24 Little Things REAL Couples (Not “Love Experts”) Do To Nurture Their Relationship
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Steal his towel while he’s in the shower
“I like to steal her towel and put it in the dryer. Then when I hear her shut off the water I know I have about thirty seconds befor she opens the shower door cuz she has little wiping her face off and pushing her hair I back routine. So I open the door and wrapper in the hot towel, kiss her cheek while her eyes are still shut and walk away.”
Stop saying sorry and starting saying “thank you” instead
“When you say, “Sorry for being a jerk,” the other person is forced to either call you a jerk, or say it wasn’t a big deal. Instead, say “thank you for being so being so patient with me.” It let’s the other person know you understand your shortcomings and it gives them an opportunity to tell you they love you.”
Make time for one another…even if it means sacrificing sleep
“My significant other gets up around 5:30 every morning. Instead of staying in bed, I wake up make coffee for him before he hops in the shower. I get everything ready the night before even the cups with sugar and creamer and just hit the brew button when I jump out of bed, then we have coffee and breakfast together when he’s out of the shower. Seems like a small thing but it gives us 5 extra hours together a week and it’s some of the best moments of my day.”
Take random pictures of her when she’s not looking…
“I take random pictures of her and the rest of the family, then I just send them randomly to her during her day. So out of no where she’ll get a nice pic of our kids, or the two of us somewhere. Then I basically tell her each time how lucky I feel to have her and the kids. I don’t overdo it. But just a subtle ‘I’m a very lucky man…’ and then a picture, but I never forget to do it, and I hope she knows I never take for granted the great things I have.”
“I dance with her. Not anywhere special, it doesn’t even have to be in public, usually. I’ll just start dancing with her. We’ll be doing the dishes or something and I’ll put my arm around her waist and start humming.”
Keep lists of the things he mentions he likes or wants, small or large. There are lots of apps for this sort of thing that you can add to your phone!
“I get him these things from time to time – most recent was ‘mini cadbury eggs’ because he said it was his favorite Easter candy. I want him to know that I’m always thinking about him. I’m not so much a words person, but more of an actions person.”
Get his toothbrush all ready to go for him every morning
“All I do is put the toothpaste on it add a little water and set it on a little thing to keep it off the countertop. It’s a small gesture to let her know I’m thinking of her when I wake up and when I go to bed and all day in between. She loves it. I got the idea from my dad, who’s been doing it for my mom for like 38 years or whatever.”
Set aside “igloo time”
“For five minutes a day we huddle under a blanket, pretend we’re in an igloo, and discuss our high and low for that day. I don’t know why we make like it’s an igloo. There was probably a reason for it when we first started the practice and we’ve both forgotten about it by now.”
Give little presents just because…they really don’t have to be expensive
“One of the best stories my mom told me about my grandparents. They had 12 kids on one, maybe one and a half salaries sometimes, so money was always tight. My Papa would work, Nana would stay home with the kids, but balance the checkbook and pay the bills. She’d give him an allowance every week for lunch, gas, and whatever little thing. He’d save as much of the remainder as he could and every few weeks to a month, he’d buy her a teacup and saucer from a china shop. He’d usually want to buy her the entire tea set, because she loved that sort of thing, but they’d end up selling the other pieces and he’d have to get a mismatching set. So now she has a ton of beautiful china that she adores, and none of it matches but it makes it better that way because it was more than just laying down a checkbook, it was the thought of him counting his pennies and nickels for weeks just to do something nice.”
Put love letters in a box with wine and nail it shut…
“They call it a fight box. Some people build one of these at their wedding, but you can also put one together the first day you say I love you. Write love letters to each other and place into a box along with a bottle of wine. Nail it shut. When you have your first fight, open it up, pour the wine, go to separate corners, read the love letters, and remember what it’s all about.”
Plan ahead and stash a duplicate gift away…
She had broken this pair of rubber boots she was in love with and enjoyed jumping in puddles all the time. Of course they didn’t have the exact same boots at the store. She got new boots and she liked them but missed her old boots. I anticipated that she would eventually fall in love with the new pair as she got used to them. I went out and bought a second exact same pair and kept them at my house. Then about TWO YEARS later she texted me “I BROKE MY BOOTS :(((” When I showed up with the boots and told her the story she just about killed me with a bear hug.
