1. The second he leaves his phone unattended, grab it and snap a few selfies on the sly, then replace the device on the counter or bedside table without saying a word. At some point, he’ll discover the photos of your beautiful face and it will be a pleasant surprise to see the object of his affection smiling back at him, or making that stupid but charming expression he adores (whether or not he knows it yet) when he least expects it.
2. Hide silly notes expressing your affection in weird spots around his house. If you keep a pen and a pad of stickies in your bag at all times, every bathroom trip he takes becomes an opportunity to plant strategic reminders that you’re an amazingly thoughtful woman—a certified keeper, so to speak. A simple heart on Post-it or scribbled missive (“thinking of you, always…”) tucked inside a text book or beneath a mouse can go a long way in proving just how caring you are.
3. Overload his Internet browser with searches specific to your personal tastes. The more often you Google things like your favorite band, the clothing line you love, and that movie you can’t stop quoting, the more you’ll infect his computer’s “cookies” with your awesomeness, so that the ads he’s fed become automatic girlfriend reminders.
4. While you’re on his computer, you might as well change his desktop display to reflect you, too. If you’re not bold enough to turn his backdrop into a mosaic of your face, select an image reminiscent of a TV show you both love, or a meme you’re both obsessed with. You can even make his screensaver a scrolling message reading something ridiculous (“Call me, you stallion!”), or earnest (“You’re the most wonderful guy I know”) that evokes the spirit of your personality.
5. Don’t underestimate the power of leaving your stuff behind “accidentally.” It’s the oldest trick in the Lock Him Down book for a reason. After hanging out at his place, “forgetting” a thing or two sends the message that you definitely want to return. Plus, your belongings are the simplest way to make him think about you once you’re gone. Gradually, the goal is to end up with enough forgotten goods to earn you a drawer. So embrace the layered look and leave a cardigan or hoodie in your wake each time you say good-bye. If you don’t have extra clothing to sacrifice to the advance-my-relationship gods, ditch your panties and go home commando.
6. Surprise him with the gift of a carefully chosen home décor accent—something he can display in his living room or kitchen so he sees it every day. You can purchase a memento on a joint excursion, or order something quirky he’ll like on Etsy. Just don’t go the plant route, because things that live have the potential to die if neglected, making anything green that needs watering a potentially dangerous, morbid metaphor for your relationship.
7. Better yet, give him something practical he’s bound to use constantly. Itunes gift cards are lovely, but the pleasure they inspire is short-lived, so they don’t register much of an impact on the remind-him-of-me barometer. Sheet sets, back scratchers, and key chains, on the other hand, are incredibly long-lasting items. Although they might not make for the most romantic presents, they’re super useful objects he’ll rely on frequently, which means they’ll make him stop and think about you—and either text/call to say as much, or lie down and masturbate while picturing you naked—way more often.
8. Transform a photo into a couple’s meme. These days, you don’t have to wait until the point at which printing and framing a photograph is more acceptable than creepy to play in the visual space. All you have to do is download an app that let’s you doctor images and get to work brainstorming a caption or adding emojis to create your very own hilarious relationship memes. The more content you make, the better. The goal is to pepper his smartphone’s albums—and ultimately, his social media accounts—with all your clever creations. You’ll know when the moment’s right to share these things to a wider digital audience.
9. Whenever you cook, prepare enough of everything to guarantee leftovers. Whether you cook solo or together, ensuring that there’s extra food is a simple way to prolong the memories you make along the way. At the end of the night, send him home with an easy-to-reheat Tupperware meal (or stick it in his fridge) so he can relive the delicious, heartwarming, home cooked goodness at least once more.
10. Aside from having kids, the ultimate territory play is joint pet ownership. When there’s an adorable animal around the house that reminds you of the person you love, it forms a protective barrier against disaster—a sort of relationship safety net that comes in handy when things get ugly, because breaking up is a lot less appealing when it means splitting custody of a cute creature. Even if you’re not quite ready to invest in a furry friend as a duo, it’s wise to get your boyfriend thinking about the possibility long in advance. Visit an animal shelter or a pet store to encourage him to consider the possibility. Watching each other play with puppies and kittens can only lead to positive developments on the lovey dovey front. And if the pet store suggestion seems too aggressive, get things rolling by tagging him in some Instagram posts featuring baby animals. Unless you’re dating a terrible human, the sight of a little furball will make him smile, and remind him just how sweet you are.