Relationships Spouses & Partners The Little Things in Relationships That Matter the Most How to Show Your Partner That You Care By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. Learn about our editorial process Updated on December 21, 2022 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD Medically reviewed by Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD LinkedIn Twitter Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, PsyD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and a professor at Yeshiva University’s clinical psychology doctoral program. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Halfpoint Images/Moment/Getty When we think of love and happy relationships, it’s often the big occasions and grand gestures that come to mind. Celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries with one’s partner can be fun and exciting. Performing grand romantic gestures like gifting them something expensive, whisking them off on holiday, or treating them to a fancy meal can surprise and delight them. However, in long-term relationships, it’s often the little things that matter most. The small, everyday acts of caring and the simple but sincere words of love and support can play a big part in ensuring happiness and well-being. This article discusses why the little things in relationships matter the most and suggests some simple gestures that can help you show your partner that you care. Why the Little Things Mean a Lot Small, thoughtful gestures can show your partner that you love them, care about them, and appreciate them. They help promote stability in relationships because they show your partner that they’re important to you and that you think about them. This can help reduce uncertainty in the relationship and instill a sense of security, strengthening your bond and bringing you closer together. A 2013 survey that included over 5,000 participants found that small acts of kindness, as simple as making a cup of tea for one’s partner, were highly valued. In fact, the results of the survey showed that gifts like flowers and chocolates were considered less important than the thoughtfulness behind the gesture. The survey also found that simply saying “I love you” helped provide affirmation and reassurance, and helped couples feel closer together. In addition to improving relationships, small gestures of love can also be good for mental health and well-being. A 2020 study found that experiencing love on a daily basis helped improve participants’ self-esteem, purpose, optimism, and overall sense of well-being. Little Things You Can Do to Show Your Love Occasions come along once in a while, but it’s important to remember that every day is an opportunity to show your partner how much you love them. There are countless opportunities every day to do sweet, thoughtful things for your partner, depending on your relationship and the preferences of you and your partner. How to Know If You Are in a Healthy Relationship Vocalize Your Affection These are some ways to show your partner affection through words of affirmation: Say “I love you” oftenTell them they look goodLaugh at your inside jokesSend them cute text messagesPhone them once in a while just to hear their voiceAsk how they’re feeling when they’re not wellThank them for the big and small things they do for youGive them unique, personalized complimentsTell them how lucky you are to have themLet them know you miss them when you’re apartTalk to them about your day and ask about theirsListen to them patiently when they’re upset or having a bad dayRemember the things they’ve told youBe supportive and encouraging of their endeavorsCelebrate their accomplishmentsDiscuss your future togetherKeep their secrets confidentialSpeak to them respectfullyDon’t snap at them or yell at themDon’t speak poorly of them to othersDon’t ridicule, humiliate, or embarrass themDon’t interrupt them while they’re speakingDon’t dismiss their ideasTake their side in an argumentApologize when you’re wrongInform them of your plans and whereabouts Create Intimacy These are some ways to show your partner affection physically: Hold their hand oftenGive them hugs and kisses for no reasonSit by them when you’re togetherPamper them with a massageSnuggle up when you watch television togetherHold them close when either of you is upsetSpend some time cuddling every nightReach for your partner first thing in the morning, instead of your phoneTouch them frequently, whether it’s a squeeze of the shoulder or a hand on their backExplore new ways of being intimate with each other Do Things for Your Partner These are small acts of service that can show your partner you care about them and are thinking about them: Cook their favorite mealServe them breakfast in bedTake care of them when they’re sickLet them sleep in when they’re tiredMake them a cup of tea or coffee every morningFinish your chores and help them with theirsKeep your common spaces clean and tidyBe quiet while they’re sleepingHelp them run errandsPut gas in the car if it’s running lowIf you’re eating something, offer them a bite before you take oneLet them have the last slice of cakeDon’t complain about their burnt meatloafBe mindful of their preferences and boundariesNotice things that make them happy and do them oftenLook for ways to help them with things they struggle with Work on your bad habits Spend Time Together These are some ways to maximize quality time with your partner: Go for walks togetherPrioritize spending time with each otherHave a fun date night every monthPlan fun activities for the weekendTake an interest in their hobbiesSing them a song or grab them for a danceLook for movies or shows you both enjoy watchingSpend a little time every day just the two of you, without phones or devicesCreate your own traditions and do them together regularlyPlan small trips or staycations once in a whileDo things together as a teamDon’t let their annoying habits bother youMake an effort to spend time with their family and friendsTreat their loved ones with affection and respectShow loved ones you care about your partnerGive them time and space when they need it Surprise Them With a Gift These are some ways to show your partner love through gifts. Keep in mind that it really is the thought that counts, and not how much it costs you: Leave them little notes around the houseBring them fresh flowers from the garden Put mints on their pillowMake them a heartfelt cardTake them shoppingChoose personalized gifts based on their tastes and interestsShow your gratitude and appreciation for gifts they give youDon’t forget important occasions A Word From Verywell In relationships, it’s often the little things you do for each other on a daily basis that make you feel happy, secure, and close to your partner. These small gestures don’t take a lot of time or money, but they go a long way toward showing your partner how much you care about them. Common Marriage Problems and Solutions 2 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Klett-Davies M, Gabb J, Fink J, M. Thomae. Enduring love? Couple relationships in the 21st century, survey findings report. Published online 2013. Oravecz Z, Dirsmith J, Heshmati S, Vandekerckhove J, Brick TR. Psychological well-being and personality traits are associated with experiencing love in everyday life. Personality and Individual Differences. 2020;153:109620. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2019.109620 By Sanjana Gupta Sanjana is a health writer and editor. Her work spans various health-related topics, including mental health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Relationships Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.