20 Respectful Ways To Show Your Partner You Love Them, Because Love Doesn't Cost A Thing
If we can learn anything from 2003 Nick Cannon and Christina Milian, it's that love doesn't need to cost a thing. Showing you boo you care about them, or rather, that you respect them, doesn't need to break the bank or the internet. Instead of spoiling your boo with presents or doing an #Instagoals grand gesture, sometimes an earnest, "How was your day?" or a midday, "Thinking of you" text can hit the spot. There are plenty of respectful ways to show your partner you love them that pack in the thoughtful, without boasting a major price tag.
Of course, drippin' your boo in diamonds, finesse, or anything else Cardi B would be jealous of is cool, too. And hey, if you can afford to consensually take your boo around the world and back, more power to you. But sometimes, showing your partner you respect them is something that doesn't have a price. Something as simple as expressing interest in their hobbies, offering emotional support through transitional times, or remembering the day their dog passed away, can be the most priceless way to show that you care.
Here are twenty respectful but still sweet ways to show your partner you care, that will make them feel seen, validated, and loved.
1. Help With Their Baby Cousins/Siblings/Pets
If you boo is super close to their family, their neighbors, or their old boss's wild but adorable little kids — helping to babysit or offering to attend a child's party with them can be a really sweet gesture. If your boo is totally obsessed with their furry friend, offer to feed or take care of their pet while they're away or out at night. Show them that you care about the people and animals that they care for, and that you're excited to become more involved in their lives.
2. Dig Their Car Out Of The Snow
Of course, if you live in a sunny place, maybe you can turn their car's AC on for them or grab them an iced coffee on your way over to pick them up. Doing something before they wake up, like preparing them for the weather outside, can affirm that you prioritize your boo's comfort, and were thinking about making sure they were set up to have a good day before they even got out of bed.
3. Check In On The Day Of Their Big Presentation Or Test
If you know your partner has a big exam or meeting at work today or tomorrow, remembering their big day and sending a text to check in can mean a lot. Sending a "Good luck!" message or even leaving a little note in their bag or on their bed, (paging Pam from The Office sending that yogurt cap metal along with Jim for his interview in New York) can show your partner that you're rooting for their education or their career, and want them to do their very best.
4. Make Them Dinner
After a long day at school or work, sometimes all you want is to come home to a nice home-cooked meal. Find out your partner's favorite comfort food, and prepare their favorite dinner for them, to show them that you want them nourished and cared for.
5. Do That Date Idea They Really Wanted To Do
Whether it's axe-throwing, a pottery date, or a trip to the revolutionary war museum — do that thing with them that they super want to do, even if you think it is cheesy or boring or lame. Of course, there's no reason to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. But if hitting up the local flea market, even though you hate hate the smell of used things, shows your partner that you're willing to compromise and prioritize their needs and desires, the excitement for your partner's passions can be well worth it.
6. Listen And Remember
Being a good listener isn't always easy, and it can feel even harder to recall everything your partner says at the drop of a hat. Yet, remembering a silly story that they told you years ago or being able to order their coffee from memory, can demonstrate to your boo that not only hear them, but are listening and have made space for them in your life. Truly listening to your partner can help them to feel like they matter.
7. Sweat The Small Stuff
Even if your boo is easy-breezy lemon-squeeze-y, making sure that the waiter heard their order correctly or that they always have a toothbrush waiting for them at your house, are little gestures to show how much you care. Being in tune with the small things and ensuring that the bartender got your boo the right beer (especially if they're GF!) or that your partner has their epipen on them when you go for a walk, can demonstrate that you pay attention to the details and want what's best for them.
8. Be Their Nurse
If your boo gets sick on date night, has a chronic illness, or is otherwise under the weather, being their nurse for a night can be a special and tender way to be there for them. Rubbing their back, making them tea, or sitting up with them as they cough endlessly into the night, can show your boo that you prioritize their health and are willing to do your part to help them to feel better.
9. Know Their Speed
If you know your partner likes to be the belle of the ball, or if you know they hate attention, planning things that meet their speed can show them that you get them. Whether you plot a huge party with a crown and a photo booth for their birthday or you rent their favorite book at the library and make them a pot of tea, seeing them where they're at and making space for them to be their best selves can make them feel celebrated for being who they are.
