I’ve always believed that one major reason relationships fail is because one or both individuals stop pursuing one another.
Picture this: You meet a handsome guy (or gal) and you’re absolutely blown away by them. Everything they do makes your heart flutter. You love spending time with them; you even bail on your friends to see them instead. You buy them gifts to show your appreciation. You text them cute texts every morning, and you always end the night off with, “Goodnight, beautiful.”
As your relationship progresses, you start to notice something. The last time your partner got you flowers was months ago. Valentine’s Day. Obligatory.
The last time they went out of their way to make date night extra special for you — actually, you can’t even remember. Must have been when you first started dating.
They no longer say “Goodnight beautiful.” In fact, they have their back turned on you and they fell asleep without so much as kissing you.
They’ve stopped pursuing you.
You start to wonder, When did both of you get so comfortable? When did the romance simmer? And why? Was it your lack of effort? It can’t be. You always try. So was it them? And why?
I once heard someone say, “Don’t ever stop dating your wives. Don’t ever stop dating your husbands. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you have to stop pursuing one another.”
I couldn’t agree more with that statement. With that being said, here are five simple and easy ways to make your partner happy.
1. Ask them to take a photo together.
When I first started dating my partner, we took loads of selfies together. I also loved taking photos of him, especially whenever we went to a restaurant and he was sitting across from me with a big smile, sipping his IPA.
These were precious moments in our relationship. We both loved going out to fancy restaurants and trying new foods, so taking photos of one another and together when we were out was always “our thing.”
After approximately a year of dating, I noticed I had stopped taking photos, as did my partner. Maybe it was a lack of going out, but either way, we both stopped doing something we once loved.
As corny as it sounds, I talked to my partner about this. I told him it made me feel really happy knowing he took the initiative to photograph our happy memories, and it bothered me that we both stopped doing it.
One crisp evening, we went to see the sunset. He smiled at me and said, “Let’s take a picture together.”
It’s really the simple things.
2. Send flirty messages.
Whether you’ve been dating or married for years, flirtation is still an absolute must. I expect my husband to tell me how much he loves my perky behind when I’m 80 just as often as I do now.
When you start dating, you text 24/7. Once you’ve been dating for an extended period of time, you no longer bother to communicate through texts. Instead, you just say, “I’ll talk to you in a few hours/when I’m home/when I’m done/etc.”
Why? It’s not that hard to text. Be cute, be flirtatious. As a woman, I can confidently say I adore when my partner texts me moments after leaving the house.
A simple “I love you” or “I can’t wait to come home to you” still gets me going.
3. Buy them flowers. Surprise them with their favorite dinner.
My mom always told me the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I wholeheartedly agree with that. When I first started dating my partner, I cooked feasts for him every night. I love cooking, so it was a fun way for me to show my appreciation.
I showered him in pineapple curries, baked salmon with creamy mashed potatoes, delicious Mediterranean recipes that he never even heard of, and of course, lots of sweet treats as well.
And he showered me in flowers. My favorite colored peonies, white roses, red ones, lilies “just because” on a Tuesday. It was our way to show one another we cared.
We both stopped doing that in our relationship. We both picked it up after I asked him what we could do to better our relationship. He told me he missed conversing over a glass of wine while I cooked us dinner.
You don’t need to cook gourmet meals every day or overfill the house with flowers, but having it be something you do weekly or biweekly could be incredibly romantic.
4. Ask “How was your day?”
This is one of the easiest, simplest, yet incredibly effective ways to make your partner happy.
How was your day?
What’s on your agenda?
How did it go?
What are you up to?
How are you?
These are all perfect ways to not only acknowledge your partner but show them you’re genuinely interested in their well-being and the course of their day.
I wake up at 5 every morning, an hour earlier than my partner. When he wakes up, he always asks how I’m feeling. It makes me feel like he cares. After a few hours of being away with clients, he returns with, “How was your morning? What did you do?”
When was the last time you asked your partner how they’re feeling? Or what their plans are? Or even what they’d like to do? It seems so silly, but many of us forget to even ask our partners how they’re feeling simply because we live together.
I would often bypass asking my partner what he was doing because I figured he’d tell me if anything important was going on, but the moment I started asking, he blossomed.
He started sharing details about his work that he never has before, and he even mentioned over dinner how much he appreciates that one little question as it shows that I’m interested in his day-to-day life.
5. Tell them, “You look so good.”
I’ll bet you can remember the last time you criticized your partner, but how about the last time you complimented them?
Giving them a boost of confidence over their appearance? Perhaps mentioned you like their new haircut or cologne choice?
About a week ago, I got a haircut. I was in shock because my stylist had cut it significantly shorter than I’d asked, and despite me wanting to go a bit lighter, I instantly regretted it. I preferred my black hair.
Nonetheless, I came home trying to be as cheerful as possible. I told myself I looked good. I told myself the haircut suited me, and at the end of the day, my hair has always grown at an incredibly rapid rate, so it would be back before I knew it.
None of it worked, and for the next few days, I was glummer than I ever have been before. I’m a girl; my hair is my identity (along with my eyebrows).
The moment my partner noticed my lack of enthusiasm over my hair, he immediately jumped into defense mode. He told me how great I looked, how healthy my hair was now that all the split ends were gone (I didn’t even know he knew what a split end was). He complimented me numerous times throughout the day.
I’m not even ashamed to admit this, but I bawled my eyes out in the comforts of his arms, and he just held me and told me I looked beautiful.
For extra reassurance and comfort purposes, he ordered me gummies for hair growth.
When you really think about it, making your significant other happy boils down to the simple basics.
It’s not always about the grand gestures and expensive gifts. It’s the little things, the compliments, the hand-holding, flowers “just because”.
Pursuing your partner well after dating for a long time is one of the best ways to keep the romance alive. By doing one or more of these small things daily, you’ll show your partner just how much you truly appreciate them.