At the time of writing, my partner and I have been self-isolating together for pretty much a full month, and well… in a shoebox apartment where the kitchen (or toilet!) is my only escape, let’s just say we’ve definitely gotten used to each other…… plenty.
And if you believe in the old adage that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”, well, I guess the quarantine version of that is “presence makes you believe in murder”. Just kidding! My partner is awesome! Barely an inconvenience!
Still – whether you’re adoring the time alone or reaching your wits’ end, one important thing I encourage you do is to add some surprises and gestures for your partner to your routine, so you can break the monotony and remind each other that you’re like, actually in love and not just forced roommates.
Well, if you’re looking for some (honestly adorable) ways to surprise your partner even when you’re stuck together almost 24/7, then you’re going to love these ideas. Best of all, none of them break the bank and are packed with thoughtfulness to the brim.
Without further ado, here are 10 super thoughtful gestures that you can do for your partner right now!
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1. Plan a virtual trip to their favourite place
Whether you had a big trip planned that was cancelled, or you’re just long overdue for a little escape, one cute way to spoil your quarantine partner is to take them on a virtual trip to one of their favourite places. You can accomplish this in a variety of ways, but here are a few. I’d suggest going all out though and combining many elements of this to create one very fun trip-themed day:
- Wake them up in the morning with cute hand-drown boarding passes for “your living room” (or your destination). Bonus points if you dress up as cabin crew and play some ambient airplane noise from YouTube as well
- Serve breakfast in the style of an airplane meal (a tupperware covered in tin foil, a little mug for water, one sad little pudding cup, cutlery wrapped up in a napkin, etc.)
- When you arrive at the “destination”, play some mood music/ambient noise from that destination
- Have some awesome photos/videos up from your destination
- For lunch/dinner, cook some dishes that are typical for your destination
- Whip up some cocktails/drinks that are typical of your destination
- Take a selfie (like you would on vacation) of you two enjoying your quarantine holiday. Bonus points if you manage to get a green screen set up!
- In the evening, watch a movie that takes place in your destination
NOTE: I did this one day by dressing up as a flight attendant and surprising my partner as he came out of the shower. He was horrified. Which led me to immediately burst into tears because quarantine has made me one emotionally unstable nugget. I guess surprises aren’t for everyone. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK!! ; )
2. Get delivery from their favourite restaurant (and set it up like the restaurant)
Although you’re spending pretty much 24/7 together, you should still take some time to have a proper “date night”. It’s one thing to get delivery, but you should definitely go the extra mile for date night… consider ordering some food from your favourite place but setting it up at home just like at the restaurant. Yes, that means no eating straight out of the containers! Put the meals on real plates, even lay down a table cloth, get dressed up, get some appropriate background music going, and even consider putting up a photo of the restaurant’s interior on your TV or laptop.
All these small details will definitely take your evening from “another delivery night” to an adorable date night in at home.
3. Surprise them with an attempt at their favourite coffee
If your quarantine buddy has a go-to order from their favourite coffee shop, one very sweet way to surprise them at home is by whipping up your own rendition of the drink! The key here is effort… although having it taste good might be a bonus ; )
All the better if you’re able to source some beans, syrups, etc. from the actual coffee shop itself! I know a lot of local cafés in my area have begun doing deliveries of beans and equipment, so this would be a great way to a) support a local business and b) perform and sweet and thoughtful gesture for your quarantine partner.
For a final touch, consider writing their name on the cup and spelling it wrong. * chef’s kiss *
4. Plan an in-house scavenger hunt
This might be an idea better saved for the weekend, but a fun quarantine activity to break up your routine is creating a little scavenger hunt around your home! The beauty of this activity is it can be done in a home of any size – all you need are post-its (or little slips of paper) to write your clues on. Make sure you have a prize waiting for them at the end, whether it’s a treat, a coupon for a date night or free massage, etc.
This scavenger hunt doesn’t need to be huge or elaborate, but it should be at least 4 different clues to make it last a while. Also, having done this a few times, I know that the scavenger hunt is approximately 10000x more fun when the clues rhyme, so…. yes, time to break out your inner Shakespeare.
Here are a few ideas on clues you can do (rhymey rhyme rhyme):
- Hide the next clue behind a beautiful photo that you have framed, and have the clue read “Clever you are, and clever are you, your next clue awaits behind a fine view”
- Hide the next clue where you keep all your pantry goods, and have the clue read “We’re always hungry, that is no bull, but we’ll never starve so long as this place stays full”
- Hide the next clue where you keep your rolls of toilet paper, and have the clue read “I’m full of crap, this much is true… seek the things that may wipe it, to find your next clue”
- Hide the next clue under a pillow: “It’s nice when you snore, cuz I know you’re not dead! Find your next clue where you rest your fine head”
5. Leave them silly little “gifts” with fun notes
One of the easiest ways to make your quarantine partner smile is to leave them little gifts to find around the house… Really, these do not have to be anything elaborate or expensive, but the key is to accompany them with a cute message or note.
