After you've been in a relationship for awhile, it's easy to fall into the same old routines and take each other for granted.
Do you need to bring the spark back into your relationship? It doesn't take a lot - just a sweet gesture here and there that shows you really care is all it takes to impress her.
Use this handy list of 50 romantic ideas (from a woman's perspective) when you need to get your creative juices flowing.
1. Take her on an unexpected adventure.
It would be wonderful if you could whisk her away to an exotic destination for a week, but most of us don't have that much time or money to spare. Don't worry - just take her out for a day somewhere for a little adventure. Even time spent walking in a beautiful nature area, followed by dinner at a nice restaurant and a romantic night at a nearby hotel would be a nice surprise for your girlfriend or wife.
Or, if you want to be more adventurous, you can take her on a hot air balloon ride or somewhere fun and silly, like a trampoline park.
2. Make a chocolate fondue and feed each other.
Want to do something really romantic for her? Make a luscious fondue out of dark chocolate and heavy cream. Then, arrange fancy plates of cut up pieces of fruit, like strawberries, bananas, pineapples along with cookies or buttery shortbread. Serve it by candlelight and dip and feed each other for a cute, romantic dessert.
3. Hug her from behind and smell her hair.
While she's doing dishes or some other "chore", hug her from behind, nuzzle your nose in her hair and inhale deeply. We women love this because it makes us feel like you can't get enough of us; that you couldn't wait for us to finish what we're doing before holding us/smelling us again.
4. Buy tickets to a show or musical she might enjoy.
She'll love how thoughtful you were to take her out for the night and she'll also love the opportunity to get dressed up and look nice for you.
5. Buy her a box of chocolates and hide a tiny gift in there.
Simply remove one of the chocolates and replace it with a tiny wrapped gift. This works perfectly for something small, like a necklace or a ring.
6. Romance her with a love letter.
I don't care if your handwriting is bad - please write it out rather than typing it - it's so much more romantic. Tell all the things you love about her; she's likely to have forgotten how much you appreciate her unless you make it a point of telling her.
7. Bake her a cake (even if it's not her birthday) and write a love message on it.
Use some writing icing and put "I love you" or a short love quote on it. Something like, "To be with you, that's all I want". Or, "The good things in life are better with you". I understand that writing with icing isn't exactly easy, but just do your best. Even if it doesn't come out perfectly, you can tell her what it says and you'll melt her heart by putting in that much effort and creativity.
8. Make a booklet of "love coupons" that she can redeem any time she wishes.
These can say things like, "Good for one back massage", or "Good for one night alone, while you take care of the kids", or, "Good for one kitchen cleaning". The idea is that you take over chores or do things to make her life easier or more pleasurable.
9. Send her a gorgeous vase of red roses to work.
Every woman loves the looks of envy she gets from other women at the office, whose husbands or boyfriends don't ever send them flowers.
10. Hide little notes all over the place with romantic notes and quotes.
Cut some pretty paper into tiny squares and hide them in drawers, her purse, kitchen cabinets, her car, places where she'll run into them possibly for the next several months :)
You can write love quotes on them, or things like, "I love when you (fill in the blank)". Or, you can write things about how much you appreciate her, like, "You're a wonderful mother" or, "Without you, I would be lost".
11. Run your fingers through her hair.
Caress it. Do it in a way makes her feel like you're admiring its smooth, silky texture. Smell it like you love the scent of it.
12. Whisper something sexy in her ear while you're in public.
Tell her that if if you weren't in public right now, you'd love to do (fill in the blank) to her right now. You'll make her feel so sexy and attractive and that's sure to lead to good things later.
13. Sing, or play her a romantic song.
Do you sing or play any instruments? Put your talents to work by playing her a love song. There's nothing sweeter than having your lover play music or sing to you. Somehow, there's nothing that speaks to the heart the way music can.
14. Make her a care box when she's away from home.
Is she on a business trip? Fill up a small box with her favorite things that remind her of home and of you. Even if she's only gone for a week, she'll love this little surprise and know that you're thinking about her and missing her.
15. Accompany her when she has to do something she doesn't like.
For example, my husband comes with me to the dentist (because he knows I hate it) and he also comes to help out when I have to do things like take care of my sister's house when she's on vacation. This shows that you care for her deeply because you want to help her out through all of life's mundane little tasks.
