1. Send someone you love hand-written cards with quotes about beauty, love, friendship, romance, and life. Of course if you have bad handwriting, have someone else write it for you. Arrange the cards in the specific order that you want them to read it in. Extra points if you include quotes you know they love.
2. If you have some musical inclinations, combine the lyrics of their favorite love songs into one song. If you’re really brave, record yourself saying or singing the lyrics over a soft, romantic background. Think of it as the 21st century version of making someone a mix of their favorite songs. But this is better because you’re going the extra mile with a personal touch.
3. If they’re into travel, go to a world or cultural market and pick out a few things from different countries that either remind them of the places they’ve been that they loved. Or places that they’d love to go to. Label each place with a memory they have, or an awesome fact they may not know about the place.
4. Research secret and less popular sites in your city or town. On a day off, have you and them go through each site solo. But leave them little love notes if possible in each place, and eventually come together at the last site to meet up. This is of course for the more adventurous, independent significant other who still likes a little romance.
5. Go to a library in your city. Find all their favorite books and read a chapter out of each one. At the end of the chapter, tell them a memory that you’d like to create of the future with them. It can be short and sweet but it should be thoughtful and come straight from the heart.
6. For a month, journal every day about the reasons you love them in a few sentences. At the end of the month, sit by a fireplace or a sunset or sunrise, and read the diary with them. Give them the diary to keep.
7. For a date night, plan to do something altruistic together such as go to a soup kitchen, visit a children’s hospital, play with rescued puppies, or help at a woman’s shelter or a homeless shelter. There is nothing more romantic than kindness and goodness to the world.
8. Recreate an entire night from their favorite decade or perhaps create a futuristic time. Or maybe a time in their lives they really enjoyed. Decorate the place accordingly and for a night you can both play dress-up and have child-like enthusiasm, as you pretend the night away. A sort of one-night escape from your reality together, in a romantic way.
9. I heard somewhere in historical Native American culture, at least in some groups, when a couple were in the courting stage, they would spend their time together silently. Spend an afternoon or evening together with your loved one in silence, still doing things that you love. It might be awkward at first but it might turn into a beautiful showing of how you both understand each other, even without words.
10. Ask their friends and family about the things from childhood that they loved and missed. Create a basket of love filled with pictures of special places that they loved, favorite candies growing up, favorite books and movies, and other things that might bring them a positive nostalgia from their childhood.
11. Plan a trip to a near-by destination that will take up most of the day. On a real-live map, fill-in things that you and them have to do on the way to the destination. For example, take a picture at a particular stoplight, carve your initials into a cabin, kiss by a farm, etc.
12. Don’t tell them you’re stopping by. And on an unexpected night, buzz their apartment or call them downstairs without telling them why. When you see them, don’t say a word, just kiss them like it’s the first and the last time you’re going to kiss them. Tell them you’ve been thinking of them all day. Kiss them one more time and say, “Good night.”
Romance, true romance, is always about the little, thoughtful things. Because those are the things that will always matter the most.