16 Special Things to Do for Your Boyfriend

Updated September 5, 2019
Happy couple having a picnic on the beach

You love your boyfriend more than the moon and stars combined. He is your rock, your home. Don't wait for a holiday or special occasion to do something special for him? Sweet things to do for your boyfriend can be done any day. You might choose to leave him a note in his lunch box or take him some place special. Spark your imagination to show him he is your universe.

Say What's on Your Mind

If you love the way his eyes crinkle at the corners when he smiles, say so. If you are in awe by the way he knows just when you need a hug and steps in to give it to you, let him know. Say what's on your mind, whether it's a general compliment or an I love you. Communication is the key to a healthy relationship, and saying sweet things to your significant other will make him feel appreciated. Ideas for things to say to him include:

  • You can always make me smile.
  • You give the best hugs.
  • Thank you for changing the oil in my car.
  • Those are some impressive biceps!
  • I feel like I can tell you anything.

Plan His Ideal Date as a Surprise

You may need to do some prep work for this one unless you already know him very well. Slip questions into regular conversations, such as food he'd like to try or what his favorites are. Find out what his favorite movies are or which ones he wanted to see but missed in the theater. See if you can glean from the conversations the things that he's always wanted to try but never had a chance. You could take him rock-climbing, then come home to shower and watch his favorite movie while eating something he really enjoys or has always been curious about. It could end up being one of your most unique dates yet once you figure out what to do for your boyfriend.

Choose one or a combination of these ideas:

  • Get tickets to see his favorite team compete in a sporting event.
  • Take him skydiving or hiking.
  • Cook his favorite meal or dessert.
  • Take a class together that plays to his interests.

Hide Romantic Notes

You can hide romantic notes around the house, in his briefcase or backpack, in his shoes, under his pillow-anywhere that he will find one when he's least expecting it. You could also do this during holidays; for example, make the notes part of candy wrappers. Get creative and think of other places to put romantic notes so that he'll find them later. Try these ideas for inspiration for romantic things to do for your boyfriend:

  • If you live together, write a note in the steam on the mirror after your shower. The next time he showers, the note will re-appear.
  • Get up early and pack a lunch for him if he usually takes food to work or school. Write the note on his napkin.
  • Slip one inside the book he's reading.
  • A post-it note on his laptop screen.
  • Attached to his steering wheel, on his windshield wipers, or on his seatbelt.
love you note

Be Nice to His Family

This could mean his mom or his dog. Send his mom flowers or help her clean up after a meal and you'll be sure to get brownie points. If he's got a dog, pick up a special treat or toy. Get the family members to love you and he'll be looking at you with a renewed sense of appreciation. What else can you do?

  • Take his grandma out for coffee (or bring her some).
  • Help his mom shop for the perfect birthday gift for him. Don't just give pointers. Go with her.
  • Give his family members small gifts like candy or cute, silly toys and figurines. Make sure they've got meaning though; for example, if his dad loves comics, consider giving him an action figure of his favorite character.
  • Tell his family what a considerate, thoughtful son they raised.
  • Simply showing up for family events means a lot, especially if you try to help out any way you can--keeping an eye on the kids, cleaning up, or setting up extra tables and chairs.

Buy His Favorite Book

If he has a favorite book, you may be able to find a beautiful leather-bound or signed copy. Search used book stores, rare book stores (try Abe Books), thrift shops, auction sites, and more. If you're lucky, his favorite book won't be terribly obscure and you'll be able to easily find a copy in your local bookstore. Check the author's website for opportunities to have it autographed.

This simple way to make him happy also works for other things, like:

  • Movies
  • Coins or anything he collects
  • CDs
  • Even picking up the latest issue of his favorite magazine while you're out will show you're thinking of him

Bring Back an Old Memory

If the book idea doesn't fit your guy, maybe he had a favorite toy or possession as a child that he lost or gave away. See if you can find something very similar to give him. Perhaps he loved his Teddy Ruxpin bear as a child but it got lost in a move. Other ideas for doing sweet things with old memories could include:

  • Having his favorite picture of when he was a child matted and framed.
  • Organizing his old pictures and keepsakes into a scrapbook, which is something he'll have to know about in advance, but sweet nonetheless.

Make Him a Collage of Your Relationship

Take old pictures, movie ticket stubs, special notes, and anything else you have that represents your relationship and arrange it in a collage he can hang in his room. Handmade gifts are often some of the most special. This one takes some planning, so keep your camera handy and hang on to any little thing that reminds you of your dates. Keep the pictures and ticket stubs in a box until you've accumulated enough. Other options include:

  • A scrapbook (this way you get to choose fun paper and add-ons!)
  • A shadow box, which will allow you to add larger, bulkier items, like the pen he borrowed as an excuse to get your name and ask you out.

Send Him on a Scavenger Hunt

Hide a gift for him and send him on a scavenger hunt around town or even just around the house. You can scribble clues on the backs of old photos, ticket stubs, programs, and more. GetRomantic.com offers ideas for creating the perfect scavenger hunt for your significant other, using clues like, "The first place we kissed."

