It doesn't take grand declarations of love or over-the-top romantic gestures to show your SO how much you really care about them.
There are plenty of subtle things you can do to remind them how you feel every single day. Because in the end, the little things mean the most.
Here are 10 subtle hints to let your SO know you really care:
1. Surprise Them With Small, But Meaningful Gifts
It doesn't always take extravagant and expensive gifts to make someone feel loved and cared for.
You can pick up your significant other's favorite snack on your way to their place or bake them their favorite dessert to surprise them with after dinner.
You can make a silly card just to say how much you love them or spend time on a random arts and crafts project that's personalized just for them.
Unexpected treats and gifts, no matter how small, can go a long way.
2. Make An Effort With Their Friends And Family
As your relationship grows more serious, you will begin to spend more time with your SO's friends and family, for better or worse.
Some of them may drive you nuts, but these are the other people who are important to your partner besides you, so they should be important to you, too.
Make a genuine effort to get to know them, and never try to influence your SO's relationship with someone else because of your own judgment.
Even if you can't stand their childhood best friend, they were there first, so you must remain patient and kind to prove to your SO that you care.
3. Write Them Notes
Leaving little surprise messages for them to discover can really show how much you think about them.
Even if it's just a Post-it left on the fridge saying to have a good day or a note on their pillow saying you love them, it will surely bring a smile to their face.
4. Be Spontaneous
We can all get so comfortable in the daily grind that we forget to surprise our SOs and add a little spontaneity to their lives.
By doing something fun and romantic on a whim, you show that you still care and are putting effort into the relationship, regardless how long you've been together.
By whisking them away for a dinner date during the week, surprising them with lunch, sending them flowers for no reason or booking a hotel for a random weekend, you'll show they're still worth it, even when there isn't a special occasion.
5. Remember The Details
Write things down. Remember important dates. Keep in mind what they might have said they particularly liked or wanted to do.
Over time, they might completely forget they said aloud that they wanted to try a certain new restaurant or that they loved a pair of wine glasses in a store.
It'll be that much more meaningful of a gift when they see you really listen and pay attention to what they say.
6. Compliment Them
When the spontaneity fades in a relationship, sometimes the random compliments and sincere praises disappear, too.
You might see the person so often that you don't even think to point out when they're looking especially good or when they did something especially impressive.
Every time you compliment your SO, it shows them you still care and that you care enough to tell them.
7. Tell Them Something Other Than You Love Them
When was the last time you changed the word love to another verb?
It can mean a lot being told that you're adored, that they feel lucky to have you, that you're an important part of their life or that they admire how hard you work.
There are many different ways to remind someone you love them.
8. Take Care Of Them When They're Sick
Even when they're at their worst – puking, blowing their nose, coughing all over the place and devoid of a shower – step up and be their caretaker.
As a youngling, we're usually babied by our parents when we're sick, and this inevitably goes away as we get older.
So, it's nice to have your SO reprise the role and coddle you when you're feeling awful.
9. Show Interest In The Things They Like
Even if you couldn't care less about video games, cars, football or whatever they're into, make an effort to show genuine interest.
You won't always have the same tastes, but rather than show indifference, let them explain it to you, show you and engage you.
Go out of your way to ask questions, or let them know if you see what they like somewhere. If it matters to them, it should matter to you.
And if you care about what they care about, it shows you care about them.
10. Do Little Favors For Them
If they keep forgetting to buy a new charger, if they haven't had time to take out the trash or if they're running late to let their dog out, do it for them happily.
And I made a point to say “happily” here. If they ask you to help them out with something, or if you volunteer to help them on your own, don't do it begrudgingly. And don't expect any favors back.
I am consistently reminded how much my BF cares about me when I ask him to do small but inconvenient tasks — buy tampons, swing by my apartment to grab something I forgot or drive me to the train station — because he is always willing, he never seems bothered and he never acts like I owe him afterwards.
The little things are what will keep your relationship afloat, whether it's a random compliment, a fun surprise or an unexpected favor.
Put some thought and effort into how you can make them feel special and loved — regularly.
This article was originally published on Unwritten.