35 Tiny Ways to Brighten Your Partner’s Day ☀️

make partner smile make partner smile

You know how you’ll sometimes fall into a mood where everything your partner does turns you off? Then, suddenly, they’ll say something to make you laugh and it all clicks back together, like, “Oh, yeah, here’s why I agreed to spend the rest of my life with this person!” Those moments are what keep us going. But, sometimes, you have to put in some effort. For instance, if you’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Here are some easy ways to make your partner smile today.

  1. Put your love’s favorite drink in a to-go mug. Diet Coke or rum & Coke for the little league game? It’s a tossup.
  2. Watch a movie from one of your first dates. Ours was Lars and the Real Girl, which is a win for me because, hello, Ryan Gosling.
  3. Scoop up the kids and clear out of the house for a weekend afternoon so your partner has the space to themselves.
  4. Wash their car (or pay someone to do it) and fill up the gas tank.
  5. Plan a vacation. It’s fun to have a dreamy and non-stressful project to work on together.
  6. Open the bottle of wine you’ve been saving.
  7. Bring them lunch. It’s too easy to skip this meal in the middle of a hectic day and just end up scrounging for scraps while hunched over the sink. So I hear.
  8. Thank them. For whatever they did that day, however small or big. It’s nice to feel seen.
  9. Organize their junk drawer. Or upgrade their closet by swapping out all those fugly dry-cleaning hangers with new ones.
  10. Spend more time being casually naked. Like, the walk to the bathroom for a shower, or getting dressed.
  11. Run an annoying errand they’ve been putting off for weeks. Just suck it up, throw on your mask and go to the post office.
  12. Randomly text them a compliment.
  13. Better yet, sext.
  14. Donate to a cause in their name.
  15. Let your hunny sleep in. Muzzle the children the best you can.
  16. Laugh together. Find a show to get the lols flowing. Some we’ve enjoyed lately: Ted Lasso, Miracle Workers, Big Mouth.
  17. Apologize, without making them fight for it. And really mean it.
  18. Put on music to brighten up a dull chore. Cleaning out the garage together is a lot more fun when there’s Motown in the background.
  19. Sign them up for a class they’ve been eyeing.
  20. Bring in some diversity. Hang out with new people (or any people), try a new recipe, tackle a new home project, microdose. Whatever it takes.
  21. Recreate their favorite restaurant meal at home.
  22. Make them a new playlist. Use Spotify or just send them a zip drive.
  23. Bet on it. If you are a competitive type, wagers can be fun. We keep a bet chart at home to track our wins and losses. Yes, of course there are prizes for the victor.
  24. Initiate contact. A hug, a touch on the lower back, a handy.
  25. Give a gift just because. Even if it’s just a pair of socks from your latest Target run. Or stalk their Amazon browsing history.
  26. Do a chore of theirs.
  27. Have a slow dance in your living room with this curated playlist. Hubba hubba.
  28. Share photos of the kids throughout the day. Bonus points for funny captions.
  29. Steal a page from GP’s book and stick a love note on their desk.
  30. Start a new hobby together. Archery?
  31. Actually sit down and watch their favorite game or show from beginning to end without looking at your phone.
  32. Hold hands.
  33. Play hooky together and go on a day-date.
  34. Exercise together. Hike, bike, or play tennis.
  35. Call your mother-in-law. Doing something nice for your partner’s family is doing something nice for them.

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Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.