13 Most Thoughtful Things To Do For A Boyfriend Or Girlfriend That They'll Truly Love
In the spirit of it being cuffing season and me being (not-so) wonderfully single (I self-sabotage, it's fine), I decided to get emo and talk to a bunch of coupled-up folks about the most thoughtful things to do for a boyfriend or girlfriend. Little thoughtful surprises to do for your partner are fun ways to show you're actually listening to them when they're talking about the latest tennis match or the friend they've been missing so much. While I haven't been in a relationship for a couple of years, I really do remember the thoughtful, spur-of-the-moment surprises my partner and I planned for one another.
The most memorable one was the birthday party he planned for me with my best friend and sister. They gathered all of my closest friends to surprise me in my apartment, along with a cake from one of my favorite ice cream stores, and a video montage to One Direction's "Best Song Ever" with most of my close family and friends dancing along to the song. While all of that took a whole lot of planning, there are tons of ways you can surprise your partner that can either be extra and over-the-top or a smaller, intimate gesture to show you care. Read on to see what several other people did for a thoughtful surprise, gift, or gesture for their partner that can serve as inspiration whether you're a single Pringle like me, or need thoughtful ideas for your own relationship.
DIY Something Meaningful
Elizabeth*, 24, did the sweetest DIY project for her girlfriend for Hanukkah last year.
"I used to borrow [her] black sweater all the time so for Hanukkah last year, I got her an Everlane cashmere sweater and hand-embroidered the date of when we first kissed on the sleeve so she could wear our love on her sleeve," Elizabeth tells Elite Daily.
Bring Their Family To Them
Erin, 25, planned a surprise video of her partner's family members during the holidays last year when he couldn't be with them.
"It was his first year not living in his home state and he was 1,200 miles away and flights were too expensive for him to see his family at that time," Erin tells Elite Daily. "So I decided to bring his family to him, I messaged his siblings on Facebook and had them all send me Christmas message videos. I even had his sister record his parents, too. I edited them all together, and on Christmas morning I gave him the video. I don't think I've ever seen him cry so much. He got to see his whole family on Christmas, even from 1,200 miles away."
Create Your Own Surprise Winter Picnic
Iman, 23, says she loves doing surprises for her loved ones. Recently, she planned something extra-special for her partner on his birthday.
"I told him I was taking him to dinner and to meet me at his place first," Iman tells Elite Daily. "When he arrived, I had pitched a teepee on the roof of his apartment building, complete with a furry rug I had purchased, throw pillows, and candles. I had also gone to SUGARFISH and picked up two tasting boxes of sushi, and special ordered his favorite bottle of wine that we'd found once at this tiny wine bar on Valentine's Day but couldn't get anywhere else. I also had a speaker playing the playlist he made me when we first dating in the background. It was such a perfect little surprise!"
Make A DIY Gift With Another Inside
Kate, 24, got crafty with her present for her boyfriend this year.
"I decorated a jar and hand-wrote out hundreds of sticky notes with lyrics, movie quotes, TV show quotes, and 'just because' memories," Kate tells Elite Daily. "I also got him Mumford and Sons tickets. The first note in the jar has the lyrics to his favorite song and it says, 'Can't wait to sing this with you on Dec. 7.'"
Plan Their Friend's Visit As A Surprise
Hannah, 25, heard a lot about her boyfriend's best friend who who moved away before they started dating. So she planned a surprise for him.
"One of my boyfriend's best friends moved away right before we started dating, and on our first date, he mentioned that he was pretty bummed about it," Hannah tells Elite Daily. "Over the next few months, I kept hearing how amazing his friend was. I secretly contacted his friend and arranged for her to travel back to our city so she could surprise him (and all their mutual friends) at his birthday party. I'll never forget his face when she walked in the door."
Make Them A Meal
Giuliana, 22, decided to bring Thanksgiving dinner to her new partner she just began dating.
