Valentine's Day has come and gone, but that certainly doesn't mean that the romance has to be packed away for the next 12 months. Valentine's Day should be just the beginning of a year full of playful dates and small gestures — like a New Year's celebration for your relationship. Looking for some inspiration? Here are eight little romantic gestures to keep the love alive now that Valentine's Day is over.
Let me be clear though — when I say romantic gestures, I definitely don't mean gifts. Showering someone with endless trinkets with no thought or reason behind them isn't romantic, it's monotonous. Part of the essence of being romantic in a long-term relationship is in keeping things fresh, and that means diversifying your thoughtful yet spontaneous offerings over time. Loads of little things can be meaningful depending on the context. I still remember the first time my boyfriend brought me a chai latte in the library without me even having to ask. I felt very loved... over a 10-ounce chai.
It wasn't the latte itself that was significant. As a matter of fact, the latte was gone in 60 seconds or so. But the fact that he knew exactly what I would order from that specific coffee shop, that my attention span was quickly fading from schoolwork to early 2000s flash games, and that he was thinking about me when I wasn't physically right there all felt incredibly significant in our early weeks as a couple.
So what are some other little romantic gestures? Check out these ideas and get ready to want to spoil your partner.
1. Surprise lunch picnic
If you know your significant other is having a slow day at work, show up to the office with a surprise lunch picnic and make his or her day.
2. Take a walk by significant places in your history
Go for a leisurely walk around a neighborhood that acted as the backdrop to your love story. Just being there will remind your person of the excitement and possibility of a growing and evolving future together.
3. Make a favorite meal at home
If you don't normally cook, this one is especially effective. Cook your special someone a favorite meal, and have it ready when he or she walks through the door. Instant romance!
4. Show up with little treats
Show up at home with the one pleasure item your significant other will never buy for themselves. For example, I love Oreos with a passion that is unmatched by any other ubiquitously available junk food, but I will not buy them for myself because then I am a victim of successful marketing. But, if my boyfriend showed up with a box of Oreos, I would have to be gracious and eat at least a few.
5. Invite them to be a part of your you-time
Whatever you do just for you — be it play music, sit and watch the waves at the beach, or quietly read a book, invite your person to come along and be in the moment with you. It doesn't have to become a regular thing to feel like a special invitation into your life.
6. Spend the whole morning in bed just hanging out
Ever had a morning in bed where the two of you just lounge around in pajamas searching online for the best new brunch spot to try? I definitely recommend it.
7. Make an investment together
Whether you adopt a dog, plant a tree, or just build some Ikea furniture that you can call "ours," making an investment in something together will give you a tangible reminder of your commitment to each other.
8. Pay them a genuine spontaneous compliment
Because everyone needs a little reminder of why they're great sometimes.
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