If you're totally smitten with your significant other, it's always nice to make sweet romantic gestures from time to time, just to show them how much you care. Although movies might have us believe that ~true romance~ is hiring skywriters to profess your love for your significant others up in the clouds, real life romance is fortunately a little more low-key. You can offer to run an errand for them or get them a kitten — no matter how big or small the gesture, doing something that you know will make your partner happy is always romantic.
"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."
Of course, there's never a bad time to try being more romantic in your relationship, but now might be the best time, because August is National Romance Awareness Month. In honor of that, Match took a look at the data from their 2017 Match Singles In America Survey of over 5,500 singles to figure out what singles thought were the most romantic things their partners could do — and it turns out that both men and women were pretty traditional when it came to their romantic preferences.
One foolproof, easy romantic gesture? Putting your phone away more often: 45 percent of singles said the way to them on is by turning your phone off during a date. Here are five other sweet romantic gestures that singles agreed were swoon-worthy.
1Caring For Your Partner When They’re Sick
Keep the Tylenol and tissues handy: 87 percent of singles said that having a partner take care of them while sick is as romantic as relationships get. It might not be "sexy" to barf in front of your partner, but it's romantic AF to know that they can see you at your worst and still love you.
"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."
2Attending A Family Event As A Couple
As nerve-racking as it can be, introducing your partner to your family is a necessary step in a serious relationship. Nerves aside, 83 percent of singles surveyed actually thought going to a family event together is one of the most romantic gestures of commitment a couple can share.
"Thinking about your parents might kill your mojo, but spending time with them and your beau together is romantic because your partner is making an effort to make time for the people you love the most," Burns says.
3Mentioning Your Partner To Your Friends
There's nothing more exciting and butterfly-inducing than the first time you gush to your friends about your new significant other, or hear your partner talking about you to their friends. For 82 percent of singles, mentioning a significant other to friends is a sure sign that things are headed in a positive direction.
"When your partner mentions you to his or her friends, it shows that you’re a priority in his or her life," Burns says. "It’s romantic to date someone who is proud to have you on his arm and show you off. A humble-brag about your partner’s accomplishments on social media, telling your co-workers about what you did together over the weekend, or telling your best buds about your feelings for your partner shows that you want to include your partner in all aspects of your life."
What could be more fun and romantic than going on vacation with your significant other for the first time? According to the Singles in America survey, 79 percent of people thought that planning a trip together is the epitome of romance.
"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."
5Mentioning Your Partner To Your Parents
There's almost nothing parents love more than bugging their kids about "settling down" — so naturally, you aren't going to tell your 'rents about every random Tinder date you go on. For 76 percent of singles, mentioning a partner to their parents is a romantic way of showing how serious they are about the relationship.
"Telling your parents about your special someone is romantic because it takes the relationship to the next level," Burns says. "Although some singles have no problem introducing you early on to family members, many feel it represents a shift from casual to committed. It lets your partner into your bigger world, creating emotional intimacy, a key ingredient to romance!"
Ultimately, it doesn't matter how you choose to show your love for your partner — all that matters is that you and your partner care about each other and regularly make it known through your words and actions. And if you happen to get a private fireworks display as a result, then that's even *more* romantic.