Whether you’ve been with your significant other for a few months or a few decades, it’s easy to get into a routine. Work, school, kids, social events, family obligations…the list goes on and on of the things that can distract us from that most important person in our life. And sometimes these distractions can even make the daily peck kisses as you walk out the door, or “I love yous” and “honeys” while talking on the phone seem insignificant or lose their meaning. So to celebrate February right and enjoy our week to #LoveYourPerson, we’ve put together some ideas you can use to really reconnect with your loved one and let them know you care…without breaking the bank.
Prepare a spa night
For just a dollar or two, you can pick up some great one-time use face masks at any grocery store, or make your own with ingredients at home. You can offer to give them a foot massage while they relax, or if nothing else, just warm them a fresh towel in the dryer while they take a shower. Even this small quick act will let them know that they are on your mind.
Start or end the day with an intentional hug
You know that feeling, usually when someone has passed away, or something truly difficult has happened, and people hold on to one another for a bit too long? When both parties are invested in this type of embrace, it often has a healing effect, as it exhibits true caring and concern for another person. So why do we save those hugs for only when things are really tough? Make it a point to give your spouse that kind of hug on purpose, at least once a day. You’ll be amazed at how much easier other aspects of your relationship will turn out to be or how much your communication will improve.
Do a chore that is normally their responsibility…cheerfully
Many couples come up with a system at some point that just “works” for them. “He hates laundry, I don’t mind it.” “I take out the garbage because she prefers dusting.” You have it all figured out by now! What we may not be considering in these agreements is that is disconnects us by compartmentalizing. Shake things up by doing something for them, with a smile. Take note that they may not notice this one right away if at all, so it’s important to check that your intention is to truly serve and love, with or without accolades or gratitude. You’ll feel the difference when you show true charity to your S.O., even if they don’t notice the action.
Serve them breakfast in bed
This tried-and-true act of service is a classic for a reason. Get crazy and try to do this on an out-of-the-blue weekday, not just Sunday morning or the day of Valentine’s, and the extra effort will be even more appreciated. Your partner will be sure of your love if you woke up a whole hour early just to make them feel special on a random Tuesday. Keep in mind their favorite french toast and omelet are great, but simple cereal and coffee count, too.
Transform a room in your house into a getaway
For all those “It’s a Wonderful Life” fans out there, you’ve probably already thought about how fun this could be for you and your spouse. Pick a room in your house, and a destination in the world. With a little creativity you’ll be surprised how many things you already own can evoke a different time or place: you can build a blanket fort and go “camping” in Yosemite, fill the bathtub and take a “cruise” through the Caribbean with mai tais and bikinis, or make the floor in your bedroom a picnic of English tea with “crumpets” and jam or cucumber sandwiches. Make it fun, make it cheesy, but simply doing something different together will make a memory for you both without the huge cost and commitment of an actual vacation.
Make TV time actual bonding time
There may be days when what you really need is time together to just “veg” out. Make this relaxing time still intentional by creating intimacy through discussion. Pick shows that explore new interests you could try together, or be open to pausing movies which address topics that are interesting to talk through. Likewise, you could also make it a service moment by handing over the remote and giving your husband or wife free reign for a night. Stay engaged and ask them about something they love that may not be your thing.
Get “flours” as a gift for your S.O. instead of boring old flowers!
Or try a number of different punny gifts that take a romantic gesture up a notch by keeping it light! Just like this example inspired by the Will Ferrell movie, “Stranger than Fiction,” if you make them smile or laugh…you’ve done something right. Some of our favorites include a box of Krispy Kremes with a note that reads, “Donut go breaking my heart!” or paint a unique succulent pot with the transcription “Life would succ without you.”
Prepare her toothbrush in the morning, or iron his clothes
We all have tiny little tasks that busy up our mornings. Pick just one to do that will help out your loved one—if you really want extra brownie points, try to do something every morning for a couple days or a full week. The little tasks like putting toothpaste on her brush, setting out his socks and shoes, or scraping off their car on a wintery day will make their world so much brighter…even if just for a few hours.
Have a love language night
Most couples have at least heard of Gary Chapman’s famous book, “The Five Love Languages.” The book is a self-guided tour for you and your spouse on determining, and supporting, one another’s key love languages, i.e. the way you communicate or express love. The types of love Chapman lists out are quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, receiving gifts, and acts of service. If you’re unfamiliar with this ideology take an evening to do the quiz together and discuss the various topics. Or if you are old pros at the big 5, take a night to do something themed around your partner’s primary love language. The simple act of creating awareness for the others’ thought and emotional process will draw you so much closer.
Hide a love note for him/her somewhere unexpected
Last, but certainly not least on our list is a challenge to explore the power of written word. Throughout the centuries, this form of affection has been a powerful tool…from Napoleon Bonaparte and Josephine de Beauharnais to Johnny Cash and June Carter, many times one simple letter has transformed history. Transform your marriage with this same tactic and put down on paper not just that you love your partner, but also how and why and where and for how long. This will be a keepsake for them, and another physical reminder of gratitude and charity for you. Make it extra fun by hiding it in a place they wouldn’t anticipate and let you be surprised as well when they finally find it. Our favorite ideas include: a coat pocket, their shaving kit, or the visor in their car—get creative!