In a relationship, thoughtful gestures go a long way.
I’m not talking about the expensive gifts, the tropical vacations, and the fancy dinners. When you are in love, it’s often the little things your partner does that make you feel like a million bucks.
Maybe it’s the pep talk they give you before a big meeting at work. Maybe it’s how they heat your car for you in the winter. Or maybe it’s the foot rub they offer at the end of a long day. Regardless, your person knows just how to make you feel oh-i’m-so-loved.
I once asked couples to share the sweet and best ways they have shown each other they care and best of all, they don’t cost a dime. Here’s what they told us:
1) They get up early to make their partner’s morning nice and cozy.
“When my husband knows I’m waking up soon, he will have coffee ready and throw my robe in the dryer so he can bring it to me all nice and warm.”
They text sweet, supportive reminders on the daily.
“My partner will text me positive affirmations or gentle reminders throughout the day — especially if I’ve verbalized I’m having a difficult day. He always reminds me to be kind and loving to myself.”
3) They do household chores without having to be asked.
“I’m at home more often so I do the brunt of the housework, but it’s always nice when I come into the kitchen to find him doing dishes. Or when I suddenly notice the laundry that had been hanging to dry has been put away.”
4) They give back massages, just because.
“My husband always offers to give me a back massage — whether I’m happy, sad, stressed, or tired. And any time I ask for a massage, he’s so quick to say ‘Sure!’ Him being so selfless to take the time to give me a massage any time I ask is so sweet, and I am so thankful!”
5) They say ‘thank you’ every day.
“We end the day by letting one another know how thankful we are for everything the other did throughout the day that was kind and helpful or that made us feel good.”
6) They extend an olive branch after a fight.
“When we’re arguing, my boyfriend’s almost always the one that breaks the tension with a hug, or says something to warm my cold, petty heart.”
7) They make sure their partner eats before they do.
“My husband always, always makes me a plate. He cooks a lot more than I do, and he never eats until he makes both of us (and our daughter) a plate. This is such a simple thing he does that shows me how much he cares for us. He wants us to eat a good meal that he worked hard on.”
8) They charge their partner’s phone so the battery never gets too low.
“My boyfriend, Rob, is the king of making sure I know I’m loved. He takes care of me in the most subtle but meaningful ways — from plugging in my phone for me when I’ve fallen asleep and forgetting to drive to my house to pick me up while I’m sick so he can take care of me.”
9) They go above and beyond for their partner’s family.
“Vida is great with my family — she makes all kinds of efforts to reach out to them and interact, even when I’m not around. I’m close with my family and having a relationship with them is so important to me. She not only understands this but has taken it upon herself to participate in their lives, while encouraging me to spend and share my time with them as well.” — Katrina Lofaro
10) They tuck their partner in after a long day.
“He’ll listen to my struggles, bring me water, or have me take a nap and tuck me in.” ― Alexander
11) They leave little love notes around the house.
“When our schedules don’t line up, I will find little notes around the house, like a marker on my mirror telling me I’m beautiful or a little piece of paper in my purse reminding me that he loves me.” — Vollmer
12) They whip up their partner’s favorite meal.
“We surprise each other with our favorite dishes or desserts. It’s a great way to show that you are paying attention to the little details.” — Stephen Marrafino
13) They do scavenger hunts and other games that make love fun.
“We were working on different ships that were sailing around Alaska, but never actually laid anchor together. He agreed to do a scavenger hunt around each Alaskan port with me. Now, this may seem silly, but for me, this was showing up hugely. He would get to Juneau about three days ahead of me each week and hide a note. It would be my job to follow his clues and find them. Then it would be my turn to hide a note for him at the next port.” ― Patrick Rose
14) They remember the little things, like their favorite PJs.
“I love it when he lays out my favorite pajamas or when he plays with my hair. It’s the smallest things that remind me how much he thinks of me and cares about me every day.” ― Steve P.
15) They know the value of a well-timed wink.
“She’ll make a point to touch my shoulder when she walks by. My favorite is sometimes I’ll look over and she’ll simply wink at me. I don’t know why, but I love that.” Dan Regan
16) They prepare their partner’s breakfast.
“My husband and I have different morning schedules and often don’t see each other until the late evening. So every morning, I place a little note saying I love him next to a mug filled with some fresh smoothie I’ve just prepared and his tea mug, already filled with a half spoon of sugar and a tea bag.” Steven Massa
17) They’re attentive to their partner’s needs in social situations.
My favorite thing is when I’m around a group of his friends and within seconds, he introduces me. And if the conversation ever goes on too long in a direction I can’t contribute to, he’ll grab my hand or give me a smile that says, ‘You belong here.