If you're anything like me, you love surprises (a lot) but don't get them very often. Yet you set yourself up to fail over and over again. This is my experience: Every time my boyfriend is inexplicably late from work, or being annoying for no apparent reason (in my opinion) this little voice in my head starts to say... "maybe he's planning a surprise for you...". And I've done this so many times that I've trained another voice in my head to attempt to quash this little voice. That one will say "no, he's just late, there's no surprise. Don't get excited!"
But no matter how I try to convince myself otherwise, that little optimistic voice is there. And 99 times out of 100 it is sorely disappointed, because my boyfriend is stuck in traffic, or just having a bad day. And the next time he's late... it happens all over again! It really doesn't seem to matter how many times I don't get a surprise. What if this is the time I get one? It's a vicious cycle that I set myself up for... and I'm sure I'm not the only one! In fact, I know I'm not because I recently spoke with another woman who does the exact same thing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying my boyfriend is a bad one because he is anything but. He is an excellent boyfriend. He just doesn't put the same stock in surprise as I do. Whereas I am constantly thinking about little ways to surprise him, he does not have the same thought processes. He just legitimately doesn't think about these things. But I really wish he would!
Part of our problem is that I don't want to ask for a surprise. Not much of a surprise right? So how does one go about getting the idea across without flat out asking? I have 2 suggestions: reciprocity and hinting.
You should start with reciprocity. Not only is it fair, it's also fun! You get to experience the joy of planning a surprise for your partner as well as their joy in the moment. If you read my blog you know that mutual joy is one of my favourite things about surprise. If you put this effort in, and let them know why you're doing it (because you want more surprise in your own life) then they might start reciprocating. If it fails to get the desired result, well... you tried and made your partner feel special in the process.
Hinting is the next step. Unfortunately, it is inherently subtle. If you're too subtle, your partner might not understand what you're getting at, or even that you are trying to get at something (who hasn't had this experience?). And if you're too blunt you're basically just telling them, which is not ideal when you want more surprises (though it is the preferred method for getting what you want generally).
So... insert my new hinting cards! The idea is that you download these cards (for free!) off of this article, print them out and put them in places your partner is likely to find (car, coat pocket, taped to the back of his phone... etc).
There's a few awesome things about these cards. First, they're not that subtle... your partner will get it. But they save you from actually having a conversation about surprise, so you can still be unsuspecting when it happens. Second, it saves you the nagging (and the feeling of being a nag). Third, your partner will remember them because they're unusual (unlike the nagging). And fourth, if he doesn't throw them out right away, they will keep on reminding him whenever he sees them.
I have also designed them with the oblivious (but loving!) in mind. There are 4 and they get more obvious as they go. So my suggestion would be to place them, one by one, seeing what comes back from each, before placing the next. Give each one some time to work. Ideally, you will have already done some unexpected things for him (and told him why) so you shouldn't need to get to #4. But it's there for you just in case!
So print these puppies out and start dropping them strategically. You never know what might come back! And if you have a friend who could benefit from this free download please share this post. I'd love to hear from you if you've used them, intend to use them, or even just set yourself up for disappointment like I do! Thanks for reading and, as always, you can connect with me over social media on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.