Many people file away romance as something that really only needs to happen around Valentine’s Day or an anniversary, or identify it with something expensive, like a dinner at a classy restaurant. The truth is that you can put a smile on your significant other’s face almost any time – and it doesn’t cost a dime. Try doing one of these every once in a while – it will help maintain your relationship and make your significant other happy when you do one of these out of the blue – and they’re all free (or nearly so)! If you want an investment that will pay dividends, these ideas will strengthen that valuable asset that is your relationship without costing you a dime.
Many apologies to Paul Simon for the title of this post.
(I’m going to alternate with using her/him on each item on this list, but all of these are solid ways to put a smile on your significant other’s face regardless of gender.)
1. Write a note. Put it somewhere where he will find it during the day when you’re not around.
2. Pick a flower. Come home and give it to her. Put it in water and leave it there for a day or two.
3. Give a kiss. When he looks a little down, walk up to him and give him a kiss. Deep and passionate or light and romantic, your choice.
4. Hold a hand. When the two of you are side by side, just quietly take her hand in yours and give it a little squeeze.
5. Pay a compliment. Tell him that he’s a great husband sometime just right out of the blue.
6. Give a hug. When you first see her, give her a big hug. Wrap your arms around her and pull her close for a moment.
7. Rub a back. After a hard day, when he lays down next to you, softly rub his back for a while.
8. Leave a Post-It. If you leave first in the morning, put a Post-It note on the bathroom mirror for her to find.
9. Cook a meal. Make something at home that you know he likes, even if you don’t. Works well with #3.
10. Cuddle. Even if you’re tired, wrap your arm around her and hold her close for a few minutes as you’re about to drift off to sleep.
11. Get up early. Wake up an hour or two early some weekend and do a task for him that he doesn’t like doing.
12. Take an interest. Make an honest effort to be interested in something she likes. Spend some time actually being involved with it.
13. Go on a walk. Take her on a walk somewhere and talk about whatever comes to mind. Works well with #4.
14. Fix a problem. If you know something’s been bothering him, just fix it sometime without prompting. Find a new home for the cat he doesn’t like. Take down that goofy painting he can’t stand.
15. Clean a window. Do some small household tasks, even if they’re not typically “yours” to do. It’s subtle, but it works.
16. Watch what he wants. If he wants to watch a particular show that you don’t like, just let him watch it, cuddle up next to him, and try to enjoy it.
17. Ask a question. If she’s doing something she seems to enjoy, ask her questions about it and listen to the answer.
18. Leave a token. Put an item that will remind him of you in his belongings when he is packing for a trip. Use your imagination.
19. Look her in the eye. When she’s telling you something that’s important to her, look her in the eye when she’s talking. It shows interest, trust, and love.
20. Say “I love you.” Out of the blue, without provocation.