How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Well, we’ve actually counted the ways for you and have come up with 42 ways to show your love for someone special. Some are familiar with a unique twist, but others are not as obvious or mainstream. Many of these can also be applied to non-romantic relationships as well! Say “I love you!” to your child, parent, sibling, or even a close friend, using these affectionate ideas.
Write a Letter
Who doesn’t love a handwritten letter? Length is not important; what you write inside is everything. Bonus points if you made your own paper! You could even try decorating the stationery with markers, or some whimsical doodles. Maybe it’s time to try our calligraphy.
This gesture is seemingly traditional, but you can mix it up. Maybe bring them some wildflowers you picked yourself. Another option is a flower that is their favorite shade or the color of their eyes. Alternatively, bring them a “bouquet” of cauliflower or broccoli (if they like that sort of thing!). You could even look for online artists who can make paper flowers and include your favorite photos in them.
Cook a Meal
Eating a fresh, delicious meal sounds wonderful, no matter your age! As an adult, coming home to one is even better. Maybe try a new dish or use only local ingredients the next time you are in the kitchen. The possibilities are virtually endless.
Donate to an Organization in Their Name
If your mate is not into gestures or things, donating in their name can be a very eco-friendly (and easy) way to show you care. You can pick a cause that is near and dear to them. Your partner and the organization will both be grateful.
Name an Animal or Star After Them
Did you know that some zoos give names for animals who reproduce rapidly? Other times wildlife organizations will allow this for numbered and tagged animals in the wild. The ability to name stars after people has been around for decades. Either way is a unique way to show your love, especially if there is no specific occasion.
Enjoy Breakfast in Bed
Alternatively, dinner in bed if they work different shifts! Coffee or tea immediately next to you when you get up, and your smiling partner equals bliss! Please pass the croissant and don’t forget the napkins. Give them the full experience and offer to clean up the dishes too.
Make a Gift
Your artistic ability, or lack thereof, is not important for this loving idea to work. It’s the thought, time, and meaning that they will appreciate. If that derpy-looking key and mail holder you made makes them smile, that’s all that matters. Plus you will both know where the mail will go instead of hunting for it.
Attend a Concert or Event
Were they bummed to discover their favorite play or sports game sold out? No worries! You got those tickets ahead of time, and your partner will be thrilled. Don’t assume they are going to take you; otherwise, you should question if you did it for yourself.
Rent a Tandem Bike
You can get two separate bikes if you are worried about it, but you two will enjoy a refreshing afternoon of leisurely exercise together. It will be a wonderful way to rediscover the areas where you live. Check out that beautiful park you always want to visit and never end up going. It will lead to the next sweet gesture.
Picnic Under a Tree
Simple foods like cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and even sandwiches are ideal for a picnic along with spill-proof beverages and waters. Remember a blanket too; many companies make blankets specifically for use outside on the ground. Don’t forget to pack some bug repellent; otherwise, your party will be crashed!
Do the Chores
Do you chores at home anyway? Maybe you should take a day to do the ones your partner (or sibling) hates. Instead of hearing them complain through the dishes or laundry, please do it for them! Bonus points if you do it before they have a chance to lift a finger.
Hire Someone Else to Do the Chores
Maybe you both hate cleaning or just don’t have the time. Kids often make things messy no matter how hard you try to keep things clean. Get help from a friend or professional and use that newly freed up time to plan something else fun to do together. Mark that one off the to-do list!
Give Them Some Space
This idea sounds backward, but it isn’t for those you truly love. Some people need quiet time alone to decompress, especially introverts. Maybe you could spend some time out with your friends and let your partner have a non-date night. You can even set up some tea and dinner for your partner before you go to ensure they are happy. Their inner emotional reservoirs will thank you.
Make Them Lunch
It’s important to have diverse yet balanced meals to get the most out of your day. However, sometimes people actually forget to eat because they are too busy working, or maybe depressed. They will appreciate being thought of since their body needs some nourishment regardless.
Bring Them Their Lunch
Depending on your lifestyle, your partner might be gone for lunch most days. If they get a decent break, you can commit to bringing them a fresh, hot lunch. You can spend some time together, even if it is only for half an hour.
Text Them Throughout the Day
This sign of affection is something so simple yet powerful. Letting your significant other see silly gifs, sweet texts, and some pictures through the day will constantly make them smile. Make sure you remember to text first thing in the morning and before bed, if you don’t live together.
Set Up a Day of Pampering for Them
If your someone special is not great at filling up their internal reservoirs, this idea will be a wonderful gesture. It could be anything from a float session to a salt bath. On the other hand, sound healing is beneficial as well as trial yoga. They will appreciate you caring about their inner well-being.
Host a Movie Night at Home
Redbox to the rescue! However, make sure you go all out and set up a concession stand with some treats and drinks to pick for the big show. Luckily, you can pause it when you have to go to the bathroom. This idea is great for families, too!
Make a Blanket Fort
You might think this idea is just for the kids, but you can get creative with it. Imagine a soft, cozy space with some fairy lights. It’ll show you put a lot of thought into it and you want their time to be special. Definitely anything but a mundane space, especially for that movie date!
Read a Book Together
Even as adults, being read to is comforting (audio books is proof of this). Maybe select a book they like or one of your favorites and experience the unfolding story together. Reading to children is ideal, but reading together as a couple can invite both of you into a new realm for discussion.
Help Them with an Important Project
Does your loved one have a big presentation on Friday? Offer to read it over or do research with them. Alternatively, gather the materials they need to complete the project. Your skill level and knowledge here is not important. They will appreciate you investing in their life, whether it is for school, work, or something else.
Help Them Move
Nobody likes to move tons of boxes from a house physically. Although this gesture of love is not something that will happen too often, you can save your friend or family member from a hassle. Get there early with some good coffee and yummy breakfast. Sharing the burden, even just being emotionally supportive, can make everything seem a little lighter.
