Healthy, happy relationships all have this one thing in common: Both partners feel appreciated by each other. There are many ways to express your appreciation for bae, either by verbalizing it with words or showing it through your actions. And better yet, some of the most effective things you can do to spoil your partner won’t drain your bank account. You don’t need to wait for your anniversary, Valentine’s Day or their birthday to spoil them shamelessly, either. Sometimes, showing them a little TLC on a regular ol’ Tuesday is even more meaningful.
The word “spoil” inherently implies overindulging someone with lavish gifts and grand gestures. But the truth is, there are so many budget-friendly ways to make your boo feel loved and cared for. The best way to figure out how to spoil them is to first consider their love language. Knowing how your partner experiences love will ensure that your particular gesture is well received. For example, if your SO’s love language is quality time, then setting aside time on your work break to enjoy a long lunch with them will likely go a lot further than buying them something. Or, if their love language is acts of service, then packing them lunch during a stressful week could go a long way.
Remember: The point is to do something that speaks to your partner’s specific preferences and personality. Strapped for ideas? Here's a handful of sweet, yet oh-so-simple ways to spoil them shamelessly.
Write A Thank You Note Just Because
When was the last time you wrote a thank you note to your partner? Sure, saying “thanks” out loud is great, but writing it down can be even more powerful because your SO can reread it whenever they need a quick boost. This idea is a particularly fitting choice if your partner's love language is words of affirmation.
You can express your gratitude for a wide variety of gestures, like the fact that they drove you to work, made you dinner, or stayed up late to comfort you when you were feeling bummed the other night. It doesn’t even have to be about something specific they did. In fact, it could just be a general note to say thank you for being a grade-A partner. After spilling your heart in writing, slip the note into their work bag, or place it somewhere they’ll definitely see it (like on the fridge or their car dashboard).
Put Together A Care Basket
Remember those care packages your parents used to send you at summer camp, or during your first semester of college? There’s hardly a more nurturing gesture than to put one together for your partner, particularly if they’ve been so busy lately that they’re slacking on the self-care front.
Fill a box or basket with practical essentials they could use right now (like healthy snacks to keep on hand at the office) plus a couple of fun extras (like a can of their go-to craft beer or a mini bottle of their favorite wine). This is a phenomenal way to spoil your long-distance SO, but if your partner lives nearby, you can still surprise them via mail or drop it off in person.
Leave Them A Trail Of Love Notes
One super-easy way to brighten your boo's day is to leave them a trail of love sticky-notes. The series can start on their bedside table, their bathroom mirror, or their steering wheel. Regardless of the location, what really counts is what you say.
If your partner has been super overwhelmed at work lately, maybe include short confidence-boosting affirmations on the notes. Alternatively, if you just want to remind them how much you cherish them, you can treat the series of notes like one long love letter that's been divvied up, writing short phrases on each to complete the message. Take things up a notch by leaving bae a little treat at the end of the trail.
Plan An Elaborate At-Home Date
Date night is essential, as it offers an opportunity for you and bae to reconnect. But coming up with the perfect itinerary can be stressful, so why not treat your SO by surprising them with a pre-planned date at home? You're sure to win them over with this move if they value quality time.
Buy ingredients to make your own pizza, grab some materials for a wine and paint night, or spread out a blanket and set up a candlelit indoor picnic. When your boo arrives, they’ll likely be blown away that you took the time to plan a fun evening or afternoon.
Make Them A Meaningful Playlist
Nothing says old-school romance like a mixtape. But since your partner may not even have access to a CD drive, consider the contemporary alternative. Put together a thoughtful playlist filled with songs that are either meaningful to your relationship, or relevant to what's going on in their life right now.
For example, if they're currently interviewing for jobs, make them a "Total Boss Move" playlist, or they're working late nights these days, make them a "#grindmode" playlist. Once you've compiled the list of songs, send them a Spotify link via text. The best part? Every time they listen to it, they'll think of you.
Bring Them Brunch In Bed
Next time your SO stays over, let them sleep in while you whip up a little feast for you both to enjoy while snuggled under the covers. You don't have to be a pro chef because the point isn't that you made a gourmet meal, but that you made an effort to let them relax and start their day in a luxurious way.
So, if your cooking skills are elementary, keep in mind that something simple like a granola parfait or cinnamon toast is totally sufficient for spoiling your partner. Presentation is key, so consider serving the breakfast on a tray or platter. Doing things like assembling the fruit in the shape of a heart can go a long way. But the most important thing is that you can savor the meal in bed together (and ideally, follow it up with some post-brunch spooning while you ride out the food coma).