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40 Romantic Ideas to Say ‘I Love You’—How to Be Romantic

When we think about how to be romantic, we often think about expensive grand gestures. But these romantic ideas, big and small, are perfect if you're looking for something to show your significant other how much you care about them.

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How to be romantic

Saying “I love you” to your partner can mean a lot, but sometimes a small (or big) gesture can really show them how appreciative you are of them. Try these creative romantic ideas to show some love and keep the spark alive. 

couple on couch in love. Romantic ideasLook Studio/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #1: Stop to appreciate them

Take a few minutes to stop and unwind together when you and your partner get home from work. Most people tend to go right into their routine of making dinner or getting chores done around the house. Stopping to give them a hug and kiss and ask how their day was will really mean a lot. Maybe share one of the most romantic quotes with them.

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Romantic idea #2: Leave a note

If you get up earlier in the morning than your partner, leave a romantic note on the mirror in the bathroom. It will be sure to brighten their day.

Romantic ideas. Man's hand holding white mobile smartphone in bedImYanis/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #3: Put the phones away

Phones are a constant distraction. One of the simplest romantic ideas you can do is just put them away for a day or even a night. Focus on each other instead of your screen. These are the best romance novels of all time.

couple looking at stars in sky. Romantic ideasAN Photographer2463/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #4: Sit under the stars

Set aside an evening to appreciate the natural beauty that is around you. On a clear night, grab a blanket and sit out in your yard or find an open park and look up at the stars. If you’re lucky, you might get to see a shooting star.

Happy romantic couple coffee. Romantic ideasDe Repente/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #5: Wakeup call

Get up a little earlier than you normally do and make a warm cup of coffee and bring it to your partner while they’re still in bed.

flowers. Romantic ideasSergey Clocikov/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #6: Bring home flowers

Grab a bouquet of flowers while you’re picking up the groceries after work. Leave them the counter with a sweet note for your partner to find. People reveal the sweetest thing their partner has ever said to them. Take notes.

happy senior couple with dogs walking. Romantic ideasbbernard/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #7: Sunset walk

Take a walk down your street or in the park one evening to watch the sunset together.

restaurant date wine. Romantic ideasUfaBizPhoto/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #8: Date night

Get dressed up and splurge on a fancy date night at your favorite restaurant. It will feel nice to get out of your work clothes and feel like you’re on a first date again with your significant other. After, watch one of these romantic movies you haven’t seen yet. 

grocery bags kitchen family. Romantic ideasMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #9: Help with errands

Incorporating romantic ideas into your schedule each week is an important part of having a strong relationship. If you know that your partner has a lot of errands to run and no time to do them, do it for them. Or, offer to go along with them so they have someone to keep them company. These are the most outrageous marriage proposals you have to read to believe.

packed lunch. Romantic ideasThanisnan Sukprasert/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #10: Pack their lunch

Pack a nice lunch for your significant other and have it ready on the table before they head out the door for work. Include a sweet note or their favorite treat for a fun surprise.

family photo album. How to be romantic Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #11: Walk down memory lane

Gather all of the old photos the two of you have together and create a scrapbook. Include other mementos you’ve been collecting, like plane tickets. Read this story of how this veteran found his long-lost love after 75 years.

wine glasses. How to be romantic ArchonCodex/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #12: Hit the vineyards

Set up a wine tasting at your favorite vineyard. Pack a blanket and some food and enjoy a nice picnic while you’re there as well. Read these stories revealing how real couples knew they found “the one.”

room service champagne. How to be romantic Hugo Felix/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #13: Plan a staycation

Book a staycation at a nice hotel nearby for the weekend. Treat yourself to a couples massage or other activities and amenities that the hotel might offer.

women couple on couch. watching tv. How to be romantic David Prado Perucha/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #14: Start a new tv series

There’s nothing better than spending a Saturday on the couch. Pick a new series that you both have been wanting to watch and binge watch it all day.

plant a tree. How to be romantic Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #15: Volunteer

Volunteering is a great couple bonding experience. Ask to help out at your local animal shelter or pick up trash along the side of the road in your neighborhood. Find out the sweetest things these people have said to their partners.

valentines card and flowers. How to be romantic Madiwaso/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #16: Send a love letter

No one gets mail anymore, so it’s a nice surprise when you receive something addressed to you in the mail. Find a meaningful card at the store, or even make one yourself, and send it to your significant other. If you live together, send it to their work. Or, share one of these unforgettable love poems.

man taking photo on iphone. How to be romantic Maksym Azovtsev/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #17: Snap some photos

Spend a day outside taking pictures together. It will be a good memory to look back on. These summer love stories will make you swoon.

couple at the movies How to be romantic Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #18: Go to the movies

Treat yourself to a movie in the theaters. Pack your favorite snacks so you don’t have to pay for the overpriced snacks there.

couple kissing on bridge. How to be romantic IVASHstudio/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #19: Be a tourist

Be a tourist in your own town or one nearby. Go window shopping and visit a restaurant or café that you’ve been meaning to go to for a while. These stories of first love will touch your heart.

