Whether your partner is your girlfriend, boyfriend, fiance, or husband or wife, chances are they loves surprises. Even more than surprises, they love knowing how much you love them. As the holidays approach and everything gets a bit crazy with family and friends and social commitments, take a few minutes to plan something special for you both.
These ideas don't necessarily require money or a bunch of time to arrange. Some work equally well for men and women. Give these suggestions a try and see for yourself that actions can speak a lot louder than words.
Spontaneous Date Night
You know in romantic comedies when the female protagonist receives a big box with a beautiful dress in it? And maybe a card alluding to what the night ahead holds? You can do this on a budget by laying out her favourite fancy dress (or your favourite of her dresses) on the bed with a beautiful necklace or pair of shoes, also chosen from her closet, and leaving a note suggesting that she get ready for a night on the town. This one probably works best for the ladies out there, but a spontaneous date night will be appreciated by men too. Choose a new restaurant with a comfortable price point and surprise them with an unplanned night out.
Breakfast in Bed
It might seem a bit cliche to make your partner breakfast in bed, but it's easy, budget-friendly, and a very welcome addition to any lazy Sunday! Pick something a bit different for breakfast, like pancakes if s/he usually has cereal. Make a cup of coffee or a favourite tea, and if you have a tray around, arrange it nicely with a flower or a pretty napkin.
Spoil Them With Candy or Cookies
I sent my husband some Cookies By George to his office for Valentine's Day one year and he was pretty tickled. He loved sharing them with his colleagues and his desk was a very popular stop that day! If your partner loves candy, check out The Sugar Cube for a candy gram, or send some flowers or cookies from a local florist or baker. If you don't have the budget for delivery, pick up a favourite snack or drink from a local coffee shop and surprise your partner on their lunch break.
Write Love Letters
Sometimes your partner will have a bad day and you won't be immediately available to console her. Write a letter with some words of encouragement and label it "Open me when you're having a bad day." You can create lots of letters and put small things in the envelopes, like a Hershey's Kiss or a homemade coupon for a massage or a night at the movies. Think of some situations where you would want to tell your partner something and write an appropriate letter, e.g., "Open me when something great happens", "open me when you're feeling lonely", etc.
Cook a Lovely Dinner
If you don't do a lot of cooking in your house, your partner will really appreciate it if you plan a meal, get the necessary groceries, and cook something special - even if it's just macaroni and cheese. The effort you put in is the most important part, so don't sweat over what to make. Pick something you'll both like and enjoy a quiet night in!
Do Something They Won't Do For Themselves
So many of us think it would be nice to have this, or to do that, or to go here, but we won't spend the money or time necessary to make whatever that is happen. If your partner has mentioned that she needs her favourite boots re-soled or he keeps meaning to return his library books, show them that you are listening by doing whatever it is they have mentioned. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Listen closely to casual comments. You will certainly find something you can do for your partner that they're unlikely to do for themselves (or don't have time to do for themselves). They will truly appreciate you taking care of it.
Send a Surprise Text
Most people in relationships send pretty mundane texts. "I'll be home at 6." "Did you take out the garbage?" "What's for dinner?" Surprise your significant other by sending an unsolicited text telling her how special she is to you or that you're thinking of him. This little gesture costs absolutely nothing and will make their day. If you'd rather not text, put a folded message in her jacket pocket or his lunch bag for them to find later.
Make Them Feel Like the Only Person in the World
Put down your cell phone, turn off your laptop, and spend some genuine, uninterrupted time together. We so often take for granted the other person's presence, but taking a walk, or just sitting and talking over a glass of wine without any interruptions is surprisingly rare these days. Give them your undivided attention to show them how important they are to you.
Learn Something New Together
Local artisans or makers or libraries will often put on inexpensive workshops for learning a new skill. Check out Google or event listings for your city to see what's going on in your neighbourhood. There might be a wine and cheese tasting coming up, or a cooking class you could do together, or maybe there's a book club you could join if you both like to read. If your partner has often suggested that they'd love to learn to knit or how to cook Indian food, look specifically for the activities mentioned. Discuss some ideas together and then spend an enjoyable evening trying something new!
It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything going on around you, especially during a busy time like the holidays. Plan a little surprise and celebrate your significant other this holiday season!