While you voted in the thousands—with a surprise trip getting the most votes—I was struck by how many of you offered your own suggestions for romantic gestures in the comments. I noticed a few themes and compiled them into seven types of romantic gestures that make the biggest impression. Check ‘em out after the jump! (And please, continue to leave more swoon-worthy suggestions in the comments!)
1. Make her something. Write her a poem or a song, draw her a picture or a card, frame a photo—that you took!—of the two of you together, cook her a special dinner with all of her favorite dishes; whatever it is, if you use your hands, she will melt.
“I would love, love, love to have something creative done for me… whether it is a poem or a song or a painted picture, it shows time and effort and emotion, and it doesn’t have to cost a thing!”—SarahTheGreat
“My MOST romantic gift ever, was an ipod personalized with his nickname for me. It was filled with songs that meant something to US. Anytime, anywhere I can put those buds in my ears and be romanticized. Sigh.” —Katiebug0525
2. Demonstrate you think about her when she’s not around. This can be demonstrated in the most minor of ways. I love it when my boyfriend sends me links to stories that he knows will interest me—especially when they’re about topics that don’t interest him. For example, he once sent me a link to an article about all of the “Star Trek” TV series streaming on Netflix. I swooned—and then got really psyched about watching a few episodes of “The Next Generation.”
“I love getting those random ‘I love you’ or ‘Hi gorgeous’ texts. They make me smile so hard. Oh, and one day a few months ago I noticed he had changed the wallpaper on his phone to a picture of me. This may seem minor, but usually his wallpaper is a picture of a plane. He LOVES planes. I jokingly call the one he’s learning to fly in his real girlfriend. So when I saw he had changed the pic to one of me I felt truly special.” —TheFabulousMzM
3. Be supportive. A romantic/sexual connection is awesome and important, but I think being sincerely interested in who your S.O. is as an autonomous human being is essential to making a relationship last. Sure, it feels good knowing your boyfriend thinks you’re hot, but doesn’t it feel even better when he makes it clear he thinks you’re smart and fascinating? I swear, I glow from head to toe when someone I’m with makes it clear they’re interested in what I do, what my opinions are, and where my passions lie, and is supportive of those things.
“I like how when I tell him about some new thing I’m interested in, he’s all like ‘I think you should do it.’” —TheFabulousMzM
4. Clean up. Oh, fellas. Doing the dishes—so simple, so meaningful, so sexy.
“I would be ecstatic and feel so loved if he noticed that things in our home are dirty and cleaned them thoroughly on his own because the state of our home is that important to him. That shouldn’t be a romantic “extra,” I know, but I have yet to encounter it.” —diana649
“And the fact that, when I’m super tired after preparing dinner, sometimes I’ll come back downstairs to straighten up the kitchen/put the leftovers away, he’s already beat me to it. That’s a winner every time.” —TheFabulousMzM
5. Make important introductions. Looking back on my past relationships, the guys who treated me the best were amped for me to meet their folks. The ones who didn’t went out of their way to avoid an introduction. Our parents bring out the best and worst in us—wanting her to experience that dynamic in the flesh shows trust and vulnerability and that is romantic. And as the commenter below explains, if you’re past that point in the relationship, wanting to bring both of your families together takes the trust up a notch.
“My boyfriend of a year and a half recently suggested that my parents and his parents meet sometime soon. It struck me as such a sign of love and commitment that he would want his family to get to know mine. That was the most romantic thing.”—Callifax
6. Take care of her. Us ladies, we’re not delicate flowers that need to be handled with kid gloves. But it sure is nice to be nurtured sometimes.
“After work one day when there was a blizzard I was walking back to my car to see him clearing it off for me (we work in the same place, but not together). The fact that he got out in the cold and made sure my car was ready for me to drive home without having to ask struck me as the sweetest thing ever!” —BlondeReb3
“When I was home sick, he went out and got me a supply of chicken noodle soup, vitamin C, tons of oranges and 2 kinds of tea. And it was just a cold. I really like the little every day things like that. Or like when I mentioned one day that I like string cheese, and he came home from work with the biggest thing of string cheese they had at the grocery store. So cute!” —Turtledove
7. Surprise her! Seriously, it doesn’t need to be a trip to Tahiti—this isn’t about spending loads of dough or putting hours into planning something flashy. It’s about being struck with the sudden desire to make her feel special in a way that you know would resonate with her. That is priceless.
“Last summer, my boyfriend woke me up around 11pm (What? I go to bed early.) and made me get dressed while I grumbled incoherently at him because, well, that’s what I do when I get woken up. He brought me out to the park just outside his house where he had a blanket laid out so we could watch the Perseid meteor shower (something I had not mentioned or remembered). And he claims he’s not romantic.” —hheeeeyyyy
“Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers. But they die after awhile and I have to throw them out and clean the vase, which I inevitably postpone until they are mushy and yucky. He knows me well enough to know that nothing picks me up more than a surprise chapstick. It’s not terribly romantic, but he somehow remembers all the ones he has bought me in the past so I never get a repeat! That’s love to me.” —mesobreezy
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