1. Tell them you love them. Don’t fall back on the fact that they already know how you feel. Say the words. And don’t just save them for the end of a phone call or when they’re leaving for work, because that feels forced, less sincere.
2. Let them know you appreciate them. Thank them for washing your car or doing the dishes, even if it was their turn. Tell them you’re thankful you’ve found someone so kind, so giving. Remind them that they’re your best friend.
3. Surprise them. Predictability can kill your relationship. Once in a while, cook them something special. Take them to a different movie theater than usual. Buy a new shirt and wear it on date night. Make a change, even if it’s small, to show them that your relationship hasn’t gone stale.
4. Initiate intimacy. When they look good, let them know by pulling them in for an extra long kiss. Make them feel desirable. Show them that the spark hasn’t gone anywhere and you still want them as bad as you did the first night you met.
5. Set aside time for them. Make sure you still have date nights. That you still agree to go out for drinks with their friends and brunch with their parents. Don’t become comfortable spending too much time apart.
6. Fill them in on your life. It’s never good for your partner to learn about your promotion or work problems from your mother or your best friend. That’s why you should make sure you set aside time to talk, to catch up on life, to update each other on the important things.
7. Be there for them. Don’t disappear during the times that really matter. When they’re crying. When they’re venting. When they need your arm wrapped around their shoulders.
8. Communicate with them. If they text you, text them back. If they ask you a question, don’t swerve around it to avoid an awkward conversation or to keep yourself out of trouble. Be honest with them — even when it hurts.
9. Give them affection. Hold their hand while you’re driving in the car. Let them rest their head on your chest while you’re watching television on the couch. Be flirty. Be touchy-feely.
10. Remember what matters. Memorize their birthday. Your anniversary. Their favorite flowers. Their favorite movie quotes. All the things that make them them.
11. Go out of your way for them. Stop by their office during their lunch break to drop off fast food. Offer to pick them up after a night of drinking so they don’t have to pay for an Uber. Don’t forget to do little things to prove you’re willing to put in effort to see their smile.
12. Compliment them. Tell them you like the smell of their new shampoo, that you think their outfit looks nice. Let them know that you notice the effort they’re putting in — and that you appreciate it.
13. Talk about the future. Your partner wants to know that your relationship is headed somewhere, that you haven’t reached your final destination. Talk about marriage, talk about moving in together, talk about where you see yourselves ten years from now so they know that you’re serious about staying with them.