Want to learn how to make your girlfriend happier? You can probably think of a million ways to do that, but you're unsure which works. Not to worry—this article will help narrow things down for you.
Here's the thing: planning to do something to make your girlfriend happy is one half of the equation, and the other half is to make sure she'll appreciate whatever it is you're about to do. And that's not always a guarantee.
The tips in this article will make it easier to find the things that will make your girlfriend happy. You'll also get a few tried-and-tested ideas, habits, and additional tips if you ever find yourself in a long-distance relationship.
How to Make Your Girlfriend Happier: 10 Meaningful Ways
To do something to make your girlfriend happy, you'll want to achieve two goals at once. The first goal is to make her feel feminine and for good reason.
To the average woman, the world is a scary place. She is pressured to act, produce, and show unwavering strength like a man. While she's certainly free to pursue whatever life goals she has, you can bet that she wants to feel girly occasionally.
That's the first goal: Make her feel feminine. Here's the second: To know her love language(s). And here's what that means…
Have you ever experienced doing something nice for your girl—something you thought would sweep her off her feet—but she's all "meh" about it after you do it?
It was probably because that nice thing you did spoke to a love language she didn't have. If it did, you'd be right—you'd have swept her off her feet.
According to Gary Chapman, the author and radio host who popularized the idea of love languages, there are five different languages:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Physical touch
- Acts of service
- Receiving gifts
Now think about your girlfriend. Which of these five makes her feel more in love with you? And which of them makes her feel "meh"? When you answer this question, congratulations—you've found her love language(s). And they'll be your guide to finding the things that will make her happy.
The following are 10 simple things you can do to make your girlfriend happy—two for each love language. These should get you started, as well as give you new ideas of your own:
Words of affirmation: Write love letters
Writing love letters is an old-fashioned thing to do, but that's what makes it so endearing. Writing a letter takes lots of thought, time, and effort. And if words of affirmation are her love language, you can bet she'll keep your notes and write back a reply whenever she can
Words of affirmation: Write thank-you notes
This one's another good option if she's a "words of affirmation" kind of girl: write her a thank-you note. A simple "Thanks for baking me the pie. It was delicious!" will be much appreciated. You can send the thank-you over text, but it doesn't have the charm and personality of a handwritten note.
A variation of the thank-you note is the long list of things you love about her. You can write this for her on special occasions like her birthday or Valentine's. If she likes words, you can bet she'll be reading them repeatedly—and she might return the favor, too.
Quality time: Staycations
What if her love language is the second one: quality time? Then consider this: suggest scheduling a staycation with her, and let her fill in the details. She'll gladly pick the date, place, and activities when she knows she'll be on a weekend getaway with you.
Suggest a staycation in the countryside if she asks you for your preference. It'll be good for you both. And when you're on it, enjoy each other's company and let her bask in the quality time.
One tip, though: once the weekend getaway is scheduled, avoid canceling it at all costs, or it will hurt her badly.
Quality time: Regular date nights
Staycations are nice but don't neglect regular date nights. You get to do what you want for most of the week anyway—squeezing two dates in that period shouldn't be a problem, right?
If she seems to fall deeper in love with you when you spend quality time with each other, then having a date night every few days will make her happy.
Physical touch: Random hugs
Does she love warm hugs? Then her love language is probably physical touch. And that's why you should give her random hugs every chance you get.
Are the two of you at home, just doing chores? Every time you bump into each other, give her a hug. You can also mix it up with kisses, tickles, a fun game of tag down the halls… you get the idea!
Physical touch: Random massages
Another great way to make a "physical touch" girlfriend happy is to give her random massages. If she's relaxing with her feet on the sofa, give her a quick foot massage. Give her a shoulder rub if you can reach over the back of the couch. It only takes a little to learn how to give a good massage!
As a bonus, the massage might lead to something more—especially if it's in the bedroom and you know where to touch her…
Acts of service: Do one of her chores
Meanwhile, if her love language is acts of service, few things will make her happier than doing one of her chores. It'll make her day more manageable and give her a little extra time to relax—likely with you—at the end of the day.
Of course, this goes without saying that you should do your chores too. If you skimp on one of your chores while you do one of hers, it'll send your girlfriend the wrong message, and it'll annoy her more than it'll please her.
Acts of service: Serve her coffee or cake
Another simple way to make your "acts of service" girlfriend happy is to serve her something. It could be something as simple as preparing her coffee or tea or cutting her a slice of cake after a meal. It's "a sweet little nothing," but it'll mean the world to her.
Receiving Gifts: Give her a trinket that reminds you of her
Lastly, if your girlfriend's love language is receiving gifts, remember: it's not about the cost of the gift. Instead, the most critical aspect of a gift you give her is its meaning. It must somehow be meaningful to her—or to you as a couple.
