Kindness costs nothing. Showing that special someone how much you care could be as simple as doing the dishes or saying thank you. Of course, if you’re struggling with serious relationship problems, you may need an expert’s help to overcome them.
However, remembering to make small thoughtful gestures on a regular basis lets your partner know that you don’t take them for granted. Want some inspiration to help you out? Here are some ideas you could try.
Share a joke
When was the last time you laughed together? If it’s been a while, you may want to up your comedy game.
“Get to know what makes the other person laugh,” says Geoff Lamb, psychotherapist. “Humour is important in a relationship. So, that could be being silly with each other or finding some comedy that you both like watching.”
If you’ve been with your partner for years, you may have forgotten the fundamentals. “Being flirtatious with each other is also a nice thing to do,” says Lamb. This lets your partner know that you still find them attractive. Whether it’s sharing a flirtatious joke or telling them how great they look, these small gestures count.
Tell them you appreciate them
Appreciation is key in any relationship. “Start a sentence with ‘I feel loved when’ or ‘I feel appreciated when’ and finish that sentence in as many ways as you can,” suggests Lamb. “So, an example would be ‘I feel really appreciated when he gets out of bed first and makes the tea in the morning.’”
Plan date nights
When you’re busy, date nights go on the backburner. But maybe they shouldn’t. “Create ‘we’ time. Obviously, that can be difficult with work patterns, for example, but it can still be done,” says Lamb. “It does need effort because it can be easy when you’re tired to just watch TV. But create time where you can just be with each other.”
Debrief at the end of the day
Finding the time to talk genuinely—and listen to one another—isn’t always easy. Why not dedicate a few minutes to this task before bed? “At the end of the day, before you go to sleep, debrief on how the day has been and particularly on how you’ve appreciated the other or found something difficult,” says Lamb.
Tell them you love them
It’s the simplest of kind gestures but it might be the most effective. Say those three words. “One of the things I find in couples is that people tend to make assumptions about the other person,” says Lamb. “They may think that the other person should know they love them. But they don’t know because you don’t tell them.”
Be a peacemaker
Arguments happen. It’s how you deal with the fallout that matters. “Don’t go to sleep on a quarrel. Sometimes that can be a big deal,” says Lamb. “Of course, at times, you need to make space for one another, so it can occasionally be contradictory. However, it’s about not letting things fester.”