Cheap or Free Ways to Show Your Love

Amy Cunningham

My husband and I spent our 11th anniversary night with a movie, a board game, and a pizza. Sure, that may not sound romantic to everyone, but after 11 years of marriage and two kids, getting out or planning big romantic gestures can be difficult. Instead, we find simple ways to express our love, which is just as important, if not more so, than the big gestures. And with the economy the way it's been, we're always thinking of cheap romantic ideas to show our love.

Whether your relationship is still somewhat new or you've celebrated many anniversaries, it is important to remember to say "I Love You" frequently with both passion and sincerity. It's also important to remember that we say "I love you" with not just our words, but also our actions, body language, and expressions.

While the newness of a relationship wears off over time, the lasting intimacy that you create comes from this everyday appreciation, respect, and love for your partner. Finding simple joys in just being together and putting romance into everyday situations makes all the difference. With that in mind, here are more than 100 simple and cheap romantic ideas to express your love:

  1. Write down fifty favorite memories of your life spent together so far. Invite your partner to add to the list, as well as to share special ideas for the future
  2. Leave a message on their voicemail with a silly, romantic poem (Roses are red, violets are blue . . .)
  3. Create a YouTube playlist of romantic songs and email it to them or burn it onto a CD and slip it into their car
  4. Surprise them at work with their favorite homemade brownies and a simple love note attached
  5. Spoon
  6. Cuddle on the couch
  7. Write a love message on the mirror in lipstick for them to find in the morning
  8. Create a special sign that only the two of you will recognize - a squeeze of the hand, a tap on the shoulder, a gesture - that means "I Love You" and use it frequently
  9. Watch a sports event together
  10. Light some candles and enjoy dinner together after the kids have gone to bed
  11. Listen without interrupting
  12. Rub their feet
  13. Give them a massage
  14. Take a walk together, holding hands
  15. Surprise them with their favorite DVD and watch it together
  16. Place a single red rose on their windshield
  17. Send a romantic text message
  18. Send a sexy text message
  19. Surprise them with breakfast in bed
  20. Go out for a romantic mid-day lunch
  21. Play a board game together
  22. Watch a comedy special and laugh out loud together
  23. Give them a Saturday off to play golf, hang with their friends, or just be alone
  24. Kiss
  25. Hug
  26. Engage in PDA (Public Displays of Affection)
  27. Avoid criticizing your partner, especially around other people
  28. Send them flowers for no reason
  29. Have a bottle of wine and a pair of open arms awaiting them after a long day at work
  30. Do a chore that they normally do -- dishes, laundry
  31. Give them a night out with friends
  32. Tell them they're beautiful
  33. Make a banana split together and enjoy it while watching a movie
  34. Cook together
  35. Re-create your first date
  36. Keep a love journal, writing down one thought, emotion, gesture, etc. about your partner each day for a year
  37. Be thankful
  38. Be respectful
  39. Buy a bag of Hershey's Kisses and surprise your partner with them (on their keyboard, in their pocket, on their pillow)
  40. Lay in bed together for a few extra minutes
  41. Write them a love letter or love poem and send it in the mail
  42. Make their favorite dinner
  43. Make the coffee so that it's ready when they wake up in the morning
  44. Ask how their day was
  45. Choose a book that you both will enjoy and read it together out loud
  46. Write down 10 things that you love about them and slip it in their wallet
  47. Rent a cheesy romantic movie and make pizza together
  48. Flirt with each other
  49. Give them a few minutes to unwind when they get home from work
  50. Play footsie at a restaurant
  51. Talk and ask questions
  52. Say "I Love You" in another language
  53. Talk about your 5 and 10 year plans
  54. Create a scrapbook of your relationship from its early beginnings until now
  55. Let them vent
  56. Wink at each other
  57. Write "I love you" with whipped cream on a slice of pie
  58. Carve a heart out of an apple before you give it to them
  59. Each night before bed, tell them one reason that you love them
  60. After a difficult day, get takeout from their favorite restaurant and a bottle of wine
  61. Run their errands for them
  62. Take a bath together
  63. Enjoy a picnic in a park
  64. Surprise them with lingerie
  65. Get a couples massage
  66. Surprise them with some bubble bath and their favorite magazines, then take the kids out of the house for the evening so they can enjoy some alone time
  67. Create a playlist on spotify for them
  68. Celebrate more than just your anniversary! Celebrate your first date, your first kiss, your first time saying "I Love You"
  69. Surprise them with a bouquet of their favorite flowers
  70. Shower together
  71. Play their favorite video game with them
  72. Call their mother and father to thank them for creating such a wonderful person
  73. Leave a love note under their pillow
  74. Create your own relationship rituals and traditions
  75. Carve your names together in a tree
  76. Write your names together in the sand
  77. Tell them what made you fall in love with them
  78. Walk together in the rain
  79. Sit outside and stargaze together
  80. Write "I Love You" in the steam on the bathroom mirror for them to find when they get out of the shower
  81. Send them a romantic card at the office
  82. Watch your wedding video together
  83. Go to bed together
  84. Surprise them by having their favorite lunch ordered in at work
  85. Smile
  86. Laugh together
  87. Present them with their own love coupon book
  88. Choose your favorite photo of the two of you and frame two copies - 1 for each of you to take to work
  89. Buy them the new video game they've been wanting and give them the night off to play it
  90. Tell them that they're beautiful
  91. Tell them that they're sexy
  92. Post "I Love You" on their Facebook page
  93. Change your Facebook profile to a picture of the two of you together
  94. Don't hold a grudge; forgive and move on
  95. Let them sleep in
  96. Talk about your goals as a couple and reflect on the challenges that you've faced
  97. Have a pillow fight
  98. Go for a moonlit walk
  99. Share a plate of spaghetti like "Lady and the Tramp"
  100. Dance in the moonlight
  101. Dance in the rain
  102. Dance in your living room to "your song"
  103. Serenade them with their favorite love song
  104. Create a top 10 list of things you love about your partner
  105. Take selfies of yourself and send them to your sweetie
  106. Fulfill their sexual fantasy