If you struggle to be romantic, you might find this list of romantic gestures helpful. Or you can leave it open for your partner to read and be inspired. Whether your perfect idea of romance is something significant or everyday actions, we’ve got you covered.

romantic gestures


If you’re looking for something sweet or loving you can do for your partner, look no further than the following dozen suggestions. Don’t be afraid to get creative, however, and try something that didn’t make out list.

  1. Planned date: whether it’s a picnic, stargazing or something else (get 30 more cool date ideas here), take the reigns. Buy everything you need, scope out the locale, make reservations, or otherwise prepare the setting of your date to blow his mind.
  2. Gifts: unexpected gifts make great romantic gestures, and they don’t have to be large! A candy bar or a single flower is a small gesture that can have a significant impact. Psst, not sure what to buy? Discover the 5 best gifts for men.
  3. Massage: a massage is a nice romantic gesture for several reasons. It can melt tension from muscles after a long week at work, physical contact connects you and your partner, and a sensual massage can foreplay that leads to fantastic sex. Get tips for giving a massage here.
  4. Home-cooked meal: cooking for someone is a classic romantic gesture. Providing someone food is a practical way to show you care, but making it from scratch takes effort that can’t be ignored. You can choose from your specialty, try a new recipe together or make your guy’s favorite meal. If a plate is ready as soon as he walks into the door, he’ll be pleasantly surprised. Bonus points if you can make it heart shaped or arrange ingredients in the shape of a heart.
  5. Trip: planning a trip takes more time, money and effort than planning a single date, but it’s the type of big romantic gesture that won’t soon be forgotten.
  6. Scavenger hunt: sending your partner on a hunt for clues can be a lot of fun for him, and you might enjoy setting it up, too. Scavenger hunts make for great Valentine’s Days (check out 13 Valentine’s Day ideas), and they also work well for proposals.
  7. Messages: almost anyone can send a sweet text (good morning texts are especially sweet) or leave a voicemail. In you know your partner won’t see it for a while, you can leave a message to make them smile once they can check their phone.
  8. Love notes: an old-fashioned love note is often appreciated because it takes a little more effort than just sending a text. If you can, slip it into his lunchbox or laundry, or leave it on his car while he’s at work. Check out these ways to say I love you for inspiration.
  9. Build something: arts, crafts, carpentry, and jewelry-making are all hobbies that lend themselves well to romantic gestures. The result is something your beloved can keep, perhaps forever, and the effort you put into it shows exactly how much you care.
  10. Household help: doing the dishes or putting away laundry might not seem romantic, but a small romantic gesture can mean the world to someone who is already stressed or busy.
  11. Use music: music can say everything we feel, so why not show how you feel with a song? You can write one yourself, learn to play a love song or your partner’s favorite song, or dedicate a song to your partner at karaoke. If you’re not a crooner, calling in a song request on the radio station is an old standby.
  12. Breakfast in bed: even if it’s just a glass of orange juice and some toast, serving someone breakfast in bed is always a charming way to wake someone up.


Do something that you’re comfortable with if it’s scary to get out of your comfort zone. Think about the skills and interests you already have and how you can use those to perform a romantic gesture. Of course, if you do try to step outside your comfort zone, it will be doubly sweet.

Consider your partner’s love language when doing romantic gestures. According to Dr. Gary Chapman, there are five love languages, and each person feels the most loved when their partners show love in one or two ways. So your gestures should play into their love language.

Don’t worry about finding the right words. You may not be a poet, and that’s okay. Few of us are. Instead, focus on saying what genuinely comes from your heart. Your partner will appreciate that even if you don’t write an award-winning sonnet.


We’ve tried to list both big and small romantic gestures because it’s the thought that counts. You don’t need to go broke trying to show your guy that you care about him, and you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t do something big. On the other hand, you shouldn’t expect that all the romantic gestures from your partner will be big. He may not have the time or money to do that, and the little romantic gestures count just as much.

On the subject of expectations, romantic gestures are nice but not a necessity for a happy relationship. It’s nice to come home to surprises or to plan those surprises for your partner. But real life can get in the way.

If you can make the effort to still include romantic gestures after you’ve been together for years or even decades, that’s great! Just don’t expect that your partner has to perform those things. It can make you seem petty. And if you expect romantic gestures too soon, it might scare someone off because your relationship isn’t in that place yet.

Some people, however, just aren’t that romantic. They might feel inspired by the romantic gestured we’ve listed or even emulate them outright, but they might lack the creativity to come up with their own. And some people need prompting just to do those little things.

It could be that your partner shows that he cares in other ways. He kills spiders, cleans up dog poo from the yard and makes sure to change your oil. A lot of people, men, in particular, make sure you’re safe by “fixing” the things in your life that they can. So don’t overlook those thoughtful gestures just because they’re not overtly ‘romantic’.


Furthermore, you don’t want to get caught up in romantic gestures for the wrong reasons. If you’ve ever met a guy who was in love with the idea of being in love and not actually in love with you, you know what we’re talking about here. Sure, he’s sweet and romantic, but it’s not about the connection he has with you. He’d show that he cares to anyone who would fill the role, which can actually feel pretty lonely.

Focusing on big romantic gestures might take your attention from underlying issues, but it doesn’t solve them. It’s just like how having sex can stop a fight, but your problems remain. And if you don’t have a strong connection, those romantic gestures might be pretty meaningless, to begin with.

For relationships with a strong foundation, romantic gestures are like icing on top of the cake. They remind you that you’re loved and help you show your love for your partner. It’s okay if you need a little help coming up with romantic ideas. After all, not everyone is a hopeless romantic.

A romantic gesture can often rejuvenate your relationship and remind you why you love your partner. Don’t forget that you can give as well as get, and don’t get so caught up in your expectations that you lose sight of what really matters.

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