"He mentioned he was spending Thanksgiving alone since his family is all back in L.A.," Giuliana tells Elite Daily. "I lived away from family for a few years, so I knew how hard it can be to miss a holiday with family. So I took a chance and surprised him at his place with containers of leftovers. He was so surprised and he thought it was the sweetest thing that I surprised him with Thanksgiving [food]! I really took a chance since we're still new, but thoughtful gestures can be really worth it."
Get Them Something Useful
Veronica, 29, got the most thoughtful gift for her partner that wasn't even that expensive at all.
"[He] ate everything he could with chopsticks — sushi, obviously, [and] Chinese and Thai and basically anything noodles," Veronica tells Elite Daily. "He'd always be annoyed that he didn't have chopsticks for the leftovers the next day [...]. So for our first Christmas together, I bought him nice bamboo chopsticks that we still have to this day. He says it's the best present I've ever bought him, and it's also probably the cheapest present I've ever bought him, too."
Choose A Theme And Go With It
Genevieve, 25, did the whole 12 days of Christmas thing. That's right, she did a gift for each of those 12 days.
"I planned out 12 days of Christmas gifts, wherein each day was themed around each number," Genevieve tells Elite Daily. "On day four, I got him the fourth season of his favorite TV show on DVD. And on day eight, I got him a fancy little T-shirt with an octopus. But the pièce de résistance was day 12. I got him this super nice watch, which he'd been dying to get (because 12 hours)!"
Plan A Day Of Activities Around Something They Love
Alex*, 24, crafted a tour for her boyfriend themed around his favorite tea.
"He's a huge boba lover, so for Christmas, I made him a boba tour of the city where we'd walk around and go to all the most popular [and] unique boba shops in the city," Alex tells Elite Daily.
Keep The Receipts, Then Make Something Out Of Them
Austen, 24, kept souvenirs from dates with her boyfriend to create something all the more meaningful.
"[I saved] tickets from games, concerts, [and] trips for a whole year and collaged them into a NYC skyline for our first Valentine's Day as a couple," Austen tells Elite Daily. "Of course he opened it sideways and had no idea what it was."
Roast Them (Figuratively) With Love
Kelsey, 26, found a way to use video recordings she had kept of her boyfriend doing "funny antics" from their relationship.
"I always knew I should do something with these ridiculous videos, but it finally hit me when he got into his top choice for business school in Boston: Create a commemorative video," Kelsey tells Elite Daily. "I stealthily created a video of all my favorite clips and played it at his going-away party. I asked all our friends and family members to record a video wishing him good luck and combined them with an embarrassing collection of clips from over the years. It was part roast and part tribute, but it put a big smile on his face."
Surprise Them With Tickets To Their Favorite Sporting Event
Alexandra, 26, surprised her boyfriend with tickets to the hottest tennis event of the year.
"My boyfriend's a huge tennis fan, so one year, I secretly bought US Open tickets and told him we had to go to a triple-date dinner party at my friend's apartment in Queens — luckily, my BFF lives in Queens and was game to play along," Alexandra tells Elite Daily. "So we took the subway all the way out, complaining about the trip and the triple-date the whole time, and then when we got to Arthur Ashe [Stadium], I pulled him out of the train with the crowds. He stopped in his tracks, his jaw to the floor, and just silently grabbed me into a bear hug. He was speechless for like 10 straight minutes!"
Go For A Gift That Isn't Exactly Expected
Lauren*, 31, switched up traditional gender roles to do something nice for her partner.
"A few years ago, my (male) partner joked to me (female) that girls get to expect flowers, but guys never get flowers," Lauren tells Elite Daily. "Since then, I've bought him roses every Valentine's Day. He always looks so happy when he gets home to them, it's adorable."
Now that I have a running list of ideas of thoughtful things to do for my next partner, all I need now is for them to show up in my life.
*Names have been changed at the source's request due to privacy.