Romantic gestures and suggestions
March 2, 2012 5:09 PM   Subscribe

Romantic gestures

I am looking for as many pointers as necessary for romantic gestures that men can do for their women. We can start with flowers of course but everywhere I read, that is pretty much it (flowers and then dining more or less). i am looking for things that regular people who have jobs and a life and are not super rich can do for their wife/gf/SO. This can also include things that are sexual/sensual in nature. It can be day to day or just a weekend thing or something one time you did on a whim.

Curious what is out there as the stuff you read in magazines and sites is so over the top or just plain ole silly that you wonder why folks read these mags.

What have you done that was romantic/sensual and enticing?
posted by pakora1 to Human Relations (29 answers total) 63 users marked this as a favorite
Aside from the gift of a banjo, you mean? My husband once tracked down the semi-rare Ella Sings The Gershwin Songbook LP that I couldn't afford at our local record store and gifted it to me--months after mentioning it. It wasn't the thing itself. It was that it showed that he listened to me that really made me swoon. The other most romantic thing: I once had the worst stomach flu ever (the really, really gross kind), and I looked like lukewarm death. After putting me in my PJs when we got home from the ER, he kissed my forehead and told me that I was still the most beautiful girl in the world. It was then that I decided to keep him.
posted by anonnymoose at 5:14 PM on March 2, 2012 [18 favorites]

Can't go wrong with a massage! Also cooking food for each other.
posted by randomgirl at 5:16 PM on March 2, 2012

Things that show you pay attention, that you want to make her happy.

I once had a lover who, knowing how much my repeated cold sores on my bottom lip were bumming me out, and how much I love and was missing kissing, lay the softest sweetest kiss on just my top lip. It still stands out as a spectacularly moving gesture.
posted by mollymayhem at 5:23 PM on March 2, 2012 [6 favorites]

It wasn't the thing itself. It was that it showed that he listened to me that really made me swoon.
That's the ticket - get to know a person, find out what they want, and give it (or an amusing facsimile.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 5:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [10 favorites]

My partner gets home before me in the evenings. He always leaves the front door unlocked and slightly ajar, because when I get home, I generally have my hands full (groceries, mail, packages, etc). It's such a little thing, but so thoughtful.
posted by kimdog at 5:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Listen to your partner. They will tell you things that are important to them. Remembering those things is super romantic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:33 PM on March 2, 2012 [9 favorites]

Mr.likeso and I aren't much for romantic gestures. We don't celebrate Valentine's Day or write each other love notes or call each other "darling", and while we do remember each other's birthdays, presents can take up to 12 months to materialize - and sometimes we end up buying them for ourselves or even forgetting completely.

But every Saturday he brings me breakfast in bed. If he happens on a funniest videos show and it features cats, he'll pause the program and call me to watch it. He is so very happy when I find mentions of EXPLODE ALL THE THINGS movies and make a download note or record them for him.

He makes me laugh. He laughs at my jokes. He asks and listens and remembers what I've told him. He calls when he's going to be late or out for dinner or to ask if he should pick up something from the store. If something seems inconsequential to him but matters to me, it matters to him.

The seat is always left down.
posted by likeso at 5:47 PM on March 2, 2012 [5 favorites]

Bring them other surprises. My partner bought me magazines she thought I would like from the store when I was home sick. Once I bought her a big gaudy balloon when she was home sick. She also notices what kind of treats I linger over at the grocery store that are too expensive to justify buying in a normal trip, and sometimes she will get them for me when she's at the store alone.

We both slip little notes into each others' bags for us to find the next day. Sometimes we do silly things like draw a heat in the bottom of the bathtub with body wash for each other to find.

It's really the little day-to-day things. I know she hates emptying the dish drainer, so I try to do it most of the time. I like to take a shower right before bed and she makes up the bed and gets me a cold glass of water while I'm showering.

Just knowing somebody cares enough about you to take care of the little things you like to be pampered on is the best.
posted by nakedmolerats at 6:02 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

When my husband and I used to have a different morning routine I used to always find a glass of orange juice on the shelf when I stepped out of the shower. I loved that he did that.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:07 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

My bf fixes things for me, like the door handle that was loose, went out and picked up tools to unclog a slow-draining drain, got a gasket for the toilet that keeps running... I never asked, he just noticed them and fixed it. I just think it's so sweet of him.
posted by lizbunny at 6:11 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reminiscing about a time that was really important to me or a really happy memory for me, that I would not have expected you to remember. Especially if you remember the details really well. And especially if you are doing it because it was important to you too, not just trying to create an erotic mood to make sex happen or something.
posted by cairdeas at 6:18 PM on March 2, 2012

Hidden love notes to be found. Sharing. That man will divide the last of ANY food item rather than just take it, so it's "fair."
posted by Occula at 6:25 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Oh! Husband took over laundry because our basement is scary, and rescues me from bugs.
posted by Occula at 6:26 PM on March 2, 2012 [3 favorites]

In the old days, back when there was such a thing as "cassette tapes", he put my favourite song (at the time) on one fifteen times in a row. Sixteen years later, every morning he brings me coffee in my favourite cup.
posted by peagood at 6:34 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Oh! And he also orders the other dessert that I maybe kind of want, but he's often suddenly "too full" to eat it, and I do hate to let it go to waste...
posted by peagood at 6:36 PM on March 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

He does small chores that I dislike. Carrying heavy things up from the car.

