You love your girlfriend.
You’re absolutely head over heels for her.
And, if you’re honest with yourself, you’re finding it hard to imagine life without her.
You might have been in a relationship for a month, a decade, or even a lifetime, but you want to show her just how much you love her.
If you’re reading this, chances are that she’s pretty good at surprising you and making you feel loved, and you want to return the favor.
Never fear! As a woman who loves nothing better than a romantic surprise, I’ve put together a list of things you can do to surprise your girlfriend.
It includes everything from sweet, tiny gestures that you can use to show her how appreciated she is at any time…
…to the bigger ones that you might drop in every now and then.
1. Leave her notes
If you’ve slept over at her place and you’re the last one to leave in the morning, leave a little note on the pillow for her to come back to at the end of the day.
Tell her how smart she is, how beautiful she is, or how proud you are of her.
Tell her one of the reasons that you love her. Or, break out your (fabulous, I’m sure) drawing skills and express yourself that way.
2. Arrange a shout-out on the radio
Many stations have regular times of the day when listeners can send messages to other people. Make it something short but sweet, and tell her to tune in when you know it’s going to be read out.
3. Express your feelings in your local newspaper
Most local papers have an announcements section, but you don’t need to announce anything other than how much you love and care for your girlfriend or how awesome she is. Grab a copy, leave it open on the right page, and draw a circle around your message so that she sees it.
4. Hide notes or little gifts for her to find
The notes don’t just have to be waiting on her bed. If she’s off to work, pop one in her bag, in with her lunch, or between the pages of her book.
If she’s going away, hide a tiny gift or a photo of the two of you in her suitcase for her to discover upon arrival.
Notes not doing it justice? Go for a full-on love letter.
For extra points, send it through the post so that it arrives when she’s least expecting it.
6. Send her postcards
If you go away somewhere without her, send her a postcard telling her you wish she was there.
7. Write a poem or a song
If you’ve got any creative bones in your body, then don’t be shy. Use them!
Write her a sonnet. Or, if you’re handy with a guitar, why not go all out and compose a song?
But you don’t necessarily have to make it up yourself. There are plenty of poets out there who have probably already expressed the feelings you’re trying to get across.
Search online, then write out the poem and send it through the post. Or get it framed for her.
If you know she has a favorite poet, that’s a fantastic place to start.
On the song front, if you can play or sing, but fall at the composing hurdle, a heartfelt rendition of a love song to celebrate a special occasion will always go down well.
8. Do a job you know needs doing
If you live together, then the two of you will be dividing chores equally…
…but if you know there’s something she’s meant to be tackling that she hates, and that you could quite easily do for her, that’s a practical surprise she’ll definitely appreciate.
If you don’t live together, then it’ll be even more appreciated. Do the washing up, hang out the washing, or pop to the shops.
9. Gifts can be classic, but personalized
If you’d like to get her something for a special occasion, or just because you love her, then the stereotypical flowers, chocolates, and cuddly toys could be a good idea…
…provided that you put that extra little bit of thought into it, and get her something you know she likes.
If she’s a fan of dark chocolate, make it a box of organic dark chocolate truffles.
If she’s obsessed with sunflowers, get her a bouquet of them.
These are lovely gifts on Valentine’s Day or her birthday, but they’re best as a surprise when she is least expecting them or needs a bit of a pick-me-up.
As far as other types of gifts go, focus on the personalization.
Buy her tickets to a concert by her favorite band or her favorite author’s latest book.
Show her that you listen to her and you know her.
10. Make a little treasure hunt
Any gift can be made even more special if you make her follow some clues to find it. This could be around your/her flat or even outside if you have somewhere quiet where you can leave the clues and know they won’t be disturbed. It’s fun and you can make the clues personal to her or your relationship.
11. Buy her underwear or pyjamas
Whilst we’re on the subject of gifts, underwear is a perfect way to show her just how well you know her and makes sure you’re on her mind whenever she wears it.
If you’re not entirely sure of sizes or nervous about such an intimate gift, then a pair of luxury pyjamas is almost as intimate, and probably something she rarely buys for herself!
12. Make her a modern-day mix tape
Tapes aren’t very practical any more, and CDs are increasingly retro, but you could still surprise her with a carefully crafted playlist full of songs you know she’ll love or that remind you of her.
