Great relationships are built in the everyday moments you spend together. Major milestones such as anniversaries and birthdays are exciting in their own right, but it’s your small, routine actions that truly show your partner you support them. When life gets stressful, it’s important that the two of you feel like a cohesive team. You’re there for your SO to lean on during the hard times, and they’ll provide that same stability to you.
To do that effectively, you need a real baseline of empathy and trust. And it doesn’t take a grand gesture of love to help you get there. "The more we can 'micro bond,' where we engage in small actions that keep us connected and strengthen the connection, the more effective and lasting the bigger bonding moments are," clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow previously told Elite Daily. In other words, little actions mean a whole lot. It comes down to paying attention to your partner’s needs, desires, and feelings so you can respond in the most meaningful way. Oftentimes, the first step is to just listen.
If you want to continue from there and show support for your partner in a tangible way, try one of these simple but meaningful gestures of love.
1. Text Them To Say You're Thinking Of Them
During the day, when you’re both off crushing your to-do lists, shoot your SO a sweet text saying you’re rooting for them. Even a heart emoji can show they're in your thoughts.
2. Ask Them How Their Day (Or Week) Was
Whether or not you touch base daily, make it a habit to ask for updates in your partner’s life. It shows you’re interested in what they’re doing and how they’re feeling.
3. Cook Them A Meal
After a particularly long day, or to celebrate a big accomplishment for your partner, prepare a homemade meal with their favorite foods.
4. Hold And Comfort Them When They're Upset
Research shows that physical touch is linked to decreased heart rate and increased oxytocin levels. During a difficult time, often the best thing you can do is just to hold someone.
5. Offer To Do Everyday Tasks For Them
If your partner has a lot on their plate, offer to make life easier for them. Go run a quick errand they’ve been putting off for weeks, or drop off lunch at their office when you know they won’t have time to grab it.
6. When You're Proud Of Them, Let Them Know!
Simply saying, “I’m proud of you,” or, “I support you,” can mean the world. Don’t hesitate to vocalize your feelings about how awesome your partner is.
7. Surprise Them With A Thoughtful Gift
If you feel like buying your SO something, you could always pick up a trinket you think they’d love — whether it’s a piece of jewelry, a personalized card, or anything else that strikes your fancy.
8. Talk Them Up In Front Of Other People
When you’re hanging out with your partner’s friends or family, mention something you really love about your significant other or your relationship. Don’t be too cheesy, of course — but a heartfelt compliment in front of others might really build them up.
9. If You Mess Up, Own It
You won’t be a perfectly supportive partner 100% of the time. On occasion, you might slip up and say something hurtful to them. When this happens, just admit it and apologize, promising you’ll do your best to be less reactive.
10. Plan Special Outings For The Two Of You
In the midst of your busy lives, maybe you don’t get to spend enough intentional time together. In that case, it helps to plan special date nights just for the two of you (maybe out doing one of your partner's favorite activities).
11. Ask How You Can Support Them
Not sure which actions would mean the most to your partner? You can always ask them, “How can I support you better?” This kind and sincere question demonstrates your commitment to loving them well.
Ultimately, what matters most is that you're acting with care and compassion, and that you're providing a listening ear when your partner needs it. You don't need a special occasion to show support for your partner. Every day you're together is another opportunity to nurture your bond.
Dr. Joshua Klapow, clinical psychologist
Field, T. (2011, February 25). Touch for socioemotional and physical well-being: A review. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273229711000025.