It’s simple – just write some of the following messages on a Post-It and stick it on the “gift”, or write your message directly on the “gift” with a Sharpie. Notice the liberal use of quotes here? These do not need to be actual gifts, people.
Here are some fun examples of messages you can write on common “gifts” you can find around the house:
- “I’m bananas for you” or “Let’s never split” on a banana
- “Life would be crappy without you” on a roll of toilet paper
- “Definitely think we’re Mint to be” on a pack of mints or gum
- “You’re such a Cute Tea” on a mug of tea, a set of tea bags, a bottle of iced tea… you get the idea
- “I’m always eggcited to see you” on an egg or box of eggs
- “I think you’re cute. Let’s Ketchup later!” on a bottle of ketchup
6. Surprise them with a delivery
From “gifts” in quotes to actual gifts, another thoughtful gesture you can do even in quarantine is to surprise your Quaran-team partner with a delivery, whether that’s flowers, a pizza, or just something useful they mentioned they wanted. Be sure to address it to their name, and feel free to sign it off as “from your secret admirer” for bonus cute points.
Here are some ideas on special little deliveries you can get sent to your home:
- Flowers (always a good bet)
- Something they complained you were running out of (e.g. toilet paper, toothpaste, mayonnaise, anything really, so long as they actively made a comment about it recently!)
- Their favourite snacks
- Their favourite pizza
- A pamper kit/gift basket of some kind with goodies that will help them relax
7. MAKE them a “When we get outta here” list
Whether it’s travel or just going out to your favourite restaurants, there are a lot of things that we’re not able to do right now in quarantine… Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t dream up all your future adventures.
Another cute gesture/gift idea for your quarantine partner is to create a “When we get outta here” list, a bucket list of sorts for when life returns to normal and you can go back to all the awesome adventures you had planned. This is a great chance to get nostalgic (and mention some of your favourite haunts) or to make some daring big plans for the future (like that big trip you’ve always talked about doing). The key here is to make it as a personal as possible, a list that could only make sense for you two.
Here are some ideas for your own personal “When we get outta here list”:
- Gorge on [insert favourite dish] from [insert favourite restaurant]
- Finally go on that trip to [insert long talked-about trip]
- Recreate our first date at [insert 1st date spot]
- Go people watching at [insert favourite park or square]
- Grab [insert favourite coffee orders] at [insert favourite cafe]
8. Make them employee of the month
This is a pretty silly one, but if you have a jokey relationship with your quarantine partner, then this is guaranteed to make them laugh.
If you’re both working from home, why not make an official announcement that your quarantine partner is Employee of the Month? You can take this to the extreme by printing a photo of them, framing it, and putting it on the wall… or you can be a bit more low-key and just print them a certificate or get them a ribbon. Maybe even a mug for good measure? This is a fun little quarantine surprise that will definitely get you a smile (or at the very least an awkward chuckle).
9. Recreate your first date (or one of your favourite dates) in your home
This is the perfect little surprise quarantine activity to add some romance to your routine. Think back to your first (or favourite) date, whether it was just a coffee date at the local café, a meal at a restaurant, a certain movie showing, or whatever it was… now think about how you can recreate this date for your partner in your home.
The key to perfecting this little quarantine gesture is attention to detail. If your first date was a restaurant meal, don’t just order takeout from that one place – think about what you both ordered, what type of music was playing, even the decor of the place, or the quirky waiter you had who made inappropriate comments. Think about the little details that made that night special/memorable, and recreate it in your home!
Here are some ideas for 1st/favourite date recreations:
- Order delivery from the restaurant where you had your first date and set up your home to look like the place too. Put a photo of the restaurant on the TV (or your laptop), play a soundtrack that the restaurant would, for bonus points, even print out little menus. Remember, the more detailed the better. If the place no longer exists or doesn’t provide delivery right now, try your best at making the meal yourself!
- Get a copy of the movie you watched on your first date, but make it a proper movie theatre experience with popcorn bags, giant sodas, theatre snacks, etc. All the better if you can remember exactly what you got as your cinema munchies for your first date!
- If your first date was at a theme park or carnival, find some virtual reality videos on YouTube of rides you might have gone on… or set up some carnival games at home, with a big cuddly teddy bear for you to “win” for your partner.
10. Host an in-house concert from their favourite band
Last but not least, why not treat your quarantine partner to a concert from their favourite band?
Here’s how you can do it: get a copy of a live concert from this band (honestly, you’ll probably find some good stuff on YouTube), order two “merch” shirts from the band in advance, and all the better if you find some cups to serve watered down drinks in 😉
The key here is attention to detail… you want to make the event feel as much like a real concert as possible. Don’t just throw a live concert video on the TV, go the extra mile by ordering shirts or other merch, having concert-y drinks, maybe even printing out some fake tickets. Doing all these extra things is sure to make your partner smile ear to ear.