1. A brilliant custom t-shirt featuring a message specific to your relationship is an effective way to remind your partner that you exist on an ongoing basis at least once a laundry cycle. Think of everything you’ve experienced together so far and order a t-shirt that references a special shared moment or an inside joke only you two can really understand. If you’re bold enough, get yourself one two so you can lounge around the house dressed as twinsies.
2. Tickets to a concert taking place no sooner than six months down the line are a great way to establish, ever so subtly, that you’ll be dating a while longer. As long as your boyfriend or girlfriend is really into the band playing, they won’t think twice about the fact that the show is so far away. They’ll just be psyched, and you’ll earn yourself a super long-term calendar listing.
3. Figure out through careful questioning what your significant other’s main interests were as a kid and buy them something related. Nostalgia is a surefire way to a person’s heart. So the right tiny figurine, old book, or vintage movie poster can trigger a smile wider than any contemporary item ever could.
4. Sexual coupons are incredibly inexpensive to make (just put pen to paper and get creative!), especially considering how valuable they are as relationship enhancing currency. When you guarantee your willingness to perform certain sex acts by way of tiny carnal contracts, you automatically make yourself indispensable. Who wants to break up with a person who owes them a blowie on demand, or the role playing session of their wildest dreams?
5. If you’re too bashful to commit to sex acts, platonic coupons are almost just as good. Think about all the ways you can add value to your significant other’s life. Promise to do some undesirable household chores or run a few tedious errands on their behalf. You can also go the more general route and pledge to be your partner’s personal slave for a week. Coupons of any sort are always welcome because, above all, they bestow the gift of power.
6. Create a highlight reel of your time together with an awesome photo slideshow. Digital scrapbooking is an excellent, cheap way to remind your boyfriend or girlfriend of all the good times you’ve had while teasing the idea of what’s to come. To temper the seriousness of such a gesture, just make it funny. As your boyfriend or girlfriend watches (and re-watches) one captioned image fade into the next, they’ll inevitably appreciate you for everything you’ve gone through, and get excited about what lies ahead.
7. Buy your partner a kitchen appliance that suits their culinary tastes—because kitchen appliances last a long-ass time, just like you should. Whether they’re more of an ice cream machine person, a pasta maker type, or a high-tech blender of an individual, they’ll be grateful for the fancy electronic addition to their home. Plus, food themed gizmos tend to inspire joint cooking, which is a great way to bond.
8. When you subscribe a loved one to a wine or beer of the month club, you effectively plant yourself in their lives for the next twelve months. You also give them a reason to remember how awesome you are again and again as those months go by. Sharing booze is always a delight, and the promise of tasting something new and getting tipsy as a couple every four weeks or so is something you both get to look forward to.
9. A joint session with a psychic is a clever way to hint at your future together without actually going there. You don’t have to believe in psychic powers to visit a Tarot card reader or a clairvoyant. No matter how ridiculous the experience, sitting alongside your partner for back-to-back readings will introduce the idea of the future in a wonderfully weird, lighthearted way.
10. A quality sheet set or comforter is a present that serves multiple purposes. Good bedding is the foundation of a comfy, cozy love nest, which is essential to every couple’s lasting happiness. When you give the gift of bedding, you also cement an association between the bed and you, which is a definite plus.
11. Signing your partner up for a class that forces them to try something new with you will keep the spark alive before it even fades. Whether you choose cooking, knitting, surfing, Pilates, or rock climbing, the important thing is that you’re both novices at the chosen activity. New experiences are the glue that holds couples together long-term, and it’s never too early in a relationship to exploit newness to your advantage as a duo.
12. Everyone can use a good phone case, so pick up a pair of matching ones and gift your significant other with one. Stay away from lame phone accessories featuring couple’s centric graphics. Purchase two cool cases that don’t scream, “I’m with him/her,” but do make your boo think of you whenever you’re apart simply because you possess the same exact product. As long as you don’t go the cheesy route, couple’s stuff can be adorable in an unobtrusive way, especially if the matching items are actually quite practical.