Big, over-the-top grand gestures can sometimes be great and all, but in most relationships, there are many more small moments than there are those big ones. That doesn't mean that your partner isn't showing affection or that you're not doing enough if you're not good at the grand gestures. There are a ton of different ways you're showing affection without even realizing it, according to men, that don't require a ton of serious planning or even going all that far out of your own way. The little things that you do to show them you care can make just as much of an impact, if not more so, than the meticulously planned, over-the-top surprises.
In all likelihood, you do things all the time that show your partner just how much you care about them without even realizing that's what you're doing. That's because different people often interpret behaviors in different ways. So while you might not think that what you're doing is all that big of a deal, or even all that affectionate, they see things differently. Though everyone is different and what your partner finds sweet and affectionate might not get your message across with someone else, having an idea of what some guys might interpret as a gesture of affection can clarify why your partner thinks it's so sweet when you carry their dry-cleaning upstairs or make sure to toss the empty tuna fish can before they get home since you know they don't like the smell. Affection comes in all shapes and sizes.
1. When You Fold Your Laundry & Tidy Up Your Things
If you're a bit messy (or a lot, I won't judge you) and your partner is decidedly not, that can definitely sometimes cause some tension in your relationship. But just the simple act of tiding up your things and putting away your clothes (or at least neatly organizing them) might send the message to your partner that you love them, care about them, and want to do something that they'll appreciate.
"I am not sure if she is aware of what she does, but I think [it] is kind of lovely, what she does, because it feels good to me when I wake up and see the clothes folded in the closet," David tells Romper by email.
2. When You Warn Them Something's Hot
You might think that it's silly to warn your partner when they're about to eat or drink something hot, particularly if they likely already know it will be, but just that minor courtesy can show your affection for them.
"Usually it’s obvious because there is steam coming off, but I love the fact that it still comes to her mind to say," Matt tells Romper by email. It shows you care more than you think.
3. When You Take Their Car To Get Washed
Jeff says that he had an ex that used to take his car to get washed periodically. A car wash doesn't take too long and is pretty affordable, and, after all, it's something that has to get done. Still, doing something for your partner that they'd otherwise have to make time to do themselves can definitely show them that you really care about them.
4. When You Ask Them About Their Family Members Or Friends
Asking about a member of their family or a friend of theirs, particularly if you've met them before or know that they've been dealing with something, is another relatively small gesture that they might interpret as affectionate. Matt says that something like this shows "genuine interest" in his loved ones, which means a lot.
5. When You Reach Out To Let Them Know You're Thinking About Them
Evan says that when someone "initiates a conversation via text, video chat, etc," that's another way that they're showing affection and they might not even realize they're doing so. When you reach out to them instead of waiting for them to reach out to you, it shows them that you're thinking about them and that you care about how their big meeting is going, if their day ever got any better, or if they safely made it to their weekend getaway destination.
6. When You Swing By With Comfort Foods When They're Under The Weather
When someone's sick, they don't want to have to worry about what they're going to eat or how it's going to get to them (let alone cooking it). Jeff says that stopping by with food when he's under the weather is another way that a partner has shown how much they care. Plus, you can always send food without even leaving your place or order dinner for the both of you without leaving your spot next to them on the couch.
7. When You Put Your Hand On Their Leg While They're Driving
Matt says that this is also something sweet that shows affection in a way that you might not realize. It's such a simple gesture, but can definitely convey affection.
If you want to show your partner how much you care about them or how much you like them, you don't have to do something huge. Seemingly tiny gestures can make a much bigger impact than you might have realized.