Doing special things for your boyfriend keeps your relationship strong by reminding him just how important he is to you. Don't wait for a holiday or special occasion to do something nice. Find out the best way to his heart and use that knowledge to make him feel like the most loved guy in the universe.
Say What's on Your Mind
If you love the way his eyes crinkle at the corners when he smiles, say so. If you are in awe by the way he knows just when you need a hug and steps in to give it to you, let him know. Say what's on your mind, whether it's a general compliment or an "I love you." Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and saying sweet things to your significant other will make him feel appreciated. Ideas for things to say to him include:
- You can always make me smile.
- You give the best hugs.
- Thank you for changing the oil in my car.
- Those are some impressive biceps!
- I feel like I can tell you anything.
Plan His Ideal Date as a Surprise
You may need to do some prep work for this one unless you already know him very well. Slip questions into regular conversations, such as food he'd like to try or what his favorites are. Find out what his favorite movies are or which ones he wanted to see but missed in the theater. See if you can glean from the conversations the things that he's always wanted to try but never had a chance. You could take him rock-climbing, then come home to shower and watch his favorite movie while eating something he really enjoys or has always been curious about. It could end up being one of your most unique dates yet.
Choose one or a combination of these ideas:
- Get tickets to see his favorite team compete in a sporting event.
- Take him skydiving or hiking.
- Cook his favorite meal or dessert.
- Take a class together that plays to his interests.
Hide Romantic Notes
You can hide romantic notes around the house, in his briefcase or backpack, in his shoes, under his pillow-anywhere that he will find one when he's least expecting it. You could also do this during holidays; for example, make the notes part of candy wrappers. Get creative and think of other places to put romantic notes so that he'll find them later. Try these ideas for inspiration:
- If you live together, write a note in the steam on the mirror after your shower. The next time he showers, the note will re-appear.
- Get up early and pack a lunch for him if he usually takes food to work or school. Write the note on his napkin.
- Slip one inside the book he's reading.
- A post-it note on his laptop screen.
- Attached to his steering wheel, on his windshield wipers, or on his seatbelt.
Be Nice to His Family
This could mean his mom or his dog. Send his mom flowers or help her clean up after a meal and you'll be sure to get brownie points. If he's got a dog, pick up a special treat or toy. Get the family members to love you and he'll be looking at you with a renewed sense of appreciation. What else can you do?
- Take his grandma out for coffee (or bring her some).
- Help his mom shop for the perfect birthday gift for him. Don't just give pointers. Go with her.
- Give his family members small gifts like candy or cute, silly toys and figurines. Make sure they've got meaning though; for example, if his dad loves comics, consider giving him an action figure of his favorite character.
- Tell his family what a considerate, thoughtful son they raised.
- Simply showing up for family events means a lot, especially if you try to help out any way you can--keeping an eye on the kids, cleaning up, or setting up extra tables and chairs.
Buy His Favorite Book
If he has a favorite book, you may be able to find a beautiful leather-bound or signed copy. Search used book stores, rare book stores (try Abe Books), thrift shops, auction sites, and more. If you're lucky, his favorite book won't be terribly obscure and you'll be able to easily find a copy in your local bookstore. Check the author's website for opportunities to have it autographed.
This also works for other things, like:
- Coins or anything he collects
- Even picking up the latest issue of his favorite magazine while you're out will show you're thinking of him
Bring Back an Old Memory
If the book idea doesn't fit your guy, maybe he had a favorite toy or possession as a child that he lost or gave away. See if you can find something very similar to give him. Perhaps he loved his Teddy Ruxpin bear as a child but it got lost in a move. Other ideas for doing sweet things with old memories could include:
- Having his favorite picture of when he was a child matted and framed.
- Organizing his old pictures and keepsakes into a scrapbook, which is something he'll have to know about in advance, but sweet nonetheless.
Make Him a Collage of Your Relationship
Take old pictures, movie ticket stubs, special notes, and anything else you have that represents your relationship and arrange it in a collage he can hang in his room. Handmade gifts are often some of the most special. This one takes some planning, so keep your camera handy and hang on to any little thing that reminds you of your dates. Keep the pictures and ticket stubs in a box until you've accummulated enough. Other options include:
- A scrapbook (this way you get to choose fun paper and add-ons!)
- A shadow box, which will allow you to add larger, bulkier items, like the pen he borrowed as an excuse to get your name and ask you out.
Send Him on a Scavenger Hunt
Hide a gift for him and send him on a scavenger hunt around town or even just around the house. You can scribble clues on the backs of old photos, ticket stubs, programs, and more. GetRomantic.com offers ideas for creating the perfect scavenger hunt for your significant other, using clues like, "The first place we kissed."
Public Displays of Affection
This only works if you know he's the type of guy who likes to show affection in public. It works best if you're the type of person who doesn't normally want to do much more than hold hands in front of other people because he'll know you're doing it especially for him.
- Throw your arm around his waist at a backyard barbecue.
- Give him a quick kiss for winning you a stuffed animal at the fair--or just because you want to.
- Spend a little extra time in his embrace at a dance.
- When you're sitting and holding hands, put your other hand on top and lean in to get even closer.
In most cases, you'll probably want to save the true make-out sessions for private moments no matter what your stance is on PDAs, but you can always show your boyfriend--and others--just how much he means to you by leaning in a little closer or giving him a quick hug or kiss.
Sign Him Up for a Worthy Cause
If your boyfriend is passionate about a specific cause, sign him up to volunteer. The catch is, you have to take the day off and do it with him. Check Volunteer Match for opportunities. Ideas include:
- Building homes for the less fortunate with Habitat for Humanity.
- Participating in Relay for Life or another 5K, 10K, or marathon for a cause.
- Volunteering at a soup kitchen during the holidays.
- Teaching computer, interviewing, and other job skills.
- Volunteering to read to children at the library.
- Volunteering at an animal shelter. If you love animals but you're allergic to them, find other ways to help at the Humane Society of the United States.
Choose the Best Things to Do
You and your boyfriend could have different ideas of which gestures are the most special. That's perfectly normal, so don't be discouraged if you've tried to do sweet things for him in the past and they fell flat. He's probably felt the same way.
Speak His Love Language
Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages demonstrates how not everyone feels loved as a result of the same gestures. Some people feel loved after words of affirmation, others after they've been given a gift, some need physical touch, and so on. Observe your boyfriend's reactions or take a look at the Love Languages site together to determine the best way to keep your relationship strong and express your love for one another.