5 Sweet Ways to Surprise Your Love

My husband is pretty skilled at planning surprises and I’ve learned a thing or two after being with him for so many years. Surprises and sweet gestures are important in a relationship because they deepen feelings of appreciation, promote intimacy, positive emotions and plain ole happiness.

When people are dating, sweet things are done all the time in order to secure the other’s heart. We instinctively know that displays of affection are the keys to winning someone over.

Well, that shouldn’t stop after two people have been married, and perhaps married a long time. A fire needs consistent tending to, otherwise, its brilliant yellow flame dies out. Long-term relationships are the same. They need tending to in order to stay alive, strong, and burning, and surprises are a nice way to sweeten up the normal.

With how hectic and busy our lives are, I like activities that take us away from all the noise and promote quality time with one another. I also don’t like to break the bank, because let’s face it: life is expensive.

Therefore, I’ve crafted 5 sweet surprise ideas that are easy to do, don’t take a lot of time and are totally budget-friendly. Try them out for yourself and beware of sparks!


1. Enchanted Garden

It’s amazing what a simple set of string lights can do to a place. For my husband’s birthday one year, I transformed our tiny backyard into an enchanted garden by simply placing string lights on all the surrounding bushes, closing us in to a warm, intimate and private setting.


I lugged out a folding table, covered it with a table cloth and put some candles on top. I bought dinner to-go from his favorite restaurant earlier in the day, dessert too, and heated it all up for an enchanted outdoor dinner. Since there was extra time, I even printed out a menu of everything we were going to eat that night.


My husband really enjoyed this and felt really special, even though it didn’t take much time or money to put it all together. If you have kids, play a movie for them so you can have some quiet time to yourselves. And, if it’s too cold where you are, string lights go just as well indoors and are just as beautiful.


2. Outdoor Movie

This is one that my husband did for me, and I happened to be sick at the time! To start, he made me close my eyes as he drove us somewhere. When we arrived, I was delighted to find that we were at a drive-in movie theater, ready for the night showing of the Hunger Games. He unveiled a pan of pre-popped popcorn in the backseat, a warm drink in a thermos, other snacks and a blanket.


It was the biggest surprise ever, catered to the circumstance, and I loved not knowing what to expect. It was nice how I didn’t have to leave the warm bubble of our car for the entire time, and that we could eat loudly, make comments and basically be in our own world while watching the movie. It had an old romantic feel to it too which I found really appealing. This idea is good for any season, under the weather or over!


3. Picnic with the Trees

This is an idea that I’ve envisioned in my head but have not actually done yet. There’s a really nice park by our house with a large grassy area and big trees providing shade. It’s secluded and private, perfect for a quiet and intimate picnic. In the event that I do do this, I plan to pick up sandwiches from International Deli (a local sandwich shop, which by the way, is amazing), pack some sparkling waters, snacks, and a picnic blanket.


Being outside somehow has a way of slowing down the pace and making everything feel easy. It’s a nice way to unwind, de-stress and spend quality time with one another. Plus, I know that as long as there is good food, my husband will be happy. If you have kids, they can play on the playground, leaving you two to be by yourselves.


4. City Scavenger Hunt

When I was leaving for Taiwan, my husband wanted to do something memorable for me, so he sent me on a scavenger hunt around the city. What do I mean? He left greeting cards all around the city for me to find, with each one giving me clues to the next destination. I don’t know how he thought of this, but it was a lot of fun to do. The first card was left at his house (which he texted me) and it led me to the far end of the Diamond Bar Center parking lot, where we watched the view together once.


The next card took me somewhere else that was part of our history, and that’s how it went. After leading me to several places, he ended the hunt at a place which was significant to us and there he was, waiting for me. You can do the same, ending the hunt at a place that holds special meaning, or you can finish at an ice cream parlor or dessert place for a sweet treat.


5. Date with the Stars

If you have a bigger budget and enjoy being outdoors, you might want to consider going on a weekend camping trip. My husband and I have been doing this a lot lately. We bring board games, lanterns, food, firewood, and even a constellation map, then just hang out together for the whole night in the wonderful quiet. No phones, no interruptions. Just two people, underneath the stars, feeling blissfully at peace.


Bonus: Fort Time

I don’t know what it is with my guy and forts, but he’s loved them ever since he was a kid. Make a fort out of pillows and blankets in the living room, and turn a simple night of watching TV or a movie into something truly novel and special.

To learn more ways to deepen your relationship, see the book If Nuns Were Wives

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Or to ask The Married Nun your own personal question regarding your relationship, go here



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