16. Tell her a deep, dark secret.
Tell her something you've never told anybody else (hopefully it's nothing illegal). This is a wonderful and intimate thing to do because it shows her your vulnerable side and that she's the one person you trust enough to tell your deepest secrets.
17. Might she be into sex toys? It couldn't hurt to ask.
Do this gently. Maybe after sex, humbly bring up the topic. Using a caring voice, just say, "Honey, have you ever considered trying a sex toy?" You never know, she might be open to it.
Sex toys are a great way to add fun and adventure into the bedroom and they also show her that you think she's sexy and are thoughtful enough to think of creative ways of making her feel good.
18. Sit together on the same side of a booth in a restaurant.
I always do this with my husband. It's a nice way for us to hold hands, for him to put his arm around me, or for us to share food. It's great fun and romantic, too.
19. Listen to her dreams and help make them come true.
This is something I wish my husband did more of. You really show that you love and believe in her when you encourage her to chase her dreams and do all you can to make them come true.
20. Take a multi-day/night train trip with a private room.
I did this with my husband on Amtrak. We got a private room on a train trip going from San Francisco to Chicago. It was so romantic because we were alone the whole time, just facing each other, and there was nothing to do but talk to each other and enjoy the beautiful scenery passing by.
It was such a peaceful experience and I really got to relax and reconnect with my husband.
21. Play footsie under the table with her at a restaurant.
This little game is a fun way to make her feel sexy in public, without being very noticeable to anyone else.
22. Kiss her hand and her fingers lovingly.
This makes her feel like you love and adore every part of her. It's a thoughtful and sweet thing to do particularly because it is not a sexual part of her body.
23. Tell her that your idea of Heaven would be reliving your favorite memory with her.
Was there a super-special moment that the both of you shared together? A really sweet thing to tell your girlfriend or wife is that after you die, your idea of Heaven would be reliving this moment over and over again, for eternity.
24. Make a romantic dinner at home with her favorite dish.
Ideally, this would be something decadent and labor-intensive that she either wouldn't make for herself (because it's very rich) or because it would take too much time. For example, my husband once made a big pan of lasagna and a whole cheesecake for me. It was oh-so-decadent and delicious. I was so impressed. One note - don't do this if she's on a diet.
25. Simply ask, "What can I be doing to make you happier?"
This is such a powerful question - it opens up lines of communication and invites her to tell you things she may have been afraid to. It also shows that you are humble and willing to grow and improve - a truly admirable characteristic for any boyfriend or husband.
26. Dress nicely around her and keep yourself well-groomed.
Spend a little time to put on a nicer shirt (that doesn't have holes in it), get a haircut (unless she likes that Fabio look), and add just a touch of scent - it doesn't have to be much. I like it when my husband just puts on Old Spice deodorant or a little aftershave. I find that "less is more", because I still like to be able to smell "him" through the other scents.
27. Make her a mix of love songs.
28. Tell her that if you could choose again, you'd still choose her.
This is one of the sweetest things you could say to her!
29. Kiss every part of her body.
I got this idea from my old college roommate who did this with her boyfriend. She said they even kissed each other's armpits and the bottoms of their feet. I guess it would be more romantic if you both made sure to take a shower before you did this.
30. Write her a love letter, cut out all the pieces and send them to her.
This is pretty easy to do. You just print out one of the many puzzle templates there are online and write your love letter on the backside. Then, simply cut out all the pieces. She'll love how fun, creative and sweet you are.
31. Plan a spontaneous weekend getaway.
Make sure everything is taken care of - all the hotel reservations, someone to watch the kids, and pack all the bags - all she has to do with wake up and go. She'll love how thoughtful you were to plan everything beforehand.
32. Write love messages on all the eggs in the fridge.
This way, she'll be reminded that she's loved every time she makes breakfast! It's a cute, romantic surprise that's sure to get you a passionate good morning kiss.
33. Compliment some part of her appearance.
You know she's beautiful and you think SHE must know, but she has to hear it from you. We women are generally very self-conscious about our looks and more often than not, we feel that there's something wrong with us.
