“Sorry, I can’t. I have a hot date tonight!”
Date night is a regular occurrence in my marriage for 2 reasons: 1. I married THE most amazing man on the planet, and 2. it is absolutely necessary in order to keep our marriage strong and healthy. Below are some ideas that can help keep romance in your life– and your budget.
1. Reconnaissance Missions– Each weekend Ben and I have been trying out 1 or 2 independent coffee shops from a list I found on a local blog. It’s a low-cost coffee date with an adventurous twist (yay for GPS). What can you discover in your neck of the woods? Historic sites or beautiful hiking trails? Independent art galleries or unique food markets? If you can’t find an established blog like I did, why not start your own and pave the way?
2. Learn Something New– I destroy my husband at most card games because I’ve been playing most of them with my mom since I was old enough to say “hit me.” To even the playing field, we spent an afternoon learning a new card game (thanks to Google) and playing from equal experience. Perhaps you both learn to kayak? Maybe try a completely foreign style of cooking that requires skills neither of you have learned before (sushi)? Learning something new together puts you on equal footing and is something that you will share with only each other. Your first kiss with each other may pale in comparison to your first couple’s table tennis championship.
3. Serve Together– Is there anything sexier than a man working in the sun with a smudge of dirt under his eye in just the right place? How about one who is doing work for someone in need? Swoon! When you serve together you feel good about yourself and you get a chance to see the truly attractive qualities in the other person. Oh yeah, and you get to do some good in the process.
4. Make Lists– Feel like you are running out of things to talk about? Designate a notebook and make lists with each other over coffee or at home in your living room. Lists can include places you would like to visit together, favorite memories together, names of future or invisible pets (or children), favorite childhood TV shows, or things you would like to accomplish in your life together. Save the notebook and flip back through it from time to time.
Lastly, notice small opportunities for romance.
- Ask them out in a creative way, like mailing a card to the house or leaving an old-fashioned “check yes or no” note. Sometimes Ben calls me on the phone- from the guest room in our house while I am in the kitchen- just to ask me if I’d like to go on a date.
- Set the expectations beforehand with sweet text messages or notes on the bathroom mirror leading up to the date. Make sure you get dressed up for each other sometimes. Sometimes my husband will sneak outside and ring the doorbell as if he is arriving to take me out.
- Give a thoughtful and thrifty gift. Flowers are always nice- my husband once bought 1 rose and gave me an album with 12 pictures of that rose at places that were meaningful to us (and I got the rose). Buy a bag of sunflower seeds or a bottle of Coke, whatever they are addicted to, and give it as a gift.
Spending money doesn’t guarantee romance. It really is the thought that counts. What are some other ideas for budget-friendly romance?