13. Do that one thing you’ve always talked about
Is there something the two of you have been talking about doing for as long as you can remember?
Get it locked into the diary. Show her that you’re not all talk, but can take action too!
14. Make plans that involve spending quality time, not vast amounts of money
You don’t need to spend huge amounts of money to have a good time together.
As they say, the best things in life are often free. Make plans that involve more effort on your part and less expenditure.
Everyone appreciates effort. Your girlfriend is sure to.
PDA stands for a public display of affection, and if you’re not normally the type to hold her hand or kiss her in front of others, this little gesture will be a big and very welcome surprise for her.
16. Take her to a sunset spot
When was the last time you watched the sunset together?
If you can’t think of a fantastic sunset spot yourself, then ask your friends or you could even ask Google.
Pack some yummy snacks and a bottle of something special and watch the sun go down in the company of the woman you love.
17. Get her favorite celeb to message her
Okay, this may be a long shot, but the payoff would be huge. Get yourself on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, find her favorite singer, band, actor, sports star, or other famous personality, and ask them to record a really short video message for your girlfriend. Can you imagine the look on her face…? You never know, some celebs love to do nice things for their biggest fans.
18. Make a photo album or scrapbook
A photo album is a wonderful gift on a special occasion. She’ll really appreciate the time and energy you put into it.
If you save things like ticket stubs or receipts from special days, these will make it even more personal.
You could suggest that you add to it together over the years and watch as your story unfolds.
19. Write a travel bucket list
Suggest that the two of you make a list of places that you would love to visit in her company during your lives together.
Making a list like this lets her know that you want to travel the world in her company and share some incredible experiences.
20. Build or make her something
If you’re any good with a saw or crafty with your hands, then why not create something for her?
Make it something you know she needs, and she’ll think of you every time she sees or uses it.
21. Give her a massage
A shoulder, foot, or even full body massage at the end of a long, hard day is a wonderfully intimate way of helping her relax and unwind.
It costs you nothing, but offering her a massage when she hasn’t asked will win you a lot of brownie points.
22. Run her a bath
If she’s had a hard day, run a hot bath with a dash of bubble bath and light a scented candle.
Do whatever needs doing to make sure she has an hour of undisturbed peace.
23. Pop a hot water bottle between the sheets
Before you go to bed, heat up some hot water and pop the hot water bottle between the sheets on her side of the bed to warm it up for her.
24. Brush her hair
Having your hair brushed is a wonderful sensation that women normally only get to enjoy every couple of months at the hairdressers.
Brush her hair for her occasionally to give her a relaxing head massage.
Or let her lay her head on your lap and stroke her hair as you both unwind in the evening.
25. Adopt an animal in her name
From cuddly koalas to fierce tigers, there are many organizations that allow you to symbolically ‘adopt’ an animal in order to raise funds. If your girlfriend is into saving wildlife or has a favorite animal, she’ll love this!
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26. Cook a special meal
If you never cook, then something simple will suffice, but if you’re handy in the kitchen, take the time to find a new recipe and buy the ingredients.
Light a few candles and lay the table to show her it’s a special occasion.
27. Make her breakfast in bed
Cereal, toast, pastries, coffee, fresh juice – go all out and take her breakfast in bed. It’s guaranteed to give her the best start to the day and there’s always enough for you to share. Make sure to sweep away the crumbs from the bed afterwards!
28. Pack a picnic
If it’s a beautiful day, or even a beautiful evening, then there’s no need to eat indoors.
Pack up a special picnic with her favorite foods, grab a blanket, and take her somewhere beautiful.
29. Go to outdoor cinema
Movie dates are fun, but it’s even more special when you can cuddle up on a blanket with a hamper full of popcorn and other snacks, and catch a movie under the stars.
30. Light a candle
Something as simple as just lighting a candle in your bedroom whilst you’re watching a film or chatting to one another shows her that you want to make things special.
31. Leave her a treat in the fridge
Buy her that desert you know she loves or have a meal ready and waiting for her in the fridge for when she gets back from work, so she doesn’t have to cook.
A cold bottle of wine waiting in the fridge on a Friday evening isn’t a bad idea, either.