Commission Something to be Made for Them
The sky’s the limit with this idea. Depending on their interests, you could do a weighted blanket, a painting of a beloved animal companion, a necklace, a framed photo of their favorite place, and more. If your friends are artists, have them create or contribute to the commission to make it even more special.
Go Horseback Riding
Did you or your partner grow up on a farm? Maybe you live in a congested urban area and need some outdoorsy time. What kid (or princess at heart) doesn’t want to ride a pony? Some stables will even partake in romantic rides for couples.
Take Your Loved Ones to the Beach
There’s something very sensual and soothing about the tides going in and out. Go for the day, weekend, or just a few hours; the sun, sand, and sounds of the beach will not only be relaxing and lounging but fun if you want! Swim in the water, play Frisbee, and grill some hot dogs.
Bring the Beach Home
Are you bored on a sunny afternoon, but you don’t live by a beach? Bring it home! Get an inflatable pool, a shade canopy, and some wireless speakers for tropical fun. A couple of cold drinks and you’re practically there; just don’t get to help them apply sunscreen!
Believe Compliments They Give- And Give Them Back
Honestly, this seemingly effortless one can be difficult for many people. However, think of compliments like any other gift–would you throw a thoughtful present from someone special back at them? It’s the same with compliments. Also, do return the gesture, but make it interesting. Tell them you love the way they get excited about things or how they sing while they cook as it lights up their face — be specific!
Tell Them How You Really Feel
It’s okay to stumble over the words because it makes the moment more authentic. Much like the letter idea, not knowing the exact “right” words to say is not a problem. Don’t necessarily hide your feelings from them even if they are bad day feelings. A lot of support and closeness can happen with an honest, vulnerable conversation. Let them into your feelings, and they’re more likely to share theirs with you.
Make a Meal Together
More food ideas! Maybe neither is great at cooking, but it’s never too late to try again! Maybe one preps the food while the other cooks or cleans up as you go along. If you guys aren’t creative, get a meal delivery box and try that out instead. Let the culinary adventures begin!
Complete a Furniture Project Together
So you bought a funky piece of furniture, and both see the potential, but it needs work. Make it a way to connect by going to your hardware store and getting items to refurbish the piece. Once done, you can both look at it and remember how well you worked together to actualize the project.
Leave a Note in the Lunch Bag
It doesn’t have to be long or Shakespearean prose. A cute doodle and a couple of sentences can turn someone’s day around, including adults and children alike. There are even pre-cut “lunch bag notes” that only need a few lines from you to make it special.
Contact Friends and Family for a Special Surprise
Does your loved one have a big milestone coming up? Start planning early for the next birthday, work anniversary, or graduation. This idea is a great way to not only show them that you love them, but that their circle loves them too.
Take Care of Yourself
This sign of affection is not the most obvious one but stay with us here. If you are working too much, not sleeping enough, eating non-nourishing food all the time, it’s going to affect how you interact with others, including your partner and children. It’s time to leave work at work and skip the drive-thru this evening. Your self-care habits may just rub off on them too!
Let Some Things Go- For Good!
Did you trip over the shoes they left in the hallway (both literally and figuratively)? What about leaving the toilet seat up or dishes in the sink? Ask yourself if “reminding” your partner about these things will contribute positively to their life. If not, it’s better to let it go and move the shoes yourself instead. Also, please stop bringing up that thing that happened three years ago.
Try a New Restaurant
The same ole can get boring. We have to eat every single day; usually more than once! This idea can be especially exciting if it is a cuisine neither of you tried. Get ready for some fantastic conversations because this date night will inevitably be a great story. What a fabulous way to experience something new.
Go to a Thrift Store
Pick out ridiculous outfits for each other, and then go on a date wearing them. This fun idea has made its rounds on the internet before but how fun, lighthearted, and silly can you be with your partner? Please go on, wear those cowboy chaps and Magnum PI shirt while they wear bell bottom pants with loud prints and a golf shirt. Will people look? Yes, but that’s part of the point!
Arrange a Game Night
You can show people you care by creating a game night; that goes double for families and friends! It is a wonderful way to socialize, laugh, and have some fun. You can even take it further to include being the host for the evening — setting it up, getting drinks, cooking food, and more.
Touch Them in Places Often Neglected
This loving gesture can lead to sexual intimacy but not always. Places which are often neglected include the elbows, knees, wrists, and more. Maybe caress those spots or take the time to notice just how unique these places are and tell them as much. Doing so can sometimes lead to the next sign of affection.
Give Your Special Someone a Massage or a Foot Rub
Even if you need to have some help by using a foot massage machine, a vibrating back massager, and so on, the sentiment will be deeply appreciated. Many people love being doted on but do not want to seem selfish. Connecting to your partner with touch releases endorphins and oxytocin and will inevitably bring you two closer. Give your lover both if she’s pregnant.
Take a Bath Together- And Wash Each Other
Okay, this one might be geared toward the intimate couples. Think about how good it feels to have someone else wash your hair at a salon when you go. Your partner most likely will too. It’s great to have an extra pair of hands to wash your back anyway.
Sing Their Favorite Song With Them
That earworm of a pop song is on the radio, and your partner cannot get enough of it. Maybe you hate it, but they will appreciate you wanting to share in their joy, no matter how off key you sound. Likewise, jam out with your best friend or have a concert in the car with your kids.
Hug Them Right This Second
It’s essential to love that special someone just as he or she is, right now at this moment. At the end of the day, this one is universal and most important, no matter the type of relationship or dynamics. It’s beautiful to love people’s potential or what their desires are for the future. However, the only way they will get there is if they feel supported and accepted in the here-and-now.