21 Old-Fashioned Loving Gestures That Don't Take Much Effort At All

by Lindsay E. Mack

To shower your partner with love, go retro for inspiration. Plenty of old-fashioned loving gestures are easy, fun, and (mostly) free. These old-school romantic tips will still impress most modern people, so there's basically no downside.

Although flirty texts and Facetime dates have their own charm, the classic signs of romance are difficult to top. Roses, candles, and sweet love notes are just as effective now as ever. These simple gestures may seem a little overdone, but they're incredibly personal when they're made just for you. Really, anything that creates a genuine bonding moment with you and your SO is worth exploring. Sometimes it's the simplest gestures or moments that matter most.

So the next time you're looking for fun date ideas or sweet ways to impress your partner, consider these vintage romantic tips. Sure, some of them may push your comfort zone or make you feel a bit vulnerable and foolish. But that's all part of the charm. If you're willing to just be with your partner for a time, without any screens or other distractions, it can make for an incredibly powerful connection. Read on to learn more about the best ways to bond with your partner that have stood the test of time.


Write A Love Letter

It can be a lengthy, emotional letter, or just a quick "I love you!" jotted down on a Post-It note. For extra points, write it by hand on pretty stationary.


Share A Drink

You can go all retro and have a milkshake with two straws. Sharing the same glass of wine can also be pretty sweet.


Hold The Door

Open the door to the car or restaurant for your SO. It's a tiny gesture that conveys a lot of care.


Dance Together

It doesn't matter how well either of you dance. Just hold your partner and sway.


Hold Hands

It's more than just a sweet gesture. "When the fingers are interlaced and someone is holding your hand, they’re stimulating pressure receptors [that trigger] what’s called vagal activity," as Dr. Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute (TRI) at the University of Miami/Miller School of Medicine, told HuffPost. "When there’s pressure in the touch, the heart rate goes down, the blood pressure goes down, and you’re put in a relaxed state. When people interlace their fingers, they get more pressure stimulation than the regular way of holding hands.” Simply holding hands can affect both of you in a deep and positive way.


Feed One Another

Offer your SO the last bite of a tasty dessert and feed it to them. It's a super intimate and kind gesture.



Whether you've been together for a few days or a few years, keep the flirting going. Making flirting and playfulness a part of your relationship will help keep things fun over time, as intimacy expert Dr. Gayle Friend explained in her blog.


Sing A Love Song

It's a sweet move, even if you're a little self-conscious about your singing voice. The song can be as silly or meaningful as you like.


Cook For Your Partner

Food is love. Surprise your partner by cooking (or attempting to cook) their favorite dish.


Give Flowers

You can't go wrong with flowers. They've been a classic romantic gift since forever.


Dine By Candlelight

Even if you're just heating up a frozen dinner, candles add romance to any meal. Fire up the tea candles as often as possible.


Use Pet Names

Those goofy names you call each other are actually important for bonding. "I think it’s a really human, natural behavior to take language and shape it for our own purposes," said Carol J. Bruess, director of family studies at the University of St. Thomas, in Scientific American. "I think that’s how nicknames evolve." Calling one another "Sweet-Sweet" or whatever else is just a quick way of showing affection.


Give Genuine Compliments

Even if you've said it a thousand times before, compliment your partner's gorgeous eyes or great sense of humor. Everyone likes to feel appreciated.


Share A Movie-Worthy Kiss

Don't just kiss. Kiss. Do a dip and kiss your partner Old Hollywood style, as noted in Best Life. It's perfectly romantic.


Go On A Real Date

It doesn't have to be anything expensive or fussy (unless that's what you want). But schedule time for a proper date from time to time, whether it's dinner and a movie or meeting up for drinks after work.


Share A Romantic Picnic

Take advantage of that randomly perfect Sunday afternoon. When the weather is nice, pack a lunch and eat it at your leisure in a park. It's the simplest date ever, but there's something very romantic about enjoying your partner's company in this way.


Offer Your Coat

If your SO is freezing, offer your coat (or at least a warm hug). It's a kind and classic gesture.


Go For A Leisurely Walk

So enjoying a long walk on the beach may be one the most cliche romantic moves ever. But it exists for a reason. Hold hands and take a stroll around your neighborhood, a local hiking trail, or the nearest beach.


Share A Romantic Playlist

Make a playlist just for your partner. The songs can be as sexy, sweet, or silly as you like.


Offer A Massage

Massages are free and so soothing. Even a gentle shoulder rub can bring so much relief.


Say "I Love You"

Say it often and with sincerity. Nobody can hear these words too much.