Larry James' BLOG

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Put the Toilet Seat DOWN!

The most hotly contested battlefield in the gender wars may not necessarily be in the bedroom. It may be the bathroom. The seat-up vs. seat-down debate rages on and some interpret this as a sign of male insensitivity and overall cloddishness.

Although it doesn’t rate up there with the unisex restroom in the Ally McBeal television show, the signage for the toilets at one Phoenix, Arizona advertising-public relations firm is an eye-catcher.

Instead of the plain old “Men” and “Women” on the politically correct male and female door signs, the restrooms entries at Cramer-Krasselt are adorned with tasteful, nearly look-alike 3-inch square photos of a toilet. There is one difference — one has the seat up and the other has the seat down.

Is someone trying to tell us something?


Come on, guys! Maybe it’s time to be a little more considerate. Like paying attention to the little things.

As a professional speaker, I lead seminars on personal relationships. In our discussions of “paying attention to the little things,” taking the garbage out, leaving the toilet seat up and rolling the toilet paper the wrong way (among other things) seem to almost always creep into the conversation.

Although we may laugh at such trivial things, the truth is, it is important to our partners to do the little things consistently. It shows them we value and respect them.

Inventor, Tim Seniuk has the perfect solution to the “leaving the toilet seat up” problem. He has invented a toilet seat that goes down automatically after about two minutes. This $37 investment could save your marriage! (Note: No longer available in the U.S.)

You will never again have to worry about experiencing the “porcelain splash” in the middle of the night!    😉

Indifference is like water to a fire. The flame of love grows dim with indifference to your partner’s needs. By far the most common and important way in which you can exercise your attention to your partner is by listening. Listening is an act of love.

Women can often tell a man’s interest in them by the length of his attention span. It’s one thing to pay attention and quite another to acknowledge her request and then remember to do it more than once without having to be reminded. She is not your mother.

It is unreasonable, and a breach of trust, to deny your lover’s report of her feelings. When she expresses a need, it’s your responsibility to do what you can to fulfill that need. Partners who love each other make this a priority.

Being attentive to your love partner’s needs, regardless of what importance you may place on them, will support things going well in and out of the bedroom. Think about it.

Make a list of things you know that pleases your partner and remember do them consistently. Where is it written that a man should have only one job and a woman two? Housework is not just the woman’s job!


If you feel that it is solely her responsibility to go about cleaning the house, paying the bills, taking care of the children, feeding the pets, emptying the trash, washing the clothes, vacuuming the carpet, getting the groceries, planning and cooking your dinner, all with great gusto, you are dead wrong!

For a relationship to work, BOTH partners must give 100% all the time! It’s never easy and it’s possible. Taking care of what needs to be taken care of is a SHARED responsibility. Relationship enrichment can only occur when both partners work together.

Reach agreement about taking out the garbage, which way the toilet paper should roll; in or out and putting the toilet seat down after you have completed your bathroom task and all the other helpful things you can do. Have them be random acts of thoughtfulness.

By the way, here’s a frivolous fact:  According to a 1999 survey by the Scott Paper Company, more than sixty percent prefer that their toilet paper roll over the top, twenty nine percent from the bottom. Eleven percent don’t care. We thought you should know.


Intentionally add a little pizzazz to your love relationship. Do it in playful ways. Exercise your sense of humor. It enlivens your spirit, breeds happiness and causes you and the one you love to experience fully the love you feel for one another.

Leave a note on the toilet seat (after you’ve put it down) that says, “I put the seat down because I love you, not because I should,” and add a smiley face. Do things that make each other smile. Smiles and knowing nods from your lover create a sense of unity that adds longevity to your relationship.

Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. So, maybe it’s time to make the best use of your time to show your partner that you are sensitive to the little things.

And one more thing. If you leave sprinkles on the seat. . . wipe them off! 😉

I encourage the men in my seminars to use their bathroom experience as an opportunity to ponder the thought that. . .

“Foreplay begins with putting the toilet seat down without being asked!”

Some final advice to women. . . Lest you unwittingly place your bottom directly on the porcelain, “Look before you sit!” Perhaps some of these days us guys will comprehend the complexity and significance of this relationship problem.

Copyright © 2008 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere. Something NEW about relationships is posted every 4th day on this Relationships BLOG.

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact:, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – and

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  1. […] 20. Look to him to make the big decisions 21. Let her make the small ones 22. Don’t nag him 23. Put the seat down, pick up your socks for her 24. Renew your vows privately with whispers and memories 25. Renew them […]

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  2. […] Leave a note on the toilet seat (after you’ve put it down) that says “I put the seat down because I love you, not because I […]

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  3. Yeah right. If you want your relationship to work, both of you must give time and take care of what is need to be taken care of. Both partner must work together. Very interesting article. I enjoyed reading it.

    Comment by driving lesson solihull — Monday, August 16, 2010 @ 5:44 am | Reply

  4. very interesting article. I do agree, little things make a difference. I grew up in a household where my dad would work all day, come home, and do yard work, and then housework as well. He, being from a family of 12, him being the youngest, would cook, vacuum, scrub floors, all indoor household duties. He even did the sewing for the family and also broke out the iron!! OMG!! LOL!! He’s a pretty meticulous person, and even though I’m not in a relationship yet, I learned from him about the small things that do matter. A lot of smaller things do add up to one big thing. Oh, and I’ve been yelled at, at home, so much for leaving the toilet seat up, that to this day, even though I’m single, in my apartment, a friend’s house, or even a restaurant, I put the seat down! So it can become a habit. 🙂

    Comment by Brian yach — Friday, July 16, 2010 @ 3:45 pm | Reply

  5. Steffan – Thank you for your comment. This article is intended to focus on men being a little more considerate of their partners. There is no right or wrong in this issue. It’s more about how your partner perceives you respecting their wishes than anything else. When men do something for their partner without having to be reminded every time, they demonstrate respect and much more.

    One of the reasons I wrote this article is because it is often the “little” things that can throw a relationship into a spiral downward.

    Larry James

    Comment by Larry James — Sunday, November 16, 2008 @ 12:52 pm | Reply

  6. How about the woman not being so insensitive and when they are done just put the seat up for us ? Isn’t this a two way street ? What makes lowering the seat being the correct approach ? One more example of a man who has lost his nuts.

    Comment by steffan — Sunday, November 16, 2008 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

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