person is nowhere to be seen. Whether they called, or just didn’t show up, you were counting on them and they let you down. Sometimes the reason is a good one, perhaps they’re sick. Other times, they just forgot. Whatever the reason, it’s always disappointing.

But when you look in the mirror, are you really any different?

How many times have you promised your Romeo or Juliet that you would do something? Change a light bulb? Hem a pair of slacks? Fix the leaky faucet? Bake a favorite treat?

For some reason, it’s become acceptable to put our partner’s needs off…because, of course, it’s just stuff around the house. Nowhere near as important as helping out a buddy, or taking on extra work to impress the boss. Besides, this person we love will understand. You’ll get around to it someday. When it’s convenient.

But sometimes someday never rolls around. Eventually you put it off so many times, they don’t mention it anymore. Instead, they do it themselves, or hire it done. They’ve stopped asking, knowing you’ll never do what you say you will.

Because frankly, you are a liar…and your word is worthless.

“Now wait just a minute there!” Kristy, you might be saying. Nope. If the shoe fits… And if you haven’t been keeping your promises, you’re wearing it really well.

You say you love your partner? Put your money where your mouth is. In other words, score some major points on the romance scale…and do what you say you’re going to do.

Yeah, fixing a slow drain, or making that nasty green bean casserole is romantic. The fact that you’re doing something you don’t enjoy, just for your partner, means a lot to them. Not to mention that following through on something you promised to do goes a long way toward building trust. And it’s hard to feel romantic about someone who can’t be trusted.

I don’t believe the songwriter is saying to not say the words, just that love needs to be shown, too.

It’s really easy to say you love someone. Proving it is another thing altogether. While the words are always nice to hear, if you don’t back them up with actions…the words are just empty and meaningless.

So change that. Make your word mean something. Make a list of all the things you’ve been neglecting, things you promised to do…and do them.


See you next week for a new tip.


I’m currently offering a free copy of ‘The Romance Manifesto’ to anyone who is following my blog. If you’re not yet doing so, go ahead and enter your email address near the upper right-hand corner of this page, then shoot me a quick email at kristykjames@gmail.com. I’ll send you the link for a PDF or mobi (Kindle) file. If you’re already following the blog, and would like a copy, let me know, and I’ll get you the links. Thanks for stopping by!


If you think that any of the suggested tips are a good fit for you, and you decide to give them a try, I’d love to know if you got the results you hoped for.  Although I can’t guarantee you’ll get any results, most people respond well to sweetness, consideration and attention.  Just remember, you will need to exercise some patience, and be consistent.  Anything worth having usually requires effort.

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18 Responses to What’s Your Word Worth?

  1. Hi Kristy!

    Amen to this whole post, sister.

    Nobody likes to be called a liar, but then that’s what it is, isn’t it? And the thing is, too, that you lose faith in that person, maybe just a little or maybe a lot, but still you lose some faith. I’m careful about what I promise now, especially because I have so little free time.

    I love what you say about fixing a drain (or a spouse following through on anything he/she said they’d do) being romantic because it is.


    • Hi, Shelli! I know what you mean. My word means a lot to me, and I like to keep it. Sometimes things really do come up that prevent me from following through, but those times are few and far between.

      Like you, I’m careful what I promise these days…and the whole ‘just say no’ philosophy is easier for me to embrace than it used to be. It’s easier to do what you say when you’re not overwhelmed with a dozen commitments.


  2. I love this post (though I have to admit that finger could very well be pointing at me). I think this is something we always have to watch out for. My big problem is remembering. I’ll promise something with the full intent of doing it, but then I’m so busy that it slips my mind. I hate that because I know if it was truly important to me, I’d follow through. (We all easily remember the things that are important to us.) I try now to write down everything I promise to do so that I have a visible reminder because even if that particular thing isn’t important to me, the person I promised it to probably is. And I really want them to be able to believe me, trust me, and know I’ll be there when they need me.

  3. Debra Kristi says:

    Sorry I’m late. I had to take a few days off. This is SO true. Actions speak volumes. And the lack of follow through and crumb trust. Wonderful post.

    • You did better than I did then. I took a couple of weeks off this month. Not entirely, but people were wondering if I blocked them on FB because I kind of disappeared. But you gotta do what you gotta do in order to write productively.

      And thank you. This is a subject I’m very passionate about because it damages so many relationships. 🙂

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  5. mj monaghan says:

    Shoot, I thought if we just said we would do something, it would postpone it a few days, months, or years. Great, thanks for bursting my bubble again, KK. You’re raining on my personal “romance parade!” 😉

    I hear you, sister!

    • Hmm. I’m getting pretty good at bursting bubbles. 🙂

      Let’s see… The few days would be acceptable for most things (except toilets…if that needs repaired, no matter what is wrong with it, it needs to be dealt with WITHOUT delay-same thing goes for septic tanks). A few months…yeah, that will work if you have to save for things like carpet, or some other big expense. Years would only come into play if you’re talking a BIG ticket item…like going on a year-long African safari. 🙂

  6. My daughter once caught me in a little white lie and I’m not too proud to say, I was very humbled. It was a moment where I didn’t want to be the ‘do as I say and not as I do’ parent. I had to own my lie and deal with the consequences. Since then, I’m much more aware of when I say I’ll do something, I do it. It still hurts even to think of it and it’s been fifteen years!

    • That is an uncomfortable situation, isn’t it? I’ve always tried to set an example of being honest, though I’ve flirted with dishonesty on occasion. There was a time when, if I didn’t want to talk to someone…but wanted to find out why they were calling…I would run into the bathroom and hop in the tub. Then I’d tell the kids to tell whoever it was that I was ‘in the tub,’ stressing that they NOT say I was taking a shower. If the caller assumed I was showering, not my problem. Technically it was the truth, but it didn’t come close to setting a good example.

      When I finally realized that, I stopped. Now I just let calls I don’t want to take go, or let the answering machine get it. LOL…I won’t even say I can’t come to the phone in that message. It’s usually just, Hi, you’ve reached…., please leave your number after the tone… Unless I’m in one of my goofy moods, then I leave my Martha Washington message…which is completely untrue, but off the wall enough that anyone calling takes it for what it is. The ramblings of a borderline lunatic. 🙂

  7. Action really does speak louder than words. And saying we’ll do something and not following up with proactivity makes us trust ourselves less, and gain less trust from others.

    • I think that’s true in many cases, but I also believe there are people who say what they think you want to hear, never follow through on anything…and they’re perfectly okay with that. At least that’s how it appears. But yes, it’s hard to trust people like that.

  8. LOVE IT!! So true Kristy. It sometimes seems “easier” to perhaps put off our commitments when it involves our special someone because “they understand” but in reality, they should be our top priority.
    Love this reminder to walk the talk!
    FAB post!

    • Thanks, Natalie. 🙂 I totally agree with you. I’ve talked to so many people whose loved ones would never dream of acting one way in public (or around family and friends), but it’s okay to ‘let their hair down’ around the person who is supposed to be more important than anyone else. It just stuns me when I hear the complaints. What makes that okay? It’s no wonder so many relationships are in trouble.

  9. asraidevin says:

    Talk is indeed cheap. And easy. Most people say they want to help, but when it comes to actually doing the work …. not so much.

  10. so very true – our words have to be followed by actions.

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