If there's some part of her you really like, tell her. Is it her eyes? Does she have gorgeous long legs? Is her hair beautiful today? Women love being reassured that they aren't hideous. Romance your wife by remembering to appreciate her.
34. Take a nice long stretch in front of her. Arch your back and stick out your chest.
I know this seems silly, but it is super-sexy when guys stretch. It makes them look long, lean, and bigger than they actually are - must be related to some kind of primal urge to be with bigger guys. Just stretch - it's hot.
35. Play a sexy version of truth or dare.
This fun game is a great way to learn more about each other and also to feel vulnerable to the other person. Exposing your true self is sexy and brings you closer together. I like the questions on this site, scroll down to the sections for truth or dares for couples or together forever.
36. While you're at the supermarket, pick up one of her favorite things.
Maybe there's a favorite bottled drink she likes, or maybe a special kind of cheese. Little, unexpected gifts like these show that she's always on your mind. It's a nice thing to do for your wife, just because you love her.
37. When she gets sick, take extra good care of her.
If she gets a cold, make her a homemade chicken soup with vegetables and some ginger tea with fresh ginger slices to help her sore throat. Serve her hand and foot. Of course, she'll tell you not to worry about her, but she'll actually LOVE feeling pampered and cared for. Also, don't avoid her like the plague, even if you're afraid of getting sick - in our eyes, no REAL man is afraid of getting sick :)
38. Hire someone to paint or draw a picture of the both of you.
This is neither difficult nor expensive. Simply find a favorite photo of the both of you, scan it or take a picture of it, and find an artist on Fiverr.com to render it in the medium of your choice - pencil, charcoal, paint or whatever you like. It's a fun birthday idea and something unique that she doesn't already have and that she can frame it on the wall.
39. Make a gift basket filled with her favorite things.
You know all the things she loves. A gift basket is a great way to let her know that you love her enough to know what are all of her favorite things. Include things like her favorite scented shower gels or shampoos, favorite snacks, music, nail polish, or gift certificates to places she likes to go to. You can even add some unique, handmade items from the artisans at etsy.com.
40. Always wait for her when you get out of the car.
Guys are notoriously bad for getting out of a car and rushing into the store. You'll earn special points with her if you just do this one simple thing. When you get out of the car, wait for her, then hold her hand and walk together to the store at an easy (not rushing) pace. She'll love how considerate and thoughtful you are for always being a gentleman by not leaving her behind.
41. Whatever you do, DO NOT forget her birthday.
Some guys don't think birthdays are that important. But for us women, if our guys forgets our birthday, it can feel like our world is crushed because the one person who is SUPPOSED to remember, forgot. Forgetting her birthday is the one single way of telling your girl that you don't care about her. Don't forget it - just DON'T, not ever.
42. Show her you're not stuck in a rut.
If there's one common complaint I hear from most women, it's that their men often get "stuck in a rut", meaning they're always doing the same things, at exactly the same times, going to the same places, eating the same things, etc.
This drives us women crazy. We want our men to be exciting and adventurous at least SOME of the time. I'm not saying you need to be Mr. Excitement all the time - just do little things, like try a new restaurant, change up your schedule, book a trip to an exotic locale every once in awhile. Show us that you love life and you're not Mr. Boredom.
43. Take care of unpleasant tasks.
Did the kid throw up? Don't wait for her to do it, just clean it up. Did the dog poop on the ground? Again, clean it up without hesitation. There's no better way of showing her that you're a thoughtful and caring guy than taking care of these terrible messes so she doesn't have to.
44. Say you're sorry.
If you're having an argument with her, simply back down and ask her to explain her side of the story. After you've heard her point of view, you might better understand why she feels the way she does. Before long, you'll both be telling each other you're sorry for being hurtful.
Focus on being generous and being a good listener, rather than just being right. After all, what is good for the relationship is to listen to each other.
45. Go for a picnic.
Go for a hike and take some picnic food and a picnic blanket with you so that when you get to the top, you can enjoy lunch with a scenic view.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed my list and that it gives you plenty of ideas to keep your girlfriend or wife happy.
Photo credits: Chocolate fondue photo is by Wendi Kelly. The black and white photo showing a man whispering into a woman's ear is by Robin Green. The man in the supermarket photo is by Better Than Bacon. The eggs photo is by themonnie. Here is a link to the license for the photos.