To show someone that you care about them, you don’t necessarily have to give them expensive gifts and surprises. Not every partner will want materialistic presents to make up for your attention. What really matters to them is the smaller things. It might not seem like it, but your partner will value things like your undivided attention, punctuality or just random kind words, more than physical amenities.

Relationships, especially those that are not of blood, are extremely fragile. It takes some serious effort to keep them strong. The problem is, some people put this effort in the wrong place. They try to provide that which their partner does not need. Consequently, even when they have the best intentions at heart, they begin to lack the more important things a relationship survives on.

Here are 7 little things you should do, that matter the most in a relationship:

1. Listen To Your Partner

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When your partner is sharing their most intimate thoughts or feelings with you, they’re not looking for a response. Even when they go off and complain about how terrible their day was, or how they hate it when you bring the shoes on the bed, all they want from you is to listen. These are times when it can seriously damage the relationship if you don’t pay attention to your partner.

You need to realize that it is only their trust due to which they discuss everything with you. If you break their trust, they won’t want to confide in you anymore. And that’s a red alert for your relationship.

2. Make Them Laugh

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A good sense of humor between the two of you will take your relationship a long way. Occasional jokes and silliness help keep a relationship light and stable. Laughing together will also generate some positive emotions towards each other. This only makes your affection stronger.

Try to find something funny even in the hardest of times. Don’t let your partner stay upset or depressed for long, whether it’s because of you or something else. Making them laugh will not only keep you guys together, but it will also benefit both of your health.

3. Fulfill Your Promises

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If you’ve promised them a date night, don’t make them dress nice, wait and have you cancel last minute. The more promises you break, the less they’ll believe in you. This will lead to a point when they eventually give up and never take you seriously.

Also, for the record, the promises here include all the times you assure them that you’ll grab milk on your way home. If you’ve told them to leave a task up to you, then don’t disappoint them. Don’t forget the favors they ask of you that you’ve already agreed to. Take responsibility, and if you can’t, then don’t make them expect that you can. It’ll only break their heart.

4. Remember Important Dates

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Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, upcoming news – you name it. If any of these are important to them, they should be just as important to you. When they see that you care about their sentimental values, they’ll love you even more. It doesn’t matter if these dates don’t mean to you as much as they do to them, but it doesn’t hurt if you make a little effort and record reminders for each of them. It’ll spare you any future disappointment in your on their end.

5. Show Courtesy

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Your partner does so much for you, and one of those things is putting up with a person like you. The least they deserve is some gratitude and appreciation. Make it a habit to say Thank You everytime they help you. Whether it is them cooking a breakfast for you or paying for that new TV you wanted instead of buying the new iPhone they were waiting so long for. No act of kindness is small, so don’t let the opportunity go to waste.

Another thing you should care about is reciprocating their favors. I mean, yes, you should always tell them you’re grateful but sometimes, try to express it through your actions too. Also, when you make a mistake, apologize with utmost sincerity. Go to lengths to make up for it, and show them that you won’t let it happen again. In doing all of this, you don’t need to go all out and shower them with gifts. You could offer to do some of their tasks or surprise them with movie tickets too.

6. Compliment Them

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Like everyone on this earth, your partner can also feel insecure at times. And I’m sure you can relate to that as well. Remember that every human being craves encouragement and positive remarks. So boost your partner’s self-esteem by complimenting them often.

The best way to go about this is by keeping it random and realistic. For instance, tell them they look beautiful when they wake up – even if they have bedhead or drool.

7. Participate In Activities That They Enjoy

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You don’t have to always do this one, but show them you’re at least trying. Take up a hobby they like, knit with them or go to their favorite restaurant that you really think is a 4/10. In relationships, you have to make some compromises. Hence, sometimes, to make your partner happy, even if you don’t like them, you should do the things that they like, anyway.

Remember that it is also important to not let your disregard show, even if you think it was a bad idea. You can tell them later that you didn’t care that much for it, but in the moment, keep a positive attitude. Your partner will always appreciate any effort that you make to keep them happy.