14/02/2017 12:21 GMT | Updated 15/02/2018 05:12 GMT

How To Be Romantic (Without The Effort) This Valentine's Day

My ex-boyfriend used to describe himself as a 'hopeless romantic'. Not because he couldn't help but be romantic, unfortunately, but because he considered himself completely hopeless at doing anything romantic. The mere thought of Valentine's Day would bring him out in a cold sweat.

What do you think of when somebody says romantic gesture to you?

  • Filling a room with her favourite flowers?

  • Standing up in front of all her friends to declare your love for her?

  • Whisking her away on a surprise holiday?

... and all the other classic big romantic movie scenes, I bet.

Those things are obviously nice. But sometimes even just thinking about the amount of effort it would take to organise a big gesture like that can stop people from doing anything at all.

To me, romance isn't all about over-the-top gestures. In fact, sometimes it's the smallest things that stick in your mind and turn your legs to jelly just thinking about them.

For anyone struggling to think about what to do to be romantic this Valentine's Day, who has maybe already given up because it just seems like too much effort, why not start small - have a go at some of these smaller gestures and you may just be surprised with how much she appreciates them.

  1. Breakfast in Bed
  2. An oldie but a goodie. So simple, but so often skipped over. The main thing to remember here is just to get on with it. Trust me, she will be so much happier receiving a fully made breakfast than having to consider how she likes her eggs first then sit in bed for 20 minutes waiting while you fumble about in the kitchen.

  3. Say Something Nice
  4. It always surprises me how rarely men think to pay a compliment. Of course, when you're first dating you are likely to tell her how nice she looks. But she already knows that, because she probably spent about 3 hours getting ready. What is really nice, is when a guy notices something really small and pays a compliment unexpectedly. It shouldn't necessarily even be about physical appearance. "I love the way you bite your lip when you're nervous" might be cheesy, but this sort of thing works because it shows you are paying attention (so long as it is actually something she does, of course).

  5. Let Her Know You're Thinking About Her
  6. How often do you send a text to her, just because? In my experience, this varies a lot. But a little reminder that you are in someone's thoughts during a busy work day can really do wonders for your mood. And will make her that little bit more excited about when she's going to see you next.

  7. Compliment Her In Front of Friends
  8. Casually dropping into conversation an anecdote about something really cool that she did, or said, will make her love you even more. Firstly, the fact that you remembered what she said will give you brownie points. Letting friends know that you noticed is even better.

  9. Repeat and Be Consistent
Humans are creatures of habit. If you do the same thing more than 10 times it usually sticks and becomes a habit. Romance is no exception. The first couple of times you send a text message with a sweet nothing inside, you may feel a little foolish, and you'll probably struggle to think of anything to write. But force yourself to do this every day for two weeks and suddenly you'll find that it becomes easier and you ideas for nice things to say pop into your head more often. You're also likely to start receiving compliments and small romantic gestures in return.

It's easy to be lazy and non-romantic, but actually it's just as easy to be effortlessly romantic too. And I know which man I'd rather be dating this Valentine's.