23 Small Gestures That Mean Everything In Love

by Lindsay Tigar

Something subtle happens once you’ve been with someone for six months. Instead of the fanfare, the fireworks, the romantic nights out for two — you start to settle into your couple routine. Though likely not as glamorous or Instagram-worthy, when you’re in a long-term relationship that will make the distance, it’s not the big, giant gestures that make your relationship work. Instead, it’s the everyday acts of kindness your partner does that might seem insignificant at the time, actually bond you closer and seal your loyalty to one another. Not to mention — keep you coming back for more lovin’, too.

If you’re in a healthy long-term relationship or you’re dating your way around your town to find someone special, these silly, little gestures remind us that sometimes it’s not quite the big stuff that matters when you’re choosing a partner, but rather, the tiny, thoughtful, sometimes-silly, actions that add up and make for the kind of soulmate you always wished for. Who knows, maybe one day — very soon — you’ll be thankful for these little things, too.

Here are the little things, from getting gum at midnight to saying "thank you", that can mean so much in relationships, according to 23 women:


They Make Me Laugh

“When he makes me laugh, it's the most romantic thing in the world. After a long day of stress from work and life pressures, it's the most amazing thing to come home to someone who keeps me giggling. There's no better release than a genuine, heartfelt laugh. It's what I appreciate almost more than the flowers he sometimes brings me ‘just because.’ Almost.” -Jenn


They Bring Me Flowers Every Friday Afternoon

“Even though we have four kids and a busy life, my husband brings me a small bouquet of flowers each Friday afternoon, like clockwork… before resuming his regularly scheduled toilet splatter and snoring.” -Bryce


They Back My Car Into Parking Spots

“There really are so many it's hard to pick one and I think it's the little things that truly add up when you've been in a relationship for awhile. One that means a lot to me is that my partner always backs my car into parking spots so I can get out easily. I know it sounds funny, but it really means so much to me that he is thoughtful enough to do that!” -Anne Marie Roberts


They Bring Me A Glass Of Water

“I’m a mom to a one-year-old and sometimes, life gets crazy. One of my favorite things my husband does is bring me a glass of water without me asking. Sometimes I'm so tired and stressed I forget to take care of myself and it's a small reminder that he has my back.” -Nikki


They Write Me A Note Before A Work Trip

“My partner travels a lot for work, meaning that we often spend several weeks apart from one another at a time. But no matter how often he goes, he always leaves me a sweet or funny card with flowers before he goes. They usually live the whole time until he gets back!” -James


They Remind Me I’m Awesome

“Telling me I'm doing a great job at completely random moments when I definitely don't think I'm doing a great job and I'm so exhausted. Just hearing that reassurance helps me push on and makes me feel so much better.” -Leah


They Do My Laundry

“My boyfriend does all my laundry. I literally haven't done it in years! He even knows now which things are hang-dry only. Sometimes I come home and he leaves a little surprise gift somewhere for no reason, like a new workout top or he runs random errands, like picking up my prescriptions or dropping off my dry cleaning because i'm too busy to do it.” -Julia


They'll Go Out For Gum At Midnight

“My husband will run out to the corner bodega at midnight to get me a pack of gum if I ask him nicely! Really, he’ll do anything for me, if I ask him.” -Shari


They Always Ask How They Can Help Me

“My husband travels a lot, but when he's home, he has this thing where he asks, ‘How can I make life easier today?’ It’s a simple question, but it goes a long way in making me feel cared about.” -Janell


They Buy Me Chocolate

“When he knows I’m stressed or having a tough time or really just could use some, my husband will randomly buy me dark chocolate M&Ms. No faster way to my heart!” -Amy


They're Always Thinking Of Me

“It's all in the little ways Thomas thinks of me: slippers from the hotel he stayed at for my hospital bag, flowers when I've had a long week, his hand on my knee when I'm feeling nauseous during turbulence, bringing home Lucky Charms because he knows I've secretly been craving them even though I didn't say it out loud. I can’t wait to see him become a father to our little girl in just a few months!” -Laurie


They Say ‘Thank You’

“The best thing my husband does is simple: every single day, he says, ‘Thank you for everything you do.’” -Jess


They Play The Coffee Fairy

“Every once in awhile I'll come downstairs and discover a Starbucks gift card and a cute note from the Coffee Fairy. One time I came out to my car and a really cute scarf that I had been eying was tied around my steering wheel. So, little surprises!” -Lia


They Make Room For Me At Their Place

“Every time I sleep over, my boyfriend makes me breakfast and insists that I don't help so I can play his video games. He also keeps a selection of tea for me in his apartment even though he doesn't like it. And, he grabs me sometimes and just slow dances with me randomly in the middle of the day with no music playing. -Joanna


They Remember The Most Random Things About Me

“My boyfriend knows that I love HARIBO gummy bears, and that I can never finish a cup of coffee. So when he visits, he always brings me a bag of those gummy bears and has started getting his coffee made the way I like it, so I can still have my two sips. It's remembering that I love orchids and sending me them when I've had a rough week, or sitting and quizzing me for hours about words he can't pronounce so that I can pass my next medical school exam that really matter.” -Lindsey


They Are Legit My Biggest Fan

“My fiance is my biggest fan and supporter. He follows along with all the crazy plot points of the bravo shows I love. (He's a big Lisa Vanderpump fan!). He picks me up when I'm drinking and don't feel like Ubering. And when he shares articles I’ve written, it's this nice little reminder that he's my biggest cheerleader.” -Kelsey


They Let The Dog Talk For Them

“He writes out notes and cards as though they're from the dog and tucks them in her collar so I find them.” -Crystal


They Get The Kids Ready For Bed

“My husband, Ben gives the kids a bath and gets them ready for bed every night. After an exhausting day of taking care of their every need, it's so awesome to sit for a moment. This small gesture is the biggest act of love for me! He always does it without me saying a word! -Hannah


They Are Always Listening (Even When I Think They're Not)

“My boyfriend is the most thoughtful person I've ever met! Even when it seems like he is not listening to me (which I feel like is 90 percent of the time), he actually is listening and will surprise me months later with a gift that I mentioned one time. Last summer when "I Can't Feel My Face" was the jam, I said exactly one time that I thought it would be fun to see The Weeknd perform. I barely knew who he was at the time. Fast-forward to six months later and he surprised me with tickets to see The Weeknd at MSG. He just remembers all these little things even though I think I'm being ignored.” -Lisa


They Will Always Rub My Feet

“No matter what my husband is doing, if I put my feet in his lap he will rub them. Also, he always knows the right things to say to push me forward. I'm his strong independent woman and he always tells me I'm the strongest person he knows.” -Holly


They Wash The Dishes

“Wash the sparse dishes late at night without me asking! It’s so amazing.” -Selma


They Always Kiss Me Hello And Goodbye

“My fiance always makes sure to give me a kiss before he leaves for work (he's out the door earlier than me and sometimes I'm still in bed!) and that the first thing I experience when I come home from work (by which time he's already been home for awhile) is to greet me with a kiss. Simple but sweet way to start and end the day.” -Pauline


They Make Sure I’m Ready For My Day

“At the end of a long work day, my husband goes out and buys bananas, peanut butter, soy creamer and eggs because he knows I'll be training until late and wants me to have my Daphnie-ssentials in the morning!” -Daphnie

While we often hear the same things that make couples work (compassion, gratitude, communication, etc), it just goes to show how important random little things are when it comes to love, too.