10 ways to make your partner smile
October 18 2015 12:05 AM

By Barton Goldsmith/Tribune News Service

I am on a daily scavenger hunt to find things that will make the people I care for smile, especially the one I love. Sometimes it’s a text, or maybe I’ve found a book or something simple that will hopefully brighten my sweetheart’s day. Here are some tips to make that happen.
1) Subscribe to a “joke of the day” blog, and share them with your love. It’s a great way to start off the day, and you will both leave the house a little lighter. And don’t send or forward the e-mail, but tell the joke yourself.
2) Assuming you split household chores roughly equally, take over the designated chores of your partner for a day a week or more (while also doing your own), and tell your partner to go play and relax. It will seem like a real gift.
3) Take your significant other’s car to get it washed and filled up periodically, and he or she will never give you a hard time about playing golf (or whatever) on your weekly holdiay. As a kid, I got to sit in the car while it went through the wash, and that was very exciting for me and created a memory I’ll always cherish.
4) Next time your other half has a really hard day, draw him or her a warm bath to relax in for a bit. Light some candles, put on some nice music, make it romantic.
5) Say sweet things and use terms of endearment (honey, darling, baby, etc.) with each other. This brings you closer. Even just a heart on a text will do the trick. The sweeter you are to each other, the closer you will both feel, and you will also have fewer stressful moments with one another.
6) Bring flowers whenever you have a chance. Doesn’t matter how big the bouquet is; sometimes a single rose can say more than a dozen. I’ve often grabbed a flower from the yard (or the neighbours’) before I walk in the door.
7) Say “I love you very much” right out loud, for no reason at all. You don’t have to pick a special moment, but be spontaneous. This sign of your affection is guaranteed to make your partner grin from ear to ear. She or he may think you are a little crazy, but it’s worth it.
8) Make a surprise date. Make it more special by making it an overnight or even a weekend. But even if it’s just for lunch, brunch or dinner, doing this will make your loved one smile. And always order something a little special for your partner.
9) Do something totally new and different with your mate. Doing new things produces the brain chemical oxytocin, also known as the “cuddle hormone”, so the more new things you do together, the closer you will want to be.
10)  My other half told me a story about wanting a toy yellow phone when she was a child, and she even cried a little telling me about it. The next day, I went on e-Bay and found a likely replica and gave it to her. Total investment: $10, result: priceless.
It doesn’t take a lot to make someone smile, but you have to make some effort. It’s guaranteed to come back to you in positive ways and make you smile more, too.

- Dr Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, California, is the author of The Happy Couple: How to Make Happiness a Habit One Little Loving Thing at a Time. Follow his daily insights on Twitter at @BartonGoldsmith, or e-mail him at [email protected]

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