No one has ever come to Houston marriage therapy because they forgot about the second Tuesday in March or the final Wednesday in June—unless, of course, those dates happen to be your anniversary or your spouse’s birthday. But just because missing those dates doesn’t hurt your marriage, that doesn’t mean that remembering them—and others—can’t be a boon for your relationship.

What I’m talking about is moving away from the idea that you just have to do things on “required” days like Valentine’s and instead surprising the one you love in little ways throughout the year. Need relationship help? Well, believe or not, these little gestures can end up being more meaningful and helpful than planning some elaborate and expensive outing when it’s expected.

Ideas for Surprising Your Loved One from Houston Marriage Therapy

The great thing about coming up with romantic surprises is that sometimes the simplest things will end up bringing the best results. What matters most is doing something that your significant other will find meaningful. Here are just a few suggestions.

Have a candlelit dinner waiting. Ask your boss to leave work a few hours early or wait till your spouse goes out one weekend and plan a nice, romantic dinner with her favorite food so that it’s waiting for her when she arrive home.

Write love notes. Take a few minutes and write some sweet nothings just because, then leave them around the house where you know only your spouse will find them. Or if you’re really pressed for time, send romantic texts or emails to let him know you’re thinking of him.

Draw her bath. It only takes a few minutes to draw a bath, fill it with relaxing, scented oils (or bubble bath), and pour her a glass of wine, but the amount of pleasure it will give her will be immeasurable.

Bring home his favorite movie to watch. Even if it’s your turn to choose, bring home that film you know he just adores. If it’s a romance, even better, but don’t pass on it just because it doesn’t fit the mood you’re trying to set. The point is to do something unexpected for him.

Houston Marriage Therapy: Acting When You Don’t Have to Shows You Care

The goal is to get out of that long term-relationship rut where neither one of you really does much for each other outside of the expected because you already know you love one another and you’re both busy.   Surprises are usually the most powerful Re-romanticizing tool for a relationship.  The brain loves surprises! However, this is only true if it follows the Platinum Rule: you’re certain that your partner would be excited and happy with the surprise.

If you want some more ideas on how you can get relationship help from little surprises, call Houston marriage therapy.