You’re smitten — now how do you show it without being over the top? There’s always the chocolates and a cute card route, but the more original you are with your amorous expressions, the longer that smile will stay on your honey’s face. “Thoughtfulness goes a long way during that magical courtship time,” says Sara Quessenberry, editor for Real Simple magazine. “Make the extra effort — it’s what memories are all about.” Quessenberry suggests thoughtful gestures, like having your date’s favorite music playing in the car or scoping out the best bench in the park and surprising your date there with a picnic. Read on for four more “just because” surprises that will make you stand out from the dating crowd.
Sweet Suggestion #1: Arrive in style
Try upgrading your usual mode of transportation for an evening. “One night after work, my partner picked me up in a limo for absolutely no reason except to take me to get a hot fudge sundae,” says Michelle Blakely from Harrisonburg, VA. “It was so romantic and such a surprise that after the ice cream, I instructed the driver to take us back to my apartment… ‘and not the long way home, James!’” If a limo is out of your budget, show up with a car service town car, or even a tandem bicycle.
Sweet Suggestion #2: Create a date-night memento
Offer your date a personalized memento from wherever you’ve been that evening. “Pick up a business card from the establishment and write ‘Being with you is fun’ on the back when your date isn’t looking. Then give it to him or her at the end of the night as a way to remember the place,” suggests Adam Tarver from Boston, MA. “For some weird reason, people almost always look at the backs of business cards, so your date will see your message when it gets flipped over.” You can also slip it into your date’s pocket or bag when he or she’s in the bathroom. When your cutie finds it the next day (or two weeks later), it’ll trigger memories of your fun night together, and the message may just melt a hopeful heart. This works with match books, napkins, coasters… anything on which you can scrawl a little note.
Sweet Suggestion #3: Send a coded message with flowers
Did you know that flowers have a language of their own? Even simple, inexpensive blooms can say volumes. While it’s easy to figure out that red roses shout “I love you,” you probably weren’t aware that daffodils say, “The sun is always shining when I’m with you,” or that white violets mean “Let’s take a chance.” Search online for “flower meanings” to get a glossary, then create a bouquet for your date that “says” exactly what you’re feeling. Be sure to include the floral translation in the card.
Sweet Suggestion #4: Call for another date before the night ends
You know that “rule” about waiting a couple of days before calling and asking someone out again? Throwing protocol out the window doesn’t just ease your anxiety — it can be a terrific surprise for your date. “I was once out with this guy who said, ‘So, I’ll call you,’ as we were parting ways. As I was heading to my car, my phone rang. I heard my date’s car beep as he unlocked it and he said, ‘So, is it too soon to call and say I’d like to see you again?’” says Tim Tucker from Las Vegas, NV. “It was terrific — no wondering if he was into me. It made my night!”
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a New York City-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in magazines ranging from Maxim to Marie Claire to Prevention.