How to Surprise Your Spouse
Choose an ordinary day to surprise your spouse. Always choosing special days like anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc. lessens the sense of surprise.
Make sure the surprise is about your spouse and not about you. Don't pick a weekend away at a location that you love but your spouse could care less about. Even if you don't enjoy something like opera or basketball, or going to a museum, or a day of shopping or fishing or working in the garden, if that is what your spouse likes to do, the surprise will be your willingness to share such an activity with your mate. Be willing to go outside your own comfort zone.
Don't manipulate your spouse. Make sure a surprise gift is something your spouse wants and not something you want. Don't give a cookbook if you want your mate to cook more. Don't give a lawnmower to your husband if you want the lawn mowed more often. Don't give sexy lingerie to your wife if you want more sex.
Listen to your spouse. If you want your spouse to be pleasantly surprised, notice the type of things liked or enjoyed by your spouse. Be aware of what he/she stops to look at in stores or mentions in conversations.
Don't spend money you don't have on the surprise. Going in debt is not a pleasant surprise.
If you plan a trip or overnight stay, do all the planning. Don't surprise your spouse with a weekend or night away and then expect your partner to arrange for child or pet care, time off work, dinner reservations, etc. Really, really make it a surprise by putting in the effort to handle all the details including making sure that your plans won't interfere with plans already made by your spouse.
Don't let a tight budget be an excuse for not surprising your spouse. Create a treasure hunt with an inexpensive gift or coupon as the surprise at the end of the hunt. You can make a romantic dinner at home, a picnic for just the two of you, or give a coupon for a day without responsibilities.
Don't surprise your spouse with a pet. Owning a pet needs to be a mutual decision.
Keep your surprises simple. The more elaborate you make your surprise, the more things can go wrong. Don't make surprising one another a competitive event. Elaborate and expensive trips and gifts should usually be planned together.
Try to create meaningful surprises. While you are creating a memory with a surprise, you are also hopefully creating a meaningful intimate moment.