We put together a list of 14 different things every couple can do to make their relationship that bit more magically romantic, based on the experiences of real people. We hope you’ll be inspired to do something that will make your partner’s heart beat faster today.
1. Send a surprise across the miles.
Last year, my husband was travelling for work over Valentine’s Day. So he flew my mom out to LA to spend the weekend with me. He made us brunch reservations and appointments to get massages at my favourite spa! Best surprise ever!
2. Make a habit of writing love notes.
My boyfriend and I have a red Moleskin journal that we use to write little love notes to each other. I never know when I will wake up or come home after a busy day to find the journal out on the table with exactly the words that I needed to hear that day.
3. Make every night a date night.
My boyfriend and I live together, and dinner time is never taken lightly. By planning our meals as a team, and cooking and eating together every night of the week, we’re guaranteed at least one hour of relaxing one-on-one time every day, and it’s a ritual that I treasure dearly.
4. Say ’I love you’ with actions.
My boyfriend doesn’t make grand, showy gestures. Real romance is quieter than that. He opens the door for me, gives me the window seat on the plane, lets me have the last bite of whatever we’re sharing. All the little things that quietly say ’I love you’ over and over again. He also knows the power of a small surprise. Sometimes I’ll check my mailbox and find a new record or book from a mysterious sender. How wonderful is that?
5. Make time for a midday rendezvous.
I love picking up take-out food from some of our favourite restaurants around town and meeting in a nearby park for a quick lunch date. Other times he has to keep working at his desk so I’ll deliver the goods directly to him at his office — nothing says I love you more than a bowl of hot food on a cold winter’s day.
6. Lighten the load for each other.
The most romantic thing at the moment is when my husband empties the dishwasher, packs our daughter’s lunch or takes her to school. It may not be sexy, but it’s important and amazing to me.
7. Get to know each other really.
When my girlfriend and I first met and were dating long distance, she emailed a list of random questions begging for telling answers — it was a fun way to get to know each other. Last year (after nine years together), she gave me a book called Q&A that includes a question for every day of the year for three years — both people in the relationship answer. They are fun and random, and it’s a great reconnecting tool.
8. Box up your favourite memories.
For our fifth anniversary, I placed little pieces of paper with my favourite memories with him and/or reasons I loved him inside balloons, then had the balloons blown up. He had to pop them to read each paper.
9. Do something small that makes an impact.
One of my favourite examples of how adorable my husband is: I’m taking a long shower, trying to wash away my miserable sinus infection on a cold winter day, when I hear the door open. I’m already suspicious because my husband is known to be a prankster. ’Hello?!’ I say, and he responds: ’I brought you a warm towel fresh out the dryer.’ Out of pure sweetness, he decided to throw a towel in the dryer for me to have at this very moment, and it was so wonderful when drying off — like a big hug from my love!
10. Collect mementos of the times you’ve shared.
I like to keep tiny throw-away mementos from dates — the lift ticket from your first ski trip together, a ticket stub from a great concert, the note he left on your door in college. With the passage of time, these objects become sacred and can be incredibly romantic to gift back to the giver, especially years later. When I got back together with my college boyfriend (over a decade later!) we had both kept things for almost 15 years. You can only imagine the fun and romance of re-discovering these little treasures from our past together.
11. Be spontaneous.
My boyfriend loves to pull me towards him for an impromptu slow dance in the middle of my room. He then attempts to sing by pretending he knows the words to whatever song he is playing. He’s been doing it since were were 17…the sweetness still melts my heart to this day!
12. Transform takeout into a five-star romantic dinner.
A couple of years ago, we decided that we wanted to do some kind of dinner at home and avoid the Valentine’s restaurant scene. The only problem: I am the cook in our household, and I was in no shape to plan and execute a home-cooked meal. So, my husband told me not to worry about it. I arrived at home on 2/14 after a super long day at work to find pink roses, wine, and a delicious takeout meal, fully plated, from the gourmet market a couple of blocks away. I’ll never forget how relieved and cared for I felt in that moment. It’s like he knew not just what I’d want, but what I’d need in that moment. To me, that night captured what ’Love Day’ is all about — to me, it doesn’t get better than that.
13. Give them a hand-made present.
When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I had so little money that I could get him something flashy for his birthday. So I took photos from some of our trips and dates together, printed them off and made a big collage. I stashed it in beautiful ornate box. He was delighted and almost moved to tears.
14. Celebrate the milestones.
One the one-year anniversary of my shop, my husband came in right before I closed bearing a big beautiful bouquet of flowers with a really lovely note. The customers in the store all ’aaaww’ed. And I’m sure I turned beet red. But it was so sweet.