Be a jerk (but not really)
“I told my ex-GF that I couldn’t pick her up from the airport after she was away for a week, but I’d give her the money for a cab once she got home. Then I went to airport in a suit, and stood in baggage claim holding up a sign with her name on it as if I was a limo service.”
Leave notes for one another when you’re on opposite schedules
“We have very different work schedules and he leaves for work before I even wake up, so every night I write him a note (a funny story or joke, thanking him for something he did earlier that day, etc.) and leave it by the coffeepot for him to read so it’s kind of like we get to ‘talk’ in the morning. In return, he makes coffee and opens all of the curtains so I can wake up to fresh coffee and natural sunlight.”
Randomly take her parents to lunch
“This is an even bigger gift to your significant other as your parents get older. Having one, often lonely parent, is a burden. Sometimes, I show up at her Dad’s house and take him out to lunch. He loves it, but she loves it even more. I do whatever I can to take some of that burden off her shoulders.”
Give yourself the short-end of the stick sometimes
“We keep a book of Sudoku puzzles in the bathroom. I only do the puzzles on the left, even though we’re both right-handed.”
Share a show!
“There’s a lot of advice out there about doing insane activities together, but sometimes we ALL like to kick back, take off our shoes, and zone out to TV. So, we have shows we watch together on Netflix, and we’re not allowed to cheat and watch ahead. If we skip ahead, we buy the other person a candy bar or some beer. It all works out. I think it’s great watching a show with your loved one because the topics that come up in the show can be fodder for conversation down the line.”
“We cook dinner together every night. She usually makes a salad or the vegetables. I do the meat. It’s 30-45 minutes a night we work together to make something, and it’s every night.”
When dinner is ready, the phone is OFF
“I’m 31, but man, I have a hard time not looking at the thing for an hour or so. But when I do, and I look at her when she’s speaking, you can see her light up and she becomes a lot more talkative, happier about life, etc.”
Give away the last bite
“I always give my significant other the last bite of anything we’re sharing. Especially dessert. No matter how amazingly delicious…I insist.”
Do chores you don’t care about, just because they mean a lot
“I make the bed every single day. I’ve never really cared about whether the bed was made because you just sleep in it right? My wife told me early in our relationship how much she liked to get into a made bed at night and that she thinks it makes the room look neater, but I didn’t take much notice and just kind of kept leaving it messy. One day I made it on a whim and when she came home from work it meant way more to her than I had realized. She had had a bad day and just that little gesture made her cry happy tears. I started making the bed every day and it’s such a small thing but she’s told me a few times how much it means to her!”
Have your own hobbies that you do WITHOUT your significant other
“You can’t do everything together. Living with someone can be difficult if one or both people rely on the other for attention and entertainment all the time. My wife likes to read. I like to play video games and shoot hoops with the neighbors. We have things we like to do together, but it’s nice to be able to get away and do our own thing when we feel like being alone.”
Get (naturally) high together on endorphines
“Going out to eat together or for cocktails on typical dates gets old really fast, and after a long day of staring at a computer I usually don’t feel like seeing a movie. For some reason, I used to refuse to exercise in front of my partner, but since I started going for 20+ mile bike rides with my current boyfriend, I’ve realized how silly that was. Who cares about sweat? The experience of working out together is exhilarating…plus, the couple that exercises together has a better time in bed together. FACT.”
Make time for intimacy as well as sex…AKA chat naked!
“At one point, we realized we’d had sex about three times in 2 months, so we started trying to have sex at least once a week – and usually multiple times. In that effort, we also wound up spending a good deal of time just lying on the bed, chatting. For some reason, our conversations while we were lying there naked were always much more personal and intimate.”
Listen, especially when all they need you to do is LISTEN
“He needs to talk things out to make decisions. I don’t – I’m the quiet one in the relationship. But, I listen and ask questions when I can, and it helps him. He knows I get bored (he’s a self-employed handyman, and he sometimes talks me through his improvement projects in DETAIL to make sure he’s prepared for the job). But, I listen because it helps him and it’s a small sacrifice to help him feel confident that he’ll be doing his job efficiently.”
Small efforts in being emotionally and spiritually generous with your partner can make a monumental difference. Many of these ideas require no or little money to put into practice today. If it improves the romance in your relationship, a little or possibly even a lot, it’ll be worth it.
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