card game night. Romantic ideas for hermirzamlk/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #20: Game night

Break out an old board or card game and show your partner your competitive side. To make things exciting, say that the loser has to make dinner.

wine and cheese. Romantic ideas for herYulia Grigoryeva/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #21: Pretend you’re in Paris

Pop open a bottle of wine and make a plate of cheese and crackers one evening. Simply enjoy each other’s company and talk about all the places you hope to travel together someday. These real couples reveal how they found “the one.”

couple drinking coffee. Romantic ideas for herGaudiLab/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #22: Spend your lunch hour together

If your offices are close enough together, meet in the middle and get lunch together. Spending a little bit of time with your significant for lunch is a good way to break up the workday. For dinner, check out the most romantic restaurants in every state.

romantic couple walking. Romantic ideas for hereverst/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #23: Head outdoors

Pick a weekend where the weather is going to be nice and go hiking or camping. Some of the best romantic ideas involve being active and getting fresh air with your partner.

couple in love dancing. Romantic ideas for herHalfpoint/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #24: Go dancing

Surprise your partner and take them out for a night of dancing. Even if you end up not being very good at it, you’ll share a lot of laughs.

Male couple in the kitchen preparing a meal, opening fridgeMonkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #25: Cook together

Help each other make dinner one night. Or, if you’re really horrible at cooking, promise to do all the cleanup after dinner. These 24 summer love stories will make you swoon.

couple drinking coffee in bed. Romantic ideas for herThe Chad/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #26: Take a mental health day

“Call in sick” to work and spend the day together just relaxing and catching up.

couple in love on a bench. Romantic ideas for herGoncharov_Artem/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #27: Go back in time

Take your partner to the spot you had your first date or where you first met and reminisce about how far your relationship has come. These 36 questions can make you fall in love with anyone.

send flowers. Romantic ideas for her Romantic ideas for himJukov studio/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #28: Send flowers

Flowers mean a lot to both men and women. This is one of the many romantic ideas that you can’t go wrong with. Send a bouquet to their workplace so that it’s a nice surprise.

happy couple laying down together. Romantic ideas for her Romantic ideas for himwavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #29: Say “I love you”

Tell your partner that you love them first thing when you wake up in the morning.

cleaning car. Romantic anniversary ideasisaravut/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #30: Clean their car

Take your partner’s car to get a wash and vacuum while they are busy doing something else. It will show how much you appreciate them. If you’re feeling extra nice, fill up the gas tank too. Try this weekly routine if you need to save your relationship; it’s scientifically proven to work.

Golfing. Romantic anniversary ideasbeeboys/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #31: Do what they love

Take a day to do something with your partner that you don’t necessarily enjoy, like golfing. They’ll be happy you wanted to do their favorite thing with them.

massage. Romantic anniversary ideasMakeStory Studio/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #32: Give a massage

If you know that your partner has had a stressful week, offer to give them a massage. They will be forever grateful.

senior couple watching movie. Romantic anniversary ideasbbernard/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #33: Romantic movie night

Pick out two or three of your favorite romantic movies and watch them together while you snuggle on the couch and eat popcorn. Check out the surprising secrets of the most happily married couples.

romantic bath. Romantic anniversary ideasKryvenok Anastasiia/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #34: Draw a bath

If your partner enjoys bubble baths and you can see that they’re stress or overwhelmed, draw them a bath. Light a few candles and bring them a glass of their favorite wine to make it extra special.

couple reading. Romantic anniversary ideasbbernard/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #35: Learn something new together

Come up with something you both want to learn, it could be a new language or a new recipe. Work at perfecting it together.

couple in love selfie. Romantic anniversary ideasJoshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #36: Be kids again

Head to a local carnival or arcade and play games and ride the Ferris wheel like you’re both teenagers again. You might be surprised by how much fun you have.

spa day couple. Romantic anniversary ideasnd3000/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #37: Spa day

Make an appointment at the spa to get a couple’s massage or facials. If you’re on a tight budget, pick up some face masks at the store and have an at-home spa day. Every couple should read this marriage advice for newlyweds.

breakfast in bed. Romantic anniversary ideasRawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #38: Have breakfast in bed (or dinner!)

Pretend you ordered room service and eat your breakfast (or dinner) together in bed. Just make sure the meal isn’t messy. This is one of the best romantic anniversary ideas. Who wouldn’t want breakfast brought to them in bed on a special day?

Pillow-talk girls. Romantic anniversary ideasnd3000/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #39: Pull an all-nighter

Remember when you first started dating and you would stay up all night talking and learning new things about each other? Do that again, who knows what you’ll learn this time. Don’t miss these quotes that perfectly capture what it’s like to fall in love.

happy couple bucket list. Romantic anniversary ideasJuri Pozzi/Shutterstock

Romantic idea #40: Make a bucket list

Create a bucket list with your partner that includes all of the things you want to do together before you get too old. Next, check out these love and marriage cartoons that are hilariously accurate.