32. Recreate your first date
Where did you first meet? Where did you first go for dinner?
Suggest going back there to show you remember, and tell her just how wonderful you thought she was when you first met.
33. Take time off when she’s ill
If she’s not feeling well, take the morning off work to go with her to the doctor.
As much as she might claim she’s okay, she’ll love having you there to hold her hand. Offer to go to the pharmacy or the supermarket for her.
34. Take her lunch
If you know she’s free one lunchtime, why not turn up with food from her favorite lunch spot, for a spontaneous, middle-of-the-day date?
35. Or make her a packed lunch
If you know she doesn’t have time to leave her desk at lunch, then pack her lunch and hand it to her on her way out of the door. Pop a note in there to make the gesture even sweeter.
36. Help her out with things she often forgets
Does she always forget to fill up her car? Buy toothpaste? Book a train? Do it for her.
37. Take an interest in her career
If you’re genuinely interested in a woman’s career, she’ll love you for it.
If you happen to spot a job you think she’d be interested in, pass it on. If you see an article she might find useful, send her the link.
38. Comment on changes to her appearance
Did she get a haircut? Get a piercing? Buy a new dress? Make sure you comment whenever she’s looking different or particularly lovely, so she knows you really see her.
39. Boast about how great she is to your friends and family
Don’t be shy about singing her praises to others when she’s there.
Tell your best mates about how well she’s doing in her job, or your parents how good she is at coding.
She might seem a little embarrassed, but if they’re genuine compliments, deep down she’ll love that you’re proud of her.
40. Plan a whole weekend together
Block out a whole weekend, just for the two of you.
You could go away somewhere, but even plans for a relaxing weekend at home with romantic walks and lazy mornings enjoying each other’s company will mean you can relax and reconnect.
41. Call her just to chat
Texting is all well and good, but if she doesn’t get to see you in person, then hearing your voice is the next best thing. Call her in the morning just to wish her a nice day.
42. Leave her a voice message
If you aren’t free to chat, but you want to send her something more special than a text, many messaging apps allow you to record and send voice messages. She’ll love receiving one of these and hearing you say nice things.
43. Do something that’s overly romantic and cheesy
If you’ve got a hopeless romantic hiding inside you, then let them have free reign now and again.
Go as cheesy and over-the-top as you like, without holding back. Think candle-lit dinner on a rooftop with soft music and a bunch of flowers.
44. Suggest spending time with her family
Don’t wait for her to ask you if you’d like to go visit her family. Suggest it yourself, and tell her you’d love to spend time with them.
45. Throw her a surprise party – if that’s her kind of thing
Some people absolutely hate being the center of attention, but if you know she’d love it then plan a surprise party for her, to celebrate her birthday or a big achievement.
Just remember to focus on inviting her friends, not just yours.
46. Dance like no one’s watching
Dance with her. Dance with her at parties, no matter how bad you think you are. Just have fun with it.
Suggest signing up for dance classes. Dance with her in the kitchen. Dance with her even when there’s no music playing.
47. Do the planning for a big trip
If you’ve been talking about going away somewhere, but there’s a lot of planning involved, then do the research.
Check out transport, accommodation, and activities and then present it all to her, ready to be booked.
That’ll take all the stress out of it for her, and mean she can just relax and enjoy.
48. Book a holiday, but keep the destination secret
Obviously, you’ll need to let her know you’re going somewhere so she can sort out the time-off.
But, if she’s a fan of surprises, why not wait until the airport before you let her know where the two of you are going?
Just make sure you let her know what clothes to pack!
49. Scatter flower petals on the bed
It’s cheesy, but it’s also effective. Buy some roses and take a few of the flowers apart to turn your bedroom into a romantic, snuggly place to relax in. If you have any flowers left, put them in a vase on her bedside table.
50. Hire a horse-drawn carriage
Take her to a big town or city near you and find a company that provides horse-drawn carriage rides. Enjoy the sights and share in the moment as you clip and clop along the streets.
Be spontaneous, and pay attention to details
If you want to show your girlfriend how much you love her then grab every opportunity that presents itself, and don’t be shy.
Listen to the things she tells you and remember the things she loves so that you can surprise her in the ways she will love best.