When you feel like your relationship is hitting or a roadblock or it justs starting to feel a bit dull, you don't have to go ahead and do something crazy to spice things up. Instead, you can focus on little gestures that can improve your relationship. Getting your partner an elaborate present might make them feel good for a second, but the moment will be fleeting. Small gestures over time can help make a relationship feel complete in the long run, and they are much easier to do more often.
"Small gestures communicate to your significant other that you are thinking of them, that you are tuned into what is important to your partner, and that you desire to make your partner feel loved," says clinical psychologist Marni Amsellem, PhD over email. "This signifies that you value your partner and the relationship. What can be more meaningful than that in a relationship?"
It might take some time to make these small gestures a part of your routine, but once you do, you'll likely feel a positive shift in your relationship. If you're not sure where to start, consider trying one of these 11 little gestures that can help improve any relationship.
1Celebrate Their Achievements
Think of ways to celebrate your partner's hard work or acknowledge their talent and passions. "For instance, if your girlfriend is a blogger, share her latest blog post on your Facebook wall," says life coach and relationship advice columnist Chelsea Leigh Trescott over email. "If your boyfriend plays a sport, post a picture of him in his jersey and say he’s the cutest champion you know. Cheer one another on and don’t shy away from showing others that you are each other’s biggest fan."
2Write Them A Card Just Because
Buy your significant other a card just because. "Maybe write about something they said recently that really resonated with you or mention a moment where they acted vulnerable or brave and tell them why it was so attractive to see," says Trescott. "Then hide it under their pillow or in their work bag or leave it next to the coffee pot so they see it first thing in the morning."
3Bring Them A Treat They Love
You can give your partner something small without spending a lot of money and still have a powerful impact. "Bring home their favorite treat," says dating and relationship coach Christine Baumgartner over email. "It can be Starbucks, Ben & Jerrys, spaghetti and meatballs, their favorite flower, etc. The person receiving them knows you’re thinking about them when they receive them."
4Turn Off Your Phone During Date Night
Make a point to keep your off and away when you're spending quality time with your partner. "Having that undivided attention when you're doing something special, even if it's just making dinner at home together, shows that nothing is more important than that person," says Jeannie Assimos, eHarmony's Chief of Advice, over email. "It will go a long way, especially in this day in age when people are glued to their devices."
5Call Them When You Have Downtime
"If you’re stuck in your car doing errands, FaceTime your significant other and bring them along for the ride," says Trescott. "Sure, it may sound like a real bore of a situation to be included in on, but it shows that you wants your significant other to be part of the mundane moments as much as life's big moments for the very reason that they make everything brighter and more enjoyable."
6Let Them Know You're Thinking About Them When You're Not Together
Even when you can't get on the phone to talk, it's nice to let your significant other know how often you're thinking about them. "There are lots of ways this can be done," says clinical psychologist Mark E. Sharp, Ph.D. over email. "Sending a text or picture when something reminds you of your partner is easy with new technology."
7Assist With The Little Things
Everyone appreciates a little bit of help, and it doesn't have to be anything major. "The best question to ask yourself is: 'How can I make this person's life easier today?'" says psychotherapist and relationship coach Shirani M. Pathak, LCSW over email. "If you're getting yourself a cup of water or tea, ask the other person if they would like some water or tea?"
8Show Physical Affection
Some people crave physical affection more than others to feel loved. "I have had many couples whose key complaint was that their spouse was not physical enough," says Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, MS, LCPC over email. "While giving a hug for no particular reason may have been difficult for their spouse, this was precisely what was needed for them to feel cared for."
9Ask About Their Day
"Even when you live with your partner, see them every day, or know everything about them, it remains ever important throughout a relationship to inquire about their day, every day," says Assimos. "Ask them how their day went, no matter what kind of mood they are in."
10Invite Them To Join You And Your Friends
Something as simple as inviting your boyfriend or girlfriend out with you when you go out to meet friends will go a long way in your relationship. "These are little gestures that prove you want to mix your social circle with your home circle, which is the biggest make or break in a relationship," says relationship expert Rori Sassoon over email. "The fact that you are showing that you want to create a bond between your friends and your significant other will assure them that you are in this for the long haul."
11Set Your Alarm Early To Spend Some Time Together
Mornings are usually hectic and stressful, but start both your days on a good note by waking up early and getting in some quality time. "Set your alarm a few minutes early in the morning so that you can have time to have a conversation with your partner before leaving the house," says Assimos. "Make them a cup of coffee or team and wish them a nice day. Who can have a bad day after that?"