Smiling woman touching her boyfriend's cheek while standing close to him.

The first month of dating is about intimate dinners, long texts, and lots of . Your is still strong – at least until the honeymoon phase dissolves into everyday life. Before you know it, you stop going above and beyond for your girl and are stuck doing the bare minimum in a relationship.

Settling into the routine of your couplehood is not a bad thing in itself. After all, the goal of a is to feel secure and comfortable. But if you want to keep the spark alive, trade the basics for some romantic, non-cringe gestures.

Be Open About Your Schedules

Between work commitments and trying to find a minute to yourself, catching up with your partner can be tough. Telling her how busy you are is the bare minimum in a relationship and, frankly, is a bit standoffish. One way to bridge the gap is by looping her in on your schedule. No need to have a shared Google calendar – it can be as simple as texting her what you’re up to for the week.

Share details about your plans, including the location, time, and company. For example, “I’m planning to grab some beers with my colleagues next Tuesday.” It’s clear and direct without giving a minute-by-minute rundown of your outing.

Amp it up: Send her a few pictures to let her know she’s on your mind, even when you’re occupied. You can snap a quick selfie during a coffee break, a shot of your lunch, or a random pup you passed on your way home.

Shower Her with Affection and Attention

Grand gestures are nice, but sometimes they violate personal boundaries, which we’ve established is not cool. So where’s the sweet spot? Make everyday moments count.

A lingering hug, a random “I love you” text, and helping her with chores are the bare minimum in a relationship. Take things up a notch with unprecedented acts of affection. Send her a care package full of medicine, snacks, and her favorite bodycare products when she’s in a bad mood. Upgrade her Spotify to premium and make a playlist just for her. It’s really not that hard.

Amp it up: Take note of her . Some people feel most loved through physical touch, while others cherish quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, or gifts. Understanding her primary love language can give you an insight into her dating expectations.

Remember Important Dates (Before She Mentions Them)

Her birthday, anniversary date, , Girlfriend Day – you name it. These are your golden opportunities to show how much you value your SO. Upload a dedicated post with a sweet (and short) caption, give her a thoughtful gift, take her dancing, and spend the entire day celebrating your togetherness.

Amp it up: Want to earn the “” badge? Plan a surprise date. Reserve a table at a fancy restaurant she has been hinting at or invite her to a sunset picnic. Bonus points if you show up with a bouquet of flowers! While you're at it, spritz on some AXE Body Spray Dark Temptation. The addicting blend of dark chocolate and a blast of amber and red peppercorn makes you smell irresistible. Plus, the dual-action technology fights odor-causing bacteria, keeping your body fresh for up to 48 hours.

Respect Her Boundaries During Conflicts

All couples fight. It comes with the territory of dating. In fact, the occasional bickering can be healthy, as long as you fight fairly. Before the tensions boil and you begin hurling insults, give your girlfriend (and yourself) some time to breathe. If she wants some space, don’t push for an immediate resolution.

When you pick up where you left off, listen actively – not just to respond, but to understand. Feeling heard and validated is the absolute bare minimum in a relationship.

Amp it up: See the issue from her POV. What you think is trivial might mean the world to her. Once you’ve cooled down, reassure her that you want to work things out together. Throw in some sweet nothings to, well, sweeten any bitterness.

It takes two to keep the romance alive but, hey, what’s wrong with taking the first leap? Don't settle for the bare minimum in a relationship. Your girlfriend will appreciate the extra effort and hopefully return the favor.