Keeping the spark alive in a relationship takes work. Especially for parents, but really for anyone in a long-term relationship, romance can fall by the wayside as time passes. Life gets busy, your focus is pulled in a million different directions, and quality time together naturally decreases. The feelings that come along with both giving and receiving romantic gestures can help reinforce your bond.
Why are romantic gestures important?
Whether it’s through physical touch like hand-holding, calling one another a sweet name, or spending quality time together, romantic gestures are important for a variety of reasons. “Mental health wise, when we give and we share it's an expression of kindness. It releases endorphins that are healthy for the mind and body,” Dr. Joanne Frederick, a licensed professional counselor practicing in Washington, D.C., says. “It is also psychologically healthy, when we receive romantic gestures. There is a feeling of being loved, wanted, a feeling of hope and attention. All of these are beneficial mental health wise.”
As a courtship matures, small signs of physical affection and other romantic gestures can decrease in number and intensity as couples become more comfortable with one another. “These gestures are important in long-term relationships because as the relationship grow or continue many times people do not do the same things that they once did at the beginning of the relationship,” Frederick says. In short, romantic gestures can make a long-term relationship feel new again.
When you want to remind your partner just how much they mean to you, these romantic gestures are the perfect way to do just that.
- Hold them.
- Show physical affection.
- Ask questions about their work.
- Make them a meal.
- Do a chore they hate.
- Give them a compliment.
- Hold their hand while walking.
- Play with their hair.
- Feed them dessert.
- Dance with them.
- Serve them breakfast in bed.
- Draw them a bath.
- Clean out their car.
- Organize their closet.
- Get them flowers.
- Have a treat delivered while they’re at work.
- Open the door for them.
- Have dinner by candlelight.
- Pour their favorite drink for them.
- Hide love notes around the house.
- Watch the sunset together.
- Call instead of text.
- Take a sweet photo together and make it your wallpaper.
- Mention something sweet they did a long time ago.
- Plan a getaway for just the two of you.
- Book a babysitter without mentioning it.
- Send a text that says “I miss you” when you’re apart.
- Iron their clothes.
- Sing to them.
- Plan a staycation. (Or book a big trip.)
- Write them a love letter.
- Buy them an unexpected gift.
- Do an activity they enjoy with them.
- Wear their favorite scent.
- Offer them the last bite.
- Light candles and snuggle in the candlelight.
- Lay on a blanket with them outside and stargaze.
- Go for a walk on the beach.
- Volunteer together.
- Take a scenic drive while holing hands.
- Reminisce about how you met.
- Cover them with a blanket if they fall asleep without one.
- Express admiration for something they made or created.
- Have a phone-free day.
- Stay up late just to talk to each other.
- Start a TV series of their choosing to watch together.
- Make and complete a bucket list together.
- Cook dinner together.
- Make coffee before they wake up and bring it to them in bed.
- Frame a photo of the two of you and put it on their nightstand.
- Plan a surprise date night.
- Run errands for them.
- Pack their lunch and include a thoughtful note.
- Throw a surprise party on their birthday.
- Pick up their favorite candy when you’re at the store.
- Tag them in a social media post that made you think of them.
- Schedule a spa experience.
- Show up to enjoy your lunch break together.
- Take an unplanned mental health day together.
- Take them to the spot where you first met or fell in love.
- Give them a massage.
- Learn something together — like how to play chess or a new card game.
- Offer to drive them where they need to go and pick them back up.
- Get tickets to see their favorite musician.
- Recreate your first date.
- Bring them back a souvenir if you have to take a trip without them.
- Replace something they use or buy often before it runs out — like chapstick or cologne.
- Exercise together.
- Pick up their favorite meal for dinner.
- Dress up for date night — even if you’re not going anywhere fancy.
- Show them where you grew up.
- Pack a picnic and enjoy the outdoors together.
Overall, romantic gestures play an important role in maintaining and strengthening the emotional connection in long-term relationships and in marriages. When you’re ready to make your partner’s day, you can use these ideas to inspire you to make a romantic gesture of your own. Big or small, anything you can do to remind them just how much you care counts.
Dr. Joanne Frederick, NCC, LPC-DC, VA, LCPC-MD, licensed professional counselor practicing in Washington, D.C.