Thanks to social media, surprises are known for being an essential part of a unique marriage proposal. However, you don’t have to be ready to propose in order to surprise your partner.
Surprises are a wonderful way to let your partner know how much you love them – and how much you’re paying attention to the details. The enjoyment of surprise is also supported by science.
Scientists from Emory University and Baylor College of Medicine discovered that the brain’s pleasure centers respond more strongly to surprises than they do to existing, familiar pleasures.
Surprises have the ability to make people feel valued and appreciated, so here are four ways to give that gift to your partner:
1. Surprise them on their own front porch
Everyone has a rough day now and then, especially when they’ve got a demanding job or a difficult boss. Next time your partner expresses that they’re having a hard day at work, take that opportunity to give them the best surprise of their life.
Grab some of their favorite flowers (or something meaningful to them), and head straight to their house. Park at least a block away and out of sight, down a street they’re not likely to travel on their way home.
Sit on their porch or their steps and wait for them to come home. When they see you after a hard day, they’ll be elated that you took the time and effort to surprise them. They’ll be even happier knowing you listened to their words and made the effort to support them through a difficult time – no matter how small.
If you don’t think you can do it because you have to work, ask your boss if you can leave early. Do whatever you can to free up your time so you can be at their house waiting for them to come home.
2. Create a treasure hunt
Treasure hunts were a blast when you were a kid, and they can be just as fun when you’re an adult, provided the prizes are worthwhile.
Crafting a treasure hunt for your partner is a fun way to create a string of surprises to keep them in a state of excitement.
To create a fun and memorable treasure hunt, choose items that you’d consider gifts, and make sure the value of the gifts increases as the hunt progresses.
Create a theme for the hunt that your partner can identify with. For instance, if they’re in love with a certain era from history, make each gift a vintage item from that time period. If you’re going to propose to your partner through a treasure hunt, a vintage engagement ring should be the final prize.
Remember to add some humor and inside jokes to make the treasure hunt even more fun.
3. Put together a care package for them
The best gifts are the ones that tell the other person you’ve been paying attention. To surprise your partner, make a list of all the small things you can recall them saying they need or want. Maybe they need an eyeglass repair kit or a new notebook. Maybe they’ve mentioned their wireless keyboard breaking recently. Or, perhaps they’ve expressed interest in trying a new brand of coffee or tea.
Gather whatever you can from your list, and put it together in a special care package for your partner. The items inside may seem mundane, but it’s truly the thought that counts.
By putting together this kind of care package, you’re telling your partner you’re absolutely present with them when they share their ideas, likes, and desires. That’s the real gift you’re giving by doing this.
4. Slip notes of encouragement into their bag
Nothing brings a smile to people’s faces more than encouragement. Combined with the art of surprise, you can give your partner a real treat.
Gather (or write) some inspirational messages, and print them out or write them by hand on small pieces of paper. Fold them up and slip them into your partner’s bag, jacket pocket, or pants pocket.
Hide them around the house, too. Put one under the sofa, under the DVD player, in their favorite book, and even under their pillow. Hide them well enough so that it takes a bit of time for all of them to be discovered.
If you want to be really creative, print these pre-made quotes in full color, and the messages will come to life when read.
Don’t forget to hide some of your messages in places you know your partner won’t look for a long time. For instance, if it’s summer, hide some quotes in their heaviest coat. By the time winter comes around, you’ll both be surprised when you discover what’s inside.