Arranging for things I've mentioned or requested. I wanted to attend a particular event, and he bought tickets for it (symophony). Dress appropriately for those things. It helps that we like a lot of the same types of events. He takes me out dancing when we have time, even though I'm an ok dancer and he feels like he has lots to learn. His effort there really warms my heart, and my...uh...lady parts.

Rubs my feet or back or whatever is achey. Defends me to his mom and tells me we're a team. Enjoys that I read to him. Buys books for us to learn something together. Knows how much I love steak and that a good one can fix nearly any horrid day.

One of the coolest so far? He learned how to knit because that meant that he had a reason to visit me at work, and he wanted to impress me. And now he's knitted me a hat and is working on a very large blanket. I am so impressed, because this is indicative of his need to always be learning something. He really appreciates our banter, and he's good at it. He remembers especially cute or clever things I said and remarks later how cool it was that I came up with something clever.

He doesn't feel or act like he's been attacked when we disagree about something.

Things I wish he'd do but don't pipe up about? Initiate more emails. But I get that he's busy with his head in books, and doesn't have the time to stumble across interesting tid bits on the internet, like I do. And when he responds to my tid bits, it's one word, like "lol", instead of a complete sentence or even a cogent thought. And that doesn't ann

Since he's not a mind reader, and I'm sure you're not either...ask her. And listen closely. If she's constantly mentioning that getting jar lids unstuck is a pain in her behind, look into getting her something that will help with that. If she needs a shoe horn, go get her one. If she has a very favorite kind of chocolate or soda or whatever, go get her some. Order a case of it on the internet if you have to. (Omg, I got a box of 24 nestle white crunch bars one year. That was so super awesome. I think that candy bar is discontinued for good now. And I am sad.) Does the dry cleaning pile up? Drop it off, and pick it back up again! Make the bed. Bring breakfast in bed if she's not like me (totally averse to crumbs where I sleep). Does she mention wishing you two would eat out more? Take her out! During movie trailers, does she squee over rom-coms? Take note. Buy tickets. Go. Enjoy.

Things like massage gift certificates or pedicures won't work if she hates being touched by strangers. A gift certificate to a hair salon that she doesn't regularly frequent might be awkward if she's been having her hair highlighted by the same guy for the past 7 years.
posted by bilabial at 6:39 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Romantic gestures? I have a spreadsheet for those.

For real. It was my awesome girlfriend's idea and I really super love it. We have a shared Google spreadsheet in which each of us has a tab listing large and small surprise romantic gestures we want to receive. Some of the smaller ones: "Surprise me at work someday." (I brought her caramels and a mocha.) "Plan a walk for us in a place I haven't been before." "Make me breakfast in bed." "Write a little bit of porn for me." "Clean my kitchen while I'm not home."

(And if you're questioning it: no, having asked for things in advance doesn't take the joy out of giving or receiving them, especially because a strategy like the spreadsheet doesn't eliminate the element of surprise. One of my girlfriend's requests was for me to take her to a show with one of my favorite bands, without telling her in advance who was playing. She stayed entirely spoiler-free until we were in our seats and the opener was onstage, including walking into the theatre without looking at the marquee. Fun!)

What's extra awesome is that we also use the spreadsheet to record not only the things we've each requested and done, but spontaneous non-asked-for nice things we do for each other. Every time I open the document, I get a little hit of happiness from remembering (for instance) the time when she did a load of my laundry and picked up some snacks for me to help me stop stressing out about a trip out of town.

So, kind of a three-pronged approach, incorporating surprising your partner, asking them what they want, and remembering details like cairdeas says above.
posted by clavicle at 6:48 PM on March 2, 2012 [41 favorites]

The thing my husband does that I find most romantic is cleaning up the kitchen. Each night my husband cleans up after dinner and loads the dishwasher. In the morning he empties it. I am delighted by this! I feel loved each day and it gives me the chance to spend a relaxing evening with him once the kid is asleep. Oh, and when we go out for dinner and the bill comes with chocolates, he gives me his, *swoon*.
posted by saradarlin at 7:40 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

2nding saradarlin; I ducked in to say "doing the dishes." My boyfriend has also gotten me chocolates and the like, but it's the little everyday things that move me the most.
posted by mlle valentine at 8:02 PM on March 2, 2012

On our workdays, which may or may not coincide, we get up at radically different times and never see the other before leaving the house or going to bed.

