We know: If you had the cash, you’d run to the nearest electronics store and shell out for whatever tech gadget your guy is craving these days (speakers! Wii! iPhone 4!). But showing your guy you love him can be as simple as a gesture — and not to mention cheap (or free!). Here are some suggestions for brightening his day:
1. Stock the fridge with his favorite drink
You know the part on on MTV’s Cribs when the celeb opens her refrigerator, and it’s stocked, grocery store shelf–style, with all of the cans of Diet Coke a girl could possibly want? Awesome, right? Your guy will feel like he has VIP status when he opens the fridge and sees multiples of his favorite beverage. Think of what he loves best: Mountain Dew? San Pellegrino Aranciata? Budweiser? Buy a six-pack (or 12-pack if you’re feeling flush) and line them all up neatly, side by side.
2. Kiss him goodbye every morning
Mornings can be frantic, especially if you’ve overslept or you have rugrats to dress and feed, but to show him you love him no matter how crazy life gets, give him a peck on your (or his) way out the door. He’ll grow to not only expect it but appreciate it — and you.
3. Give him a random neck massage when he’s stressed
We’ve all been there: Hunched over the computer trying to beat a deadline or assure your boss the account you’re working on is going “really well, promise!” (Insert sound of frantic typing here.) The next time he’s gritting his teeth and slaving away, wordlessly give him a five-minute neck and shoulder massage to work out his kinks before he goes back to the grind.
4. Make Him a Candy Gram
It’s a mood-lifter that works as well now as it did in grade school: When he’s had a bad day, swing by a convenience store on your way home and pick up his favorite single-serving-size candy. One of our guy friends loves it when his girlfriend brings him a pack of Swedish Fish after a rough workday. Adorable.
5. plan a surprise evening date
If there’s one thing that guys wish women would do more of, it’s say something other than “I don’t care” when he asks you what you want to do. Turn the tables by planning a special date night for the two of you — but don’t tell him what’s on the agenda. No fancy restaurants necessary: A surprise date can be as simple as a living-room picnic followed by Netflixed Breaking Bad episodes, or a walk in a local nature preserve before a stop for frozen yogurt. It’s specific, it’s fun, and the best part? It mixes things up and shows him you care enough about him to plan something just for the two of you.