After working all day, taking care of the kids or tending to other responsibilities, couples are often left feeling totally wiped out. So any little way they can make each other’s nights calmer and smoother is very much appreciated.
We asked readers to share the thoughtful things their partners do that make their evenings that much better. Read what they had to say below, then consider incorporating a few of these into your own nighttime routine.
Interviews have been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.
1. They set the coffee maker so it’s ready to go in the morning.
“Every night, my husband gets the coffee pot ready and sets it up to brew for the morning so it’s ready when we wake up. He then tops it off by going downstairs in the morning when the alarm goes off and brings me back a mug of fresh-brewed coffee to wake up to!” — Stacey P.
2. They make dinner for their partner — and do the dishes.
“In the evening, after we both have had a long day — him 8 to 10 hours on his feet as an airplane mechanic — he makes us dinner so I can spend extra time with our son. He then cleans up without complaining.” — Maggie K.
3. They take after-dinner walks together.
“I love to go for evening walks after dinner. My husband is always willing to go with me and says that he is ‘taking me for my walk.’” — Amy R.
4. They fill up the bedside water jug and set the thermostat.
“I usually get into bed earlier than Amit, as I have an early start every day. When he comes in to sleep, he brings a jug of water and always checks the thermostat and adjusts the temperature to my liking.” — Aditya Madiraju
5. They give foot massages.
“Every night, I take a shower while my boyfriend lies in bed and watches TV. Sometimes, he’ll come in the bathroom and just stand there so I can talk to him about my day. Other times, he stays in bed until I’m done and come join him. But every single time, no matter what, he waits for me to bring him lotion so he can rub my feet. It’s the very best way to relax.” — Stella M.
6. They prep lunches for the next day so their partner doesn’t have to.
“My fiance makes my lunch every night before we go to bed so I have something to take the next day for work. My job is pretty stressful so it’s nice that he’s thinking ahead to alleviate the stress of what I’m going to eat. I don’t have time to run out and get something during the workday. I may be having a horrible day at work, but when I do sit down to eat, it makes me smile that he thought of me and loves me.” — Courtney W.
7. They kiss good night, no matter what.
“He always, always kisses me before he goes to sleep at night and tells me he loves me, even when we’ve had a disagreement or a rough day.” — Erin P.
8. They never forget to say thank you for the little things.
“When we get to bed, we say thank you for an act of love we showed each other that day and kiss good night. We have to as a rule. There have been days where I have said, ‘Thank you for saying excuse me when you farted,’ and he has said, ‘Thank you for not leaving a bed full of clothes’ because we have to say thanks for something, no matter how small. It reminds us that love isn’t always a grand expression.” — Missie S.
9. They light candles to create a relaxing atmosphere.
“Each night, my boyfriend cleans and prepares my humidifier since I have eczema and have to sleep with it. I light candles an hour before bedtime and make sure to blow them out when we’re ready for bed to create a serene vibe.” ― Kelsey M.
10. They tuck each other in, even when they go to bed at different times.
“My S.O. is a cop and doesn’t get home until 11 p.m. or midnight most evenings. I get up around 5:30 a.m. every day. So his routine is to come in the bedroom and tuck me in, first thing when he gets home. He tucks the sheets in close to my body, strokes my hair a few times, gives me a few kisses and tells me he loves me.” — Tiffanie P.
11. They do whatever they can to ensure their partner gets a good night’s rest.
“I am a terrible sleeper. My wife is so sweet to me at night to help me however she can when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. She’ll fix me a cup of Sleepytime tea with honey, make sure I put on my melatonin patch and even bring me my retainer.” — Jenny Block
12. They leave encouraging notes on the nightstand.
“I’m in grad school, so many nights, I’m up much later than my guy. He always leaves my bedside lamp on and plugs in my heated blanket for me. Many nights, there’s even a little love note on my nightstand; sometimes just simply saying, ‘Sweet dreams. I love you.’ Other nights, it’s words of encouragement: ‘I’m so proud of you and how hard you’re working towards this degree’ or ‘I know it’s not easy, but don’t give up — you got this!’” — Melissa K.
13. They take over the kids’ bedtime routine to give their partner a break.
“I always appreciate the times my husband watches the kids at night and handles the bedtime routine alone so I can go to my dance class or attend a late meeting at work. Having time and hobbies to myself really helps me to maintain an identity beyond being a mom.” — Samantha Scroggin
14. They squeeze toothpaste on their partner’s toothbrush.
“He puts toothpaste on my toothbrush and sets it on a little rack on our sink so it’s ready for me when I go to brush my teeth before bed.” — Stacey P.
15. They give each other sweet forehead kisses.
“My husband Patrick and I both have different work schedules, but it’s the little things that always make me smile and feel blessed beyond measure. If one of us is going to bed and the other’s already in bed, we’ll tuck the other in and give the other a forehead kiss.” — Matthew
16. They snuggle to warm up their perpetually cold partner.
“My wife cuddles me even if my feet are freezing cold cause I’m usually the one who’s always cold, always hogging the sheets, and always needs a jacket type of person.” — Tevy Khou