10. Do That Thing They've Been Asking You To Do For Months
Whether it's cleaning under your passenger seat, asking your mom your birth time so your boo can do your natal chart, or finally making that appointment with your dermatologist, if you boo has been asking you for a while to do something little, actually doing it could mean the most. Again, there's no reason to do something that makes you uncomfy or unsafe, but sweeping your bedroom floor after you boo has asked a million times can be a really sweet gesture.
11. Stop Interrupting
You may get so excited whenever you talk to your boo that it's hard not to share everything you've been thinking and feeling. If you notice that you've been interrupting your boo a lot, make a point to listen to them when they speak and give them the whole floor. Making space for their thoughts is a form of respectful.
12. Be Timely
Whether you have a big date night planned or you're just meeting up to run some errands, being on time or even early can show your partner that you value and respect their time.
13. Leave Them Cute Notes
From sexy notes left in their undies drawer to a work appropriate, "Have a great day!" tucked away in their briefcase, leaving your boo little notes can show that you've been thinking ahead and want to give your boo little jolts of love throughout the day. A paper note takes more effort than a text, and it can show.
14. Celebrate Them On Social Media
I'll just put this out there, singer Allison Crutchfield's boyfriend singer Mike Krol has a literal Instagram dedicated to Allison's clothes and beverages she drinks. Of course, creating a whole page for your boo can be a bit above and beyond (not to mention make them uncomfy AF, if you do it without their consent), but giving them a birthday shoutout, or posting a cute picture of them eating sushi, can be a simple way to show them that you want the world to see how happy you are, and how proud you are to be dating them. Of course, everyone has different levels of comfort when it comes to social media — so, make sure to check in first!
15. Spend A Lazy Day Or Weekend With Them
Cancel your plans, put your phones away, and spend a whole weekend in bed. Or, if your boo is totally active and would detest a lazy weekend, maybe run a 5K with them, or find a fun weekend gym class to take together. Taking a day away from work, school, friends, family, and everything else, in order to zoom in on your boo and spend some quality time with them, can mean everything.
16. Make Reservations Or Plan Something Special
If your boo is a foodie or you want to try something new, take the initiative to plan a special evening for you to share. Whether it's making the reservations or sorting out a whole scavenger hunt for them to complete, showing your boo that you took the initiative to plan something out of the ordinary for them is both thoughtful and sweet.
17. Call Them Just To Say Hello
Call on a Saturday morning or a sleepy Tuesday night. Call when you don't have plans to hangout. Call for more than just to say, "I'm outside." Calling your boo to hear their voice or to wish them well can be a really respectful and cute way to show them how much you care.
18. Handle A Problem, Like A Boss
Sometimes, there is literally nothing hotter than being upset about something that #tbh is not that big of a deal (to the rest of the world) and having your boo just get it. From killing the spider in the kitchen to changing the rings on the shower curtain to picking up the takeout after your boo got in a weird fight with the cashier and is afraid to go back to the Thai place, taking charge of a situation that makes them uncomfortable can show your partner how much you care for them, and that you want them to be strong and happy.
19. Let Them Do The Thing
If you know they like paying for dinner and you never let them or if they always want to wear a full tracksuit to dinner (and you never let them), consider just letting them do their thing. Let them load the dishwasher even though they always arrange it wrong, or let them walk around until you "find" a cool restaurant, even if you could just Yelp it. Again, if they want to do something that makes you uncomfy — that's going to be a pass. But letting them do something as simple as choose the movie in order to make them happy, can show you them that you value their happiness, too.
20. Ask, "How Can I Help?"
Sometimes the most respectful thing you can do for your partner is just to ask them what they need. You may not realize that they have a knot in their back that they're hoping you'll massage or that they've been waiting to hangup their Ikea shelves because they don't have a hammer. Letting them know that you're there for them, and that you want to help out in all the little ways, can show them that you care about their wellbeing.
From actively listening to leaving your partner cute notes in their sock drawer, there are plenty of everyday ways to be thoughtful and tender. When it comes to showing your partner that you love them, sometimes the sexiest gestures are the most respectful.