Having a significant other is great. Having great friends is also fabulous. In short, having people that love you is like drinking hot chocolate and watching Friends reruns. You feel all warm and toasty inside and can probably feel your heart lurching forward and growing three sizes. Affirmations of love are the best things since sliced bread, but the really surprising fact remains that they don't even need to cost a penny. You don't even need to spend hours planning!
At its crux, the words 'I love you' serve to express and remind ourselves that we are both capable of loving another person and that we are ourselves loved. It's like killing two emotionally distressed birds with one cupid's arrow.
Okay, the metaphor got a little tangled, but you get my drift
To be honest, these gestures don't even need to be romantic – often, filial or platonic friendships are just as intimate and life-affirming. Don't be afraid to let your homies know how much they mean to you, too!
But my question remains, what are the most romantic gestures that someone has ever done to you?
Or what you always dream of that special someone doing?
Here's a list of a couple of wish-fulfillment fantasies to get the ball rolling…
I love you, by the way – be careful not to blindside them too much, but a casual declaration of your affection cannot be overstated. It shows you're comfortable with your emotions and ready to commit and make the first move towards emotional symbiosis.
You look really great today.
I love your hair/shoes/jacket – while we won't always compliment the physical attributes of our loved ones, we shouldn't shy away from them entirely. It's nice to feel good and have people notice!
Your smile could probably light up a city block
I would do stupid things to hear you laugh
I love us/I love our dynamic – this one doesn't seem as important as the big ILY on its own. However, this pairing of unified language and the explicit appreciation of your relationship together is extremely important. Your loved one can then feel both comfortable and powerful and desirable in a relationship and alone.
You remind me of Spring
You have something of a world-ending voice
I could listen to you talk for days
Have I ever told you how much it meant to me that you (insert nuanced memory)
My parents would love you – this shows not only an intention to make the next step in the relationship and introduce your family to your special person but this language anticipates a future together in general terms. It's always nice to be featured in people's longer-term plans.
More still… things are heating up!
Swap books that you love, or recommend or buy a new book that you think they will love. Leave it on their nightstand and don't make a huge deal out of it. This shows you making an effort and wanting to share hobbies. You can tell so much about a person by their bookshelf – maybe even suggest going in together on a bookshelf!
Help them assemble IKEA furniture. It's not one for the fainthearted, but if you can survive it, you're in for the long haul. Just kick those four nails that you didn't use under the bed and hope that they weren't important.
Get them a new glasses case when you recognize theirs is unalterably in tatters – or equivalents. This one must be mindful that the tattered glasses case might still have symbolic value to the person, so use common sense, but the principle of responding to an anticipating their needs goes a long way to showing how important and in-tuned to them you are.
Send a postcard to their house just for the sake of it. Write something magical on the back, or just copy up a naff poem or your favorite quote. I guarantee it's going straight on their pin-board.
Face time them just when you want a chat. Texting is so last century, and it's always nice to know someone misses your face.
We're getting closer… Will a proposal top off the list?
Take them on a country walk to a fancy estate and have high tea – it's specific and probably relies on there being a manor house nearby, but this sophisticated excuse to get the fancy digs on and treat yourself is so important. It shows that you can be mature and prioritize fun and elevated activity just as much as less formal cinema or shopping trips.
Give them a drawer in your house – or the modern-day equivalent. Once it starts, you won't want to stop leaving your things in each other's houses. The toothbrush amplifies into shoes and coats, and soon enough, you have a spare coffee press in their cabinet. There's no going back from moving your caffeine choice in. There just isn't.
I'm just kidding – of course it will!
Get married (or civil partnership, or commit to each other forever if monogamy is your thing). Obviously.