Public Displays of Affection

This only works if you know he's the type of guy who likes to show affection in public. It works best if you're the type of person who doesn't normally want to do much more than hold hands in front of other people because he'll know you're doing it especially for him. A few cute things to do for your boyfriend that aren't too over-the-top include:

  • Throw your arm around his waist at a backyard barbecue.
  • Give him a quick kiss for winning you a stuffed animal at the fair--or just because you want to.
  • Spend a little extra time in his embrace at a dance.
  • When you're sitting and holding hands, put your other hand on top and lean in to get even closer.

In most cases, you'll probably want to save the true make-out sessions for private moments no matter what your stance is on PDAs, but you can always show your boyfriend--and others--just how much he means to you by leaning in a little closer or giving him a quick hug or kiss.

Couple Kissing at the Beach

Sign Him Up for a Worthy Cause

If your boyfriend is passionate about a specific cause, sign him up to volunteer. The catch is, you have to take the day off and do it with him. Check Volunteer Match for opportunities. Ideas include:

  • Building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Participating in Relay for Life or another 5K, 10K, or marathon for a cause.
  • Volunteering at a soup kitchen during the holidays.
  • Teaching computer, interviewing, and other job skills.
  • Volunteering to read to children at the library.
  • Volunteering at an animal shelter. If you love animals but you're allergic to them, find other ways to help at the Humane Society of the United States.

Be Honest About Your Needs

One of the biggest gifts you can give your partner is to be honest with them. Tell your boyfriend what you like and dislike in a kind and considerate way. Doing so allows him to meet your needs and gives you both the space to enjoy a happy, healthy relationship where arguments are nipped in the bud.

  • Tell him specifically what makes you feel loved and happy.
  • Give him examples of special things he's done for you that made you feel truly cared about. He may be surprised.
  • Encourage him to tell you what he really likes and what specific things you've done for him that made him feel loved.

Plan an Amazing Meal

Ask your boyfriend about the best meal he's ever had and try to recreate it for him for the perfect date night. Catch him off guard and tell him to meet you at your place or at home if you live together and say you want to head out for dinner.

  • Set the table nicely and light a few candles. Serve up his favorite meal and enjoy spending time together.
  • Pack his favorite meal in a picnic basket and head to one of your favorite spots as a couple.
  • Find a drive in and bring your amazing meal to-go.
Couple cooking together

Do a Staycation Together

If you can convince your boyfriend to take a long weekend or even a full week off, plan some amazing staycation activities to do together. Staycations are a great way to connect, get to know each other on a deeper level, and have an awesome time together.

  • Plan a couples' massage at a cool spa and enjoy decompressing together.
  • Spend the day eating your favorite foods together and binge-watching favorite shows.
  • Plan a few activities centered around his favorite things. You can but tickets to a concert or comedy show, take a scenic drive, and try camping.
  • You can check out an old fashioned speakeasy or bowling alley.
  • Try a restaurant he's been dying to get into. You may need to make reservations ahead of time.

Do Something Thoughtful Just Because

Sometimes doing sweet, small gestures can mean the world to your boyfriend. They show him that you care about him and really know what makes him happy.

  • Draw him a cute and silly picture of the two of you and leave it on the fridge.
  • Leave him a baked good or some chocolate in an easy to find place.
  • Make him a trail mix jar to take to work and leave on his desk.
  • Get him a reusable coffee mug to take to work or water bottle to use throughout the day.

Surprise Him at Work

Surprise him during his lunch break to brighten his day. You can take him to lunch or bring him a packed lunch and sit outside and eat with him. This is a sweet way to make his and your day a bit brighter. Going the extra mile for him will show him how much he means to you and that you were thinking about him.

  • Pack a big lunch of his favorite on the go meal and share it.
  • Take a walk together and treat him to a coffee or goodie.
  • Bring him a smoothie and healthy snack to have in the afternoon.

Help Him Relax

Life can be stressful and it feels amazing to have a supportive partner who takes care of you. Planning some surprise de-stress activities can be a great way to show your partner how important he is to you.

  • Surprise him with a romantic massage equipped with candles and massage oil or lotion.
  • Draw him a bath with relaxing essential oils and lay a warm cloth over his eyes.
  • Make a soothing playlist for him to listen to before bed.
  • Make some home-made soup and freeze it for him so he can have delicious soup whenever he wants.
  • Buy him nice pajamas, socks, and slippers to wear at night.
Woman giving a back rub to her boyfriend

Choose the Best Things to Do

You and your boyfriend could have different ideas of which gestures are the most special. That's perfectly normal, so don't be discouraged if you've tried to do sweet things for him in the past and they fell flat. He's probably felt the same way. Simply look for a sweet way to prove your love to him and he will appreciate the effort even if it's not quite his style.

Speak His Love Language

Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages demonstrates how not everyone feels loved as a result of the same gestures. Some people feel loved after words of affirmation, others after they've been given a gift, some need physical touch, and so on. Observe your boyfriend's reactions or take a look at the Love Languages site together to determine the best way to keep your relationship strong and express your love for one another.

16 Special Things to Do for Your Boyfriend