For instance, if the gift reminds her of a romantic or funny moment in your relationship, that's pretty meaningful. Meanwhile, if the gift means something to you but not to her… then not so much.
What about expensive gifts? Costly trinkets are great to give occasionally, but they might send the wrong message. If you give her an expensive present early in your relationship, she might think you're all about money and not much else.
Here's a pro tip: The average woman has had at least a few men try to win her over with gifts in the past. So it's best to differentiate yourself by making your gifts more meaningful than costly.
Receiving Gifts: Make her a customized gift
Speaking of meaningful, customized gifts are hard to beat. They might be scrapbooks, videos, playlists, or something else that takes time, thought, and effort to assemble.
And there you have it—now you know how to make your girlfriend happier. No matter her love language, you'll find something to make her smile.
Again, you're not limited to these examples, but they'll give you even better ideas later on—and you'll need them!
Incompatible Love Languages
We’re often asked, “If you and your partner have incompatible love languages, does that mean the relationship is doomed?” The short answer is no. The long answer is ABSOLUTELY NOT. We have an in-depth guide to understanding incompatible love languages that you should read.
How to Make Your Girlfriend Happy: Healthy Habits
Now, let's talk about healthy habits. In this section, we're all about making your girlfriend happy consistently, continuously, and with minimal effort.
With the proper habits in place, you can maintain a good relationship with your girlfriend on autopilot. Here are 10 healthy habits you'll want to start cultivating in your own life, again with two examples per love language:
Words of affirmation: Communicate frequently
If your girlfriend likes words of affirmation, then establish the habit of communicating frequently with her. It can be as simple as chatting about your day and asking about hers, asking for her advice, or sharing a funny story you read on social media. Whenever she's not too busy, have a quick chat.
By now, you should know that communication is vital to all women, and it goes double for girls who like words of affirmation. The mere act of communication is, for them, emotional bonding.
Words of affirmation: Give compliments
Another good habit to build is giving compliments. Even a simple "You look good," "You smell nice," or "Good prank--you got me there" will stay on your girlfriend's mind for a long, long time.
Here's a quick tip: if your girlfriend likes words of affirmation but, for some reason, has low self-esteem, then do something extra. In addition to giving her a compliment, provide a reason for it. For instance:
"You look good—red looks good on you."
"You smell nice—you remind me of Christmas."
"Good prank—you got me there. I didn't think you had it in you."
Quality time: Start and end your days together
If she loves spending quality time with you, then it's a good habit to have to be the beginning and end of each other's days. This is easy when you're living together—a kiss in the morning and one before bed is a good start.
What if you're not living together? It's still easy—as a bare minimum, you can send your "good mornings" and "good nights" over text. Remember, though, to still have regular dates with her—you don't want to become a text boyfriend.
Quality time: Avoid canceling plans
Yup, life is busy, and you need to prioritize everything going on to get most things done. And if your girlfriend is a "quality time" girlfriend, then be sure to prioritize your dates—and avoid canceling them at all costs.
A canceled date night will tell a quality-time girlfriend she's "not a priority," and that's a quick way to make her unhappy. So, schedule carefully to avoid conflicts with your other priorities.
Physical touch: Kisses
What are good habits to build when your girlfriend's love language is physical touch? Simple: Kisses. Give her pecks on the cheek every time you bump into each other at home.
You're not limited to kissing at home, of course. If you live someplace where public displays of affection are normal, then kiss her in public, too.
What if PDA is frowned upon in your area? Then settle for something more acceptable in more places…
Physical touch: Holding hands
When you're out with your physical-touch girlfriend in public, hold her hand as you walk side by side. You can also let her loop her arm around yours or put your arm around her shoulders as you make your way through the crowd.
If she likes physical touch, she'll love how you go out of your way to make her feel close. Make the most of it: Make it a habit.
Acts of service: Do errands together
If your girlfriend likes acts of service, doing errands together is a great habit to keep her happy. Schedule going on "errand dates" with her, ticking things off your respective to-do lists while spending time with each other.
Such dates make running errands much more bearable, giving you an excuse to go on a proper date night afterward.
Acts of service: Do your chores
This one's especially important with acts-of-service girlfriends: Do your chores consistently. She'll feel shortchanged if you do one of her chores but miss two of yours.
In the bigger picture, your ability to do your chores reveals your level of responsibility and reliability as a partner. So if you want to keep your girlfriend happy, do your tasks so she won't have to.
Receiving Gifts: Spoil her every now and then
Now, what if your girlfriend's love language is receiving gifts? Easy – spoil her every now and then. It doesn't have to be a physical gift—it can, and sometimes should, be an experience she enjoys. Good examples include:
- Weekend getaways
- A spa afternoon
- A picnic or hike
- A day off from the chores
If she likes receiving gifts, spoil her occasionally, and she'll love you for life.