It is nice to get up and find a little note on the mirror in dry-erase marker for yourself letting you know the other was thinking about you, so we do that sometimes when it feels like we've been occupying the house in shifts.
posted by charmedimsure at 8:30 PM on March 2, 2012

My boyfriend brings me cold cans of diet coke as a treat. There have even been times when he wanted to get me flowers, but found the florist was closed, and got me diet coke instead. And it made me just as happy.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:10 PM on March 2, 2012

Things that my bf has done:

Given me a seamless web account connected to his credit card so I can have food delivered as a treat whenever I feel sick or or am too depressed to cook for myself or go grocery shopping. This is really a life-saver, otherwise I would just eat soup and apples or skip meals on those days.

He records the shows I like on the Tivo for me.

Makes really thoughtful cards for every single holiday. A home-made card is the bees knees. He is pretty quiet, so he signs them "from a secret admirer".

I am the pickiest person in the world, basically, so when I send him a hint about something I actually like, such as, say the vegan free trade peanut butter cups I enjoy, he keeps his ears perked up and orders me 5 lbs of them for Halloween.

I only like lilies and orchids, so he orders me those flowers, not just any old ones or even the ones perhaps he likes best.

Every time a new angry birds comes out it gets magically downloaded onto our ipad for me :)

And oh yeah, when we were just in the first couple of months of dating, he cleared out space in his closet and gave me some drawers for my things. Later he got a big dresser just for my clothes, even before we lived together. Now he rents a couple of storage spaces in our building for me also. Making space for me meant a lot.
posted by devymetal at 10:27 PM on March 2, 2012 [4 favorites]

Do you live together? Take responsibility for half of the chores (after discussing what all of the chores actually are, so that you know you both already handle.) And whoever makes dinner doesn't do the dishes. Ever.
posted by desuetude at 11:57 PM on March 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just echoing what everyone else has said: brings me little treats of things he knows I like, on unexpected days. Just a simple "oh, I was walking by XYZ store and picked up your Very Favorite Evar Raspberry Lambic." I know that (a) he was thinking of me and (b) he pays enough attention to me and what I like to remember the brand.
posted by lillygog at 6:12 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: My boyfriend expresses his love through lots of small gestures:

In the mornings, while I'm doing my makeup in the bathroom he makes the bed and packs my laptop and cable into my bag along with my lunch box if I'm taking it. If I say thank you, he'll say oh don't worry about it, you just have more things to do than I do in the morning.

He's much better than me at organizing, so when he saw how much trouble I was having with my jewelry he sat down with me and put it all away according to a scheme.

When I came home from a long trip away, he asked if I wanted any groceries. I named a couple staples. I found that he instead bought me about a couple dozen different items, and had basically remembered all my favorite things to buy from my favorite brand of sausages to zucchini. He topped it off with a bar of my favorite dark chocolate, plus another chocolate box with dark chocolate bonbons.

When I injured my knee and couldn't walk or stand much for a couple weeks, I had a lot of food in the fridge that I wanted to cook according to particular recipes. In general, I'm much more of the cook than he is. He basically let me lie in bed and give him instructions, while he did all the cooking. He would even bring the pans in to show me that the onions were properly caramelized!

So basically he's extremely thoughtful and very loving in lots of different ways.
posted by peacheater at 6:51 AM on March 3, 2012 [4 favorites]

I left a note when I left her place later than her. It said the place seemed big without her in it.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:16 AM on March 3, 2012 [1 favorite]

Send her a love letter using snail mail. Make sure you're not there when she reads it.
posted by ouke at 7:52 AM on March 3, 2012 [2 favorites]

The keys are gestures which show:
a) you really listen
b) she is always in your thoughts
c) you delight in her happiness and well being

Gifts I received over the years which stand out in my mind:

As a child I coveted an electric train set. The idea of creating a miniature world to place it in captivated me. I was informed (repeatedly) that trains were for boys, not girls. Years after I casually mentioned this to my BF he (as my husband) gave me the gift of a train set!

A BF always did a walking meditation at the same time each day. I enjoyed glancing at the clock and realizing where he was at that moment - one of those little thoughts which keep you feeling a special connection during a busy day. One day he presented my with a snow white egret feather he had found during that mornings walking meditation. He said when it drifted onto the path he thought of our love...Still have that feather 20 years later.

My last SO used to send me a poem, thought or brief note of love each morning by e-mail.
It was such a perfect way to start my day, feeling enveloped in his love even though he was miles away. Once I moved to his town and we shared a place this stopped...I really, really missed it. I saved every one of those morning e-mails.

A special look across the room at a party, bringing her the first perfect apricot of the season, sharing an article - anything which lets her know she is in your heart and mind!
posted by cat_link at 8:34 AM on March 3, 2012

Mr. Pony buys me lots of Doritos and cooks me yummy foods. He tells me that I'm beautiful and that he loves me.
posted by misspony at 1:24 PM on March 4, 2012

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