Little unexpected gestures can bring unparalleled joy to your loved ones. We chalk out 10 creative ways that can add so much meaning to those three little words.
- Reverse the roles
Every relationship falls into a pattern, sooner or later — be it the lady who does the grocery shopping and the man who stocks it in the refrigerator, the mother who cooks meal after meal single-handedly everyday, and the kids who gobble it all up, the dutiful daughter-in-law who does all the chores while the in-laws watch TV soaps on the same theme… If you’re in a similar situation, it’s time for the winds of change. Reverse the roles, and work your way towards a more balanced relationship/household… slowly but steadily.
- Get physical:
It’s so natural to touch (yes, plain simple touch without any ulterior motive) your close ones. A warm hug, an encouraging pat on the back, an affectionate peck on the cheek, a comforting arm around the shoulder… Yet, when was the last time you hugged your parents or best friend? Of course, before you shower or express the gesture, do keep in mind that it’s more easily done in certain cultures than others. And a lot depends on dynamics of the interpersonal relationship in question.
- Inky love:
In today’s tech age, the closest most of us come to ‘writing’ to our loved ones is via email, chat and/or text messaging. Can you honestly remember the last time you handwrote a note to make someone feel special? And yes, grocery lists don’t count. Spring a surprise by leaving a note under your partner’s pillow, in your kid’s lunchbox, on your father-in-law’s computer screen… And if writing poetry/songs comes easily to you and you haven’t dedicated some to your loved ones yet, seriously, what are you waiting for?
- Turn masseuse:
Or masseur, for that matter. When your partner’s just about to wake up, snuggle up close and give him/her a gentle scalp massage, backrub or footrub — whatever (s) he is likely to enjoy the most. You can do the same with your family and friends too!
- Turn back the clock:
Everyone loves a good dose of nostalgia. So go on, jog your memory for painstaking details of your first date with your partner and try to recreate it to the best of your ability. Surprise your parents in a similar manner. Go rummaging through decade-old stuff lying in your grandparents’ attic. Sepia-tinted photographs, toys dating back to another era, personal journals, junk jewellery… you never know what you could chance upon. And get your old man and woman beaming teary-eyed from ear to ear.
- Cook up a storm:
- Say those golden words:
We ain’t talking about “I love you” here. Say that, of course. But it also wouldn’t hurt to say: “Thank you”, “Please” and “Sorry” when the situation calls for it. We often end up taking our loved ones for granted; these little golden words (don’t overuse them though; you’ll end up sounding superficial and far from sincere) will make their day.
Have you ever stopped to wonder why the words ‘listen’ and ‘silent’ are anagrams? In several relationships, especially over the course of time, we end up not paying attention to our loved ones, or worse, talking about our own woes at the same time. Whether they’re in a spot or not, the best way to help someone is by just being there and listening to what (s) he has to say. Of course, not everyone can talk easily about what’s on their mind. In that case, it’s up to you to get your close ones to think aloud.
- Gift a surprise:
Most of us have come to expect gifts during festival occasions, our birthdays and anniversaries. Give presents to your loved ones when least expected. Slip it into his/her closet or office/college bag. Needless to say, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Try and put some thought into it though… What does (s) he really want and been meaning to pick up for a while? And yes, personalise it with a little tag or card while you’re at it.
- Do something ‘cheesy’:
And do it together! Watch a full-blown Bollywood drama, for example; later, pretend to be the couple on a mountain/beach/jungle/desert, sing/lipsync the number and dance along. Don’t forget the exaggerated facial expressions and body language. Also, since our film industry is capable of churning out a ditty for every relationship on the planet — parents, in-laws, siblings, teachers, friends, drivers… — there’s no stopping you from getting cheesy with some/all of the aforementioned.