We’re all busy managing work, kids and social lives, so when you check “soul mate” off your life’s to-do list it can be easy to move on to focusing on other things. As we grow more comfortable over time, we can begin to take our partners for granted, and it’s only natural. But relationships take work, time and nurturing; if you don’t give your relationship the energy it deserves, your partner will begin to feel unloved and unappreciated. Remember, once you find “the one,” you’ve also got to keep them. So let them know how much they mean to you every day.
Everyone has a different love language, and you know your partner best. Some people like gifts and some people like quality time. Some prefer mushy romance, while others like more practical gestures. Show your love how much you truly appreciate them with something that will make them melt—and, no, not one of them involves diamonds.
1. Cook Dinner
They say the way to man’s heart is through his stomach, but let’s be honest, everyone loves to eat. If your partner is the one that always cooks, surprise them by making dinner. Even if it’s terrible and you end up ordering pizza after you almost burn the house down, it’s the thought that counts and they’ll appreciate just having the night off.
2. Give A “For No Reason” Gift
Gifts on special occasions are one thing, but the “for no reason” gift means the most. Bring home their favorite candies next time you run to the store or grab them their favorite coffee if it’s bright and early. I have to admit, when my boyfriend brings me home flowers for no reason, I just can’t bring myself to nag him about not doing the dishes.
3. Ease A Burden
There’s no greater gift than removing something from someone’s to-do list. If you know your partner is stressed and overwhelmed, take something off their plate. Clean the house, do the laundry, walk the dogs, run the kids to practice—whatever it is, lighten your partner’s load, and it will be appreciated.
4. Leave Love Notes
Leave little love notes around the house, car or hidden in their belongings to surprise your partner when they least expect it. If you pack lunches, write a little “I Love You” on their napkin, or include an encouraging note for whatever their day ahead may hold.
5. Give Compliments
Women fall in love through their ears. The words you say, positive or negative, will stick with them forever. If you’re thinking something (positive!), and say it out loud. Make a point to tell your partner how you feel about them: how great they look, how smart they are, how motivated, driven and caring you find them. Whatever makes you love them most, let them know about it.
6. Take A Trip
Get away and spend some time just the two of you. A timeout from the real world will re-energize you both, and your relationship. If you can’t do a full vacation, just take a day trip, spend the weekend at a hotel or plan a staycation in your city.
7. Plan A Surprise
Show up unexpectedly. Pop in to their workplace to take them to lunch. Do the thing you’ve been promising to do but putting off. Keep your partner on their toes and your relationship will never get old.
8. Let Them Know You’re Thinking About Them
A little text or a phone call can brighten someone’s day, showing them you’re thinking about them even when they aren’t there. The steamier, the better.
9. Take Care Of Yourself
Your loved one loves you, too, so they want to make sure you’re around for a long time. It’s not just about looks, it’s about quality of life. Exercise, eat healthy and do the things that make you feel good about yourself.
10. Sex It Up
Everyone wants to feel desired, so don’t skip the foreplay just because you’re in a committed relationship. Take sexy boudoir pictures and give them to your partner in a nice album as a gift. Or better yet, do the shoot together. You can buy some sexy lingerie and put on a show or get some sensual oils and give a massage. Or, skip the foreplay, and just ambush them the second they walk in the door.