Even the most romantic among us don't always feel like we have the time to plan sweet romantic gestures for our partners. There's really no excuse, though, because there are so many nice things you can do quickly and easily, and the payoff is worth the extra effort. It's often said that when you give, you receive, that that definitely applies to relationships. "Just reducing negative interactions is not enough for most couples to feel satisfied in their relationship, they also need to experience regular positives," Nicole Prause, Ph.D., sexual psychophysiologist and founder of Liberos LLC, tells Bustle.
A recent study in Emotion found that the more people performed nice romantic gestures for their partners, like doing their chores or changing plans to make time for them, the happier they were with their relationships. In fact, they benefited even if their partners didn't thank them. So, the time or money you spend doing something nice for your partner could pay off for both of you. After you've been dating for a while or living together, it's easy to get comfortable and stop making an effort to please each other. This can lead you to take each other for granted, which zaps the enjoyment from your relationship. Doing nice things for each other is one way to combat that.
Here are some simple ways to remind your partner you love them and improve both of your days in the process.
1. Buy Flowers
Really! It may sound cliché, but picking up a rose or tulip from the store takes just a minute or two and can cost less than a dollar. Flowers are sweet because they're so old-fashioned and show you have a romantic side. They'll beautify their home (and yours, too, if you live together) and make them feel special. Who doesn't want to feel like they deserve a bouquet?
2. Buy Dessert
Candy, ice cream, cookies, or anything else your partner likes to eat for dessert are also just a quick stop on your way home from work. It'll let them end any day on a good note, and let's be honest: This is also a gift for yourself, because you'll probably end up eating some of it.
3. Send An E-Card
4. Put On Their Favorite Show Or Movie
Instead of debating what you'll watch on Netflix that night, let them know you prioritize them by putting on their favorite show so that it's on the screen when they get home and all they've got to do is press "play."
5. Tell Them How Much You Appreciate Them
All you really need to make your partner feel super appreciated are sweet words. Tell them how much you love them, what you love about them, and why you're grateful for them in a text, email, or phone call or while you're together.
6. Plan A Date
No matter how long you've been dating, even if you live together, you still need to keep going on dates so that you have enough positive interactions to avoid getting tired of each other. Planning a date shows you're still as crazy about your partner as you were when you first met. So, surprise them by taking them to their favorite restaurant or maybe even the place where you went on your first date.
7. Give Them A Massage
Help them unwind from a long day without them even having to ask. Or, if you're not super confident in your massage skills, take them to get one and cover it yourself.
8. Make Them Breakfast In Bed
This luxurious treat will make them feel like royalty and start their day on a great note.
9. Reach Out To Their Family
Sweet gestures aren't just for your significant other themselves. They can also be a way to show their family you care about them — which also means showing your partner you care enough about them to make a good impression on their family. You can order them flowers, send them an e-card, or pretty much anything else on this list.
Try doing one of these every day this week and see how it affects your relationship. You may be surprised just how much a few actions can improve it.