When you say you love someone, what exactly are you talking about?
Is it that narcotic sensation you get early in the relationship? A complex network of emotions that courses through the years spent together? Or are there things—little things or big, personality quirks or turns of phrase—that light up your heart and remind you that you did something really smart when you settled down with this person?
Most happy couples have lists of odd little habits or kind gestures that go right to the core of their love. The funny thing is that the loved ones usually don’t even know they’re doing these things.
Here are some of the sweetest examples of the little things people do that feed the fire of love in happy relationships.
1. We’ll start simple, with a comment from Reddit user
In answer to a Reddit question about things “a girl could do that would melt your heart,” u/
“During a hug when she buries her face in my chest,” he wrote. “Weird but wonderful.”
2. Jacob, 34, told Thought Catalog something he loves about his partner.
“She speaks very slowly, but in an intellectual way where you can just tell she’s really thinking about every word that comes out of her mouth, and not talking just to talk the way most people do,” Jacob said.
When you love something as fundamental as the way your partner talks, you’ve got everything you need for a successful relationship.
3. A Buzzfeed community member called
adraela appreciates low-stress dates—and odd snacks.
“My favorite moments are when we both put away the technology and have dates at home,” she told the website. “We’ll watch stupid movies, and once she made me a Doctor Who-themed dinner of fish fingers and custard, and then suggested we roast adipose marshmallows. I’m a lucky lady!”
4. Reddit user
slowsuby’s heart melts during ordinary moments at Costco.
“I remember my wife and I were at Costco,” he told the Reddit community. “They were sampling chicken wings. My wife doesn’t like chicken wings so I was surprised when she walked over to the station with me. I got my chicken wing and she got one and said, ‘I know you love wings, here,’ and gave me an extra wing. What an amazing woman I married.”
That’s probably the sweetest story about chicken wings you will ever hear.
5. A 32-year-old named Olivia admits that she loves spying on her boyfriend while he’s reading.
“I get so much joy out of sneaking peeks at him while he’s reading a book,” she told Thought Catalog. “He makes such funny, expressive reactions and it just makes me laugh and love him more. But I’ll never tell him
Olivia brings up a good point. When you love a funny little quirk about someone, it’s usually best to keep it to yourself. If you tell them how much you love their oddities, they might get self-conscious and stop doing whatever it is that brings you so much happiness.
6. Speaking of books, one sweet guy uses them to keep tabs on his partner’s emotional life.
“Whenever I’m reading a new book, he starts reading it too, in secret, just in case it’s one that particularly makes me laugh or cry,” Buzzfeed community member
Sounds like this thoughtful fellow should come clean. Then they could start their very own makeout book club! There is nothing more fun than a makeout book club.
7. The simplest notes can have the biggest impact, as Reddit user SwiperDaFoxx describes:
“My wife left me a sticky note inside my wallet this morning and it said, ‘I love you.’ Nothing more, nothing less. At 5 a.m. I cried like a baby, wanting to wake her up.”
As user Slimbroo replied to this post, “It’s the little things that count.” Of course, the big things count, too, like taking care of a sick spouse or sharing a single car.
But if you ever want to remind your partner that you care, a sticky note in the wallet sounds like a terrific idea.
8. Caden, 29, is smitten with her boyfriend’s bed-making habit.
“He makes the bed so freaking neatly, it looks like a hotel service,” Caden told Thought Catalog. “Super tucked-in corners, everything is symmetrical and even. I love it. It’s become a really familiar comfort. And I don’t even think he does it to be nice—he does it out of habit.”
The term “habit” has such negative connotations, but when you’re truly in love, your simplest habits can become sources of joy for your significant other. That’s a wonderful thing.
9. You’re always a step ahead when you keep your partner’s favorite treats on hand.
Buzzfeed community member kaitlins4a13ceba5 loves gummy bears, but she loves her husband even more.
“We’ve been together 11 years and married for three,” she says. “And I just found out that he keeps a bag of Gummi Bears (my favorite comfort food) on him AT ALL TIMES in case I feel sick or sad.”
Good plan, man. Nothing says “I love you” like an emergency bag of gummy candy.
10. Luke, 32, loves his partner’s habit of taking the term “knock on wood” seriously.
“She always says ‘knock on wood’ and then always knocks on wood or whatever is closest that looks like wood,” Luke told Thought Catalog. “It’s the weirdest thing but also makes me laugh because I’m so used to it and she’s so sincere when she does it.”
This couple doesn’t need to knock on wood when they talk about how good their relationship is. When you get a kick out of funny little habits, you know it’s the real thing.
11. Love is the feeling of a warm towel on a cold morning.
“I detest the mornings and my boyfriend is the definition of a morning person,” Buzzfeed community member erinkeller369 wrote on the site.
“When I shower in the a.m. he tries to make it a little better by throwing my towel in the dryer
12. Anna, a 27-year-old with a partner who does the cooking, loves to listen in.
“He listens to podcasts when he cooks and he laughs hysterically and it makes me laugh from the other room, even if I’m half-listening to and don’t even think the content is that funny,” she told Thought Catalog.
Wow, a guy who cooks and laughs out loud at podcasts? Anna is one lucky woman.
All of these stories just go to show that love is inscrutable. You’ll probably never know what you’re doing to make your partner love you, and that’s okay. In fact, that’s how it’s meant to work.