Originally posted on Bustle
It’s totally natural to want to make your partner feel great. They do a lot for you, they’re probably a vital part of your support system — and, after all, you’re with them for a reason. Luckily, there’s no shortage of ways to make your partner feel special. A romantic gesture can go a long way — and romantic doesn’t have to mean cheesy.
“Everyone says they want to date their best friend, but one of the things that separates a BFF from a significant is romantic gestures,” Samantha Burns, couples counselor and dating coach at Love Successfully, tells Bustle. “Romance keeps the spark alive and helps to sustain both emotional and physical intimacy in a relationship. It’s comprised of thoughtful effort. A romantic gesture doesn’t have to be expensive or over the top; it’s the thought and planning behind the act that is the most meaningful. The best type of romance is selfless and involves prioritizing your partner’s happiness and showing them how much they mean to you.”
It’s far too easy to get complacent with each other and let things slide. Maybe you don’t even notice it, but then one day you realize that you’re not as connected as you once were or that you’re taking your relationship for granted. If that happens, it’s time to spoil your partner a bit and show them just how much they mean to you. Here’s how to make them feel special, according to relationship experts.
1. Surprise Them With Something Small
A little surprise can go a long way. Matchmaker and Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Bregman tells Bustle it’s even as simple as simple as packing them a snack or stopping by the mall to pick up a phone case for them so they don’t have to. “These are the kinds of non-verbal actions which show you are deeply invested in this relationship, and seeking active ways to make your partner’s life better,” Rabbi Bregman says.
Seriously, it doesn’t have to be much — whenever my girlfriend brings me home dried mango I basically do a somersault of happiness. I’m a simple girl.
2. Take Care Of Them When They Need It Most
Nothing says “I love you” like taking care of a snotty, sniffly mess. “Being nurtured by your partner when you’re sick isn’t as classically romantic as a candlelit dinner overlooking the sunset, but it’s a time when you can appreciate your partner’s thoughtful gestures the most,” Burns says. “You’re in a vulnerable state, have lost some of your independence, and you must rely on your significant other for support. It’s times like these that show you that your partner is really there for you.” And it means so, so much, especially when you’re to weak to even tell Netflix you are still there.
3. Plan A Vacation
If you have some money and time to spare, planning a vacation for the two of you is a great way of showing how much they mean to you. “Going on vacation is one of the most romantic ways to spend quality time together,” Burns says. “You can close out your work emails, escape the stress of the daily grind, and remember what it’s like to kick back and have fun. Exploring the unknown and taking risks also activates the reward center of your brain, and this release of dopamine can make you feel extra smitten with your partner as you wander the streets of a new city or go zip-lining in the rain forest.” So, if you can, whisk them away for a special trip — even if it’s only for a night.
4. Kiss The Crap Out Of Them
It really can just be the little things — things that we so often overlook. “Looking passionately into their eyes before you kiss them,” is important, relationship coaches Dana Lam and Martin Kupper tell Bustle. “So often we go with the flow and kisses are just a little peck hear or there.” So make a point to kiss them properly and often.
5. Touch More
A massage can make everything better and giving your partner a back or foot rub at the end of the day is a little gesture that feels like a huge treat. “Receiving a massage has been shown to increase levels of oxytocin, the brain chemical that bonds two people together,” relationship counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. “So, if you want your partner to fall more deeply in love, extended physical touch will do the trick.” It’s cheap, easy, and will make them feel great.
6. Compliment Them
When’s the last time you told your partner how amazing they are? “Compliments fade over time, and they are really important in making your partner feel important and passionate,” New York–based relationship and etiquette expert of Relationship Advice Forum, April Masini, tells Bustle. “You may think, ‘My partner knows I think they’re great at things,’ but it’s not the same thing as simply complimenting them regularly. Boost their ego.” You can do the trick by simply pointing out something you love about them.
7. Thank Them
Being taken for granted is one of the most destructive things that can happen in a relationship, so a really helpful, constructive way of making your partner feel special is just to thank them for all they do. Make them feel appreciated. “Saying ‘I love you,’ means a lot,” April Davis, relationship expert, and CEO of LUMA (Luxury Matchmaking), tells Bustle. “But ‘I appreciate you’ will make your partner feel valued.” It’s really easy to do, and sometimes they just need to hear it.
It’s far too easy to get lazy in a relationship, but luckily, there are so many ways to make your partner feel special. Just be tuned into their needs and let them know you care — a little compassion and acknowledgement can go a long way.