Receiving Gifts: Small and meaningful gifts are the best
Make it a habit to find meaningful gifts, not expensive ones, for your girlfriend. I know—it's easy to run out of ideas. The key is to think of something she'd like but doesn't already have or hasn't experienced in a while.
Of course, save your best gifts for events like birthdays and anniversaries. We wrote about the best gifts for women 30 and up, and it should give you some gift ideas she'll appreciate at any age.
Congratulations: you now know how to make your girlfriend happier over the long term. Building these ten habits, and keeping the relationship strong and happy will be near-effortless.
How to Make Her Happy Even if You're in a Long-Distance Relationship
Now, what if you're in a long-distance relationship (LDR)? How do you make your girlfriend happy in that situation? Again, the answer is by taking your cues from her love language(s). Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Words of affirmation: Text her twice a day
Are words of affirmation her primary love language? Then text her twice a day at least. You know the drill—once in the morning and once in the evening. Make that the bare minimum for your long-distance relationship.
The key is consistency. Avoid breaking the habit of getting in touch, and prioritize contacting your girlfriend at least twice daily.
Words of affirmation: Ask her how her day went
Got a little extra time? Ask her how her day went. If you can make it a call or video chat session instead of a text session, that's even better.
Remember: Conversation is a woman's catnip, even more so if she's a words-of-affirmation kind of girl. If you feel it's too much to ask her every day, then make it a weekly thing instead.
Quality time: Regular movie nights
Spending quality time with a long-distance girlfriend is challenging since you'll need to devote much of your time. Luckily, it's easy to give her that time when you schedule regular movie nights with her. You can hold little watch parties where you watch a movie or TV series simultaneously.
As it turns out, binge-watching is good for your relationship, so keep your girlfriend happy while working your way through your Netflix lists.
Quality time: Post romantic updates on social media
It might surprise you, but this counts as "spending quality time" with your long-distance girlfriend. When she sees your photo together on social media, along with the cheesy caption you wrote, she'll love it.
Why? If you are exclusive, she'll want your social media profiles to reflect that. That means she'll want to list each other as "in a relationship" with one another and post those sweet and cheesy things happy couples do.
Physical touch: Online game nights
If she's a physical touch kind of girl, then your long-distance relationship will complicate the "touching" part. That's why the next best thing you can do is to spend quality time with her in front of a screen.
Another good way to do that is to play online games with her. Ask her what kinds of games she enjoys, and then look for multiplayer games in those genres. Game nights are fun alternatives to the usual movie night.
Physical touch: Visit her once in a while
Of course, nothing's better than visiting your long-distance girlfriend occasionally. As often as you can, travel to where she lives and spend a long weekend getaway with her. The idea is to make up for all that time apart.
Remember, though, that if you want your long-distance relationship to work out, you must somehow close the distance. Only then can you see if you can keep your girlfriend happy for the long road ahead.
Acts of service: Keep her close even when times are tough
If your long-distance girlfriend likes acts of service the most, you must be available when she needs you the most. If she's having a rough time at work, a bad day, or just missing you, drop what you're doing and talk to her.
For an acts-of-service girlfriend, it's not the time you give her that’s important—it's the fact that you're willing to prioritize her over the other important stuff in your life.
Acts of service: Stay faithful
What's the ultimate act of service in a long-distance relationship? Staying faithful, of course. The temptation to stray is quite strong when your girlfriend lives several hours away; not all men have that kind of strength and discipline. Keep your girlfriend happy—and yourself, by challenging yourself to live up to the grand expectation.
Receiving Gifts: Send her a care package
Now, what if your long-distance girlfriend likes receiving gifts? Then you're lucky—keeping her happy until your next weekend getaway together is relatively straightforward. Send her a "care package"—a gift basket, a collection of small gifts you know she'll love, or something similar.
Remember her birthday and holidays; you'll keep her very happy until you close the distance.
Receiving Gifts: Send her flowers
Speaking of significant life events, consider sending your long-distance girlfriend flowers on her birthday or when you're both celebrating a milestone or achievement. Keep it a surprise, of course—there are many ways to ensure the delivery happens on the big day.
These are all proven ways to keep your long-distance girlfriend happy. Understand, though, that these methods are temporary. Ultimately, your goal is to close the distance because only then will you determine whether you're meant to be with each other.
Unfortunately, some studies suggest that up to one-third of all long-distance couples end up separating after they close the distance. Some of the most common reasons include the loss of freedom and—get this—the loss of the novelty of being in a long-distance relationship.
So, if you're in an LDR with a woman you genuinely love, it's a good idea to find a way to spend at least three months with each other in the same place. After those three months, you'll know if the relationship is "the one" or not.
Start Making Her Happy Today
And there you have it:
- Ten ways to make your girlfriend happy.
- Ten ways to keep her happy.
- Ten ways to ensure she stays happy in a long-distance relationship until you move in together.
Now go forth and please her. Good luck!