Don’t you love it when your partner surprises you with a home-cooked meal after a long day at work? It’s nice to feel appreciated—especially when you least expect it.
So we talked to 17 men to find out the most romantic thing a woman has ever done for them. (Interestingly, most of these gestures involve food…) Consider this all the proof you need that the whole “tough guy” image is simply a stereotype:
“I was having a bad day at work and my girlfriend surprised me later that night with a movie screening of my favorite film to take my mind off things. She bought me the DVD, not knowing I already owned it, but it was really the thought that mattered to me.” —Justin S.
“I’m usually the one surprising her on Valentine’s Day, but this past holiday she told me not to plan anything. She made my favorite meal for dinner, we watched movies, and later that weekend she took me to a jazz brunch, which was pretty awesome.” —Darrion M.
“I’m a big hockey fan and my girlfriend surprised me with Stanley Cup Playoff tickets for my birthday.” —Chris P.
“When my girlfriend and I were younger, a family member of mine broke my Xbox and I was stuck without a means of entertainment (which if you know me is a sort of hell). She worked at Coldstone at the time and used her hard-earned money to buy me a new one with some additional games. This was a big deal at the time as we were both in high school and it was something you’d never really expect.” —Nelson S.
“I’m the one who normally cooks, so when I’m working late and I get home, my girlfriend tends to take over cooking duty and sometimes does other chores around the house. That means a lot to me because it shows that she’s taken time out of her day to help out.” —Dan J.
“[She] believed in me.” —Brad F.
“My then girlfriend knew I’d never been to an NBA game and dreamed of going to one. A few months later for Valentine’s Day she surprised me with two tickets row 15 to watch my favorite team play. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. It was a trip of a lifetime.” —Matt G.
“My girlfriend cooked me pancakes with bacon inside them. Can’t really top that.” —Von L.
“[She] put notes of appreciation and love in my lunch box. Earlier this year when my job was taking it’s toll on me, [she] wrote a note [saying] how proud she was of me and how I was handling everything and that she was praying everything would get better for me, because I deserved it.” —Dan S.
“Sailed (not her favorite thing) with me in the pouring rain for about ten hours to reach our destination, only to say ‘I’ll tidy up the boat and get some dinner tonight.’ That’s when I got us a hotel!” —John A.
“Brought me nachos.” —Victor K.
My wife planned a surprise dinner on Valentine’s eve at what she thought was my favorite restaurant, which turned out to be a different restaurant with a similar name! Sweet and innocent as all get out. I was so touched, I will never forget that night!” —Adam S.
“My girlfriend scooped peanut better out of Reese’s cups and put the peanut butter in a jar, because I used to tell her I loved Reese’s and wished I had a jar of their peanut butter. Very sweet.” —Derek S.
“Made a book of everything we had done together with pictures and notes. And inside were two Daniel Tosh tickets.” —Brian R.
“Would write me love notes to help me get through a hard day of work.” —Richard C.
“When dating my wife, she took a cherished t-shirt collection from my college years and turned them into a large quilt over a weekend I was away. Knew then and there she was a keeper.” —Dustin D.
“Came home to find her cooking me dinner in one of my dress shirts…” —Jim L.