Romantic gestures do not have to be big, drawn out, or over the top like the ones you see in romcoms. They can be as small as offering your coat when it is cold or remembering your date’s sister’s name. Romantic gestures in a new relationship really shouldn’t be too grand. Not only can that scare someone off and be a bit too much, but it can halt things before they truly begin.
Why are romantic gestures in a new relationship different?
When you’re in a new relationship, you are still feeling each other out. You may not know if your partner likes public displays of affection or if they are more private. You may not know how your new beau feels about gifts or surprises.
Once you are in a long term and committed relationship you can go all out and take a risk because you have a better chance of foreseeing the outcome. But when you are in a new relationship, even the smallest of romantic gestures make all the difference. [Read: Get to know you questions for a new romance]
What are romantic gestures?
Throughout history, romantic gestures have stereotypically been related to events like Valentine’s Day. Flowers, candy, jewelry, etc. As nice as those things are, romantic gestures do not have to be in the form of treats.
You can be unique with your romantic gestures. Make them about you two together. But what is it that makes a romantic gesture romantic?
Think about taking the garbage out for your new partner. That is nice, but it is not romantic. But if you make dinner for your new partner, light candles, and pop some champagne, that would be romantic. What makes it romantic is the removal of practicality. The act is romantic for no other reason than that you care and want to show it. [Read: New relationship advice to make your romance work]
Romantic gestures in a new relationship
Buying candy and flowers are the standards for a reason. They work. But they are also generic, can be impersonal, and frankly are boring.
So even though the classics are nice, here are some romantic gestures in a new relationship that break the mold.
#1 Love notes. Love notes have gone from poems to post-its to texting, but that doesn’t make them any less meaningful. You may think your partner knows how you feel, but more often than not, we are all just hoping our partner feels the same way we do, especially in the beginning.
So whether you shoot your new boo a text midday to say your thinking about them or leave a note on the pillow when you head off for work, that is a sweet and unexpected way to show your romantic side. [Read: 25 sweet romantic gestures of everyday life]
#2 Take an interest. We are all self-involved. Even if you think you’re not, you are. But taking an interest in your new partner’s hobbies is a great way to show them you care. Even if their hobby is something you know nothing about, showing that you are willing to try in order to spend more time together or simply to learn about what they love is romantic.
So take your girl to the ballet or try cooking an eclectic dinner together. Even if you hate it, it shows initiative and that is romantic.
#3 Offer a massage. Giving your partner a massage is one of the more romantic gestures in a new relationship. Whether you rub his shoulders on the sofa or give her a foot massage in bed, helping your partner release their tension gives them unlimited relaxation.
And even though romantic gestures don’t require something for you in return, a massage can lead to other intimate moments, if you know what I mean. [Read: Massage virgin? Follow this massage etiquette guide]
#4 Plan a date. I don’t mean go out to dinner or see a movie. Actually, plan something. Recreate a date that is featured in her favorite movie. Take a drive to the beach or the country and have a picnic.
Do something your partner may have mentioned in passing. It can even be something fun like the zoo or aquarium.
#5 Be spontaneous. Spontaneity is appreciated so much in relationships, and is one of the sweetest romantic gestures in a new relationship. It keeps things fun and light and trying something new together is bound to bring you closer as a couple.
And if you are a planner, showing your new partner you are willing to go outside your comfort zone for them is super romantic. [Read: Spontaneous moves all men should try when they’re out on a date]
#6 Explore. This may seem unromantic to some, but exploring something new together is amazingly romantic. Go for a hike, drive to a town you’ve never been to, or even check out the most haunted places near you.
Learning, exploring, and even getting scared together sparks a care for each other that only those experiences can. Think about why the dates on The Bachelor include bungee jumping and scaling buildings. It heightens your emotions and connects you on a deeper level.
#7 Hold hands. Yes, even something as small as holding hands can be considered a romantic gestures, especially if you’re taking your new relationship slowly.
Along with this, wrapping your arm around your partner, laying your hand on their thigh, or cuddling can ignite intimacy that a lot of new relationships lack. [Read: Adorably awkward moments in a new relationship]
#8 Communicate. This may not seem super romantic to you, but to me, communication is the most romantic of all gestures. Opening up about your past, your dreams for the future, and how you’re feeling in the moment is indescribable.
There is nothing that can bring you closer than trusting each other and being honest with one another.
#9 Apologize. Many of us are stubborn, myself included. But letting your stubbornness get in the way of your new relationship is not the best way to start things off. When you’ve had a fight, whether small or large, just apologize.
It can be tough to admit you were wrong, but it feels really good to know you are back on the same page. [Read: 17 aww-so-sweet ways to genuinely say you’re sorry]
#10 Pick up small gifts. This does not mean flowers and candy, although it can. It means picking up their favorite snack on your way home. If you were at Target and saw a funny shirt they would like, pick it up.
Small gestures like this remind your partner that even when you aren’t together, you are thinking of them and that means the world.
#11 Let them win. I don’t mean let them win if you are playing a game. I mean let them win when you are deciding where to go to dinner, what movie to watch, etc. You don’t have to be a pushover, but letting them choose and get their way once in a while is a compromise.
And the more you do it, the more they will, and the happier you’ll both be.
#12 Be protective. I don’t mean be a bodyguard for your partner or be jealous. I mean walk them to their door at the end of the night. Text them to make sure they got home safely. Don’t look at your phone when you’re driving them around *or ever when you’re driving*.
#13 Compliment. Small compliments can stop as soon as date number three. So, being sure to carry them out in a new relationship is so important. Tell each other not just that you look nice, but compliment their mind, sense of humor, dedication, loyalty, work ethic.
A simple sentence can be a romantic gesture, so there is really no excuse not to do it. [Read: 65 nice things to say to people and make the world a better place]
#14 Go for a walk. I know, I know, you aren’t 60. But hear me out. Dates can be fun and exciting, but there is something so simple to just going for a walk in the park, on the beach, or even down your street.
You can appreciate the conversation and the time you’re spending together with no distractions. [Read: 8 old-fashioned romantic gestures we all miss]
#15 Share your relationship. This does not mean have an open relationship, it means show off a little. I know many people avoid showing off on social media, but one or two posts here or there shouldn’t get your friends in an uproar *and even if it does, who cares? You’re happy*.
Post a sweet selfie together, post a #mancrushmonday or #womancrushwednesday. Even a funny picture shows that you are happy and feel lucky to be with this person and you want the world to know.
[Read: Your checklist for a happy, new romance]
Romantic gestures in a new relationship aren’t about the wow-factor. They are about showing you care, showing you listen, and doing it just because.
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