I like being romantic. And I like life to be an adventure, full of stories to share with your grandkids in the years to come.
So you know, being married, I find it easy to forget to go on dates. It’s just life all of a sudden and there’s no time for that romance I dream of. But when I look at my options, all I see are $100 dates, and I’m like “nu-uh!”
A couple months ago I decided that my husband and I could have a fun “dating” life and still enjoy ourselves without financial guilt. I wrote down a list of dates that are free or pretty cheap and that get you out of the dinner-and-a-movie rut. Not that dinners and movies aren’t great. But they’re not what I want to do every Friday.
1. Go on a walk. Simplicity at it’s finest. You can have great conversation when you have changing scenery at your beck and call.
2. Go on a bike ride. Find a bike trail or take a spin around the neighborhood. If you’re really adventurous, go mountain biking.
3. Visit a park. Find a list of parks in your area and go to them. Take pictures of pretty flowers and make dopey faces at each other.
4. Cook a meal together. Maybe you can’t afford a cooking class, but that doesn’t mean you can’t choose an exotic recipe yourself and ruin it in the comforts of your own home!
5. Clean the house with music on. Chores don’t have to be boring. I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning myself, but if we add a level of goofy to it by dancing or singing, I like it so much more. Think about it: you spend time together and get something done!
6. Grocery shopping together. I just keep coming up with some good ones, don’t I? For some couples, this is a type of date for them, because they’re spending time together and picking out food for the week. And if anything involves food I can get into it.
7. Do a home improvement project together. You have to spend the money on it anyway, so why not let it bring you two together? Projects are one of the best ways to work on your relationship.
8. Play a board game.
9. Read a book aloud. I know some friends that read aloud and even do the voices of the characters. My husband isn’t much of a book person until he can listen to it, so this is a good one for couples like us.
10. Go to First Fridays. This is a local event in my city. It’s a monthly event where art galleries and local businesses in the downtown area open their doors to the public and allow artists to showcase their work. It’s free and it’s cultured. Check to see if your city offers something similar.
11. Work out together.
12. Learn a new language together. This is a long-term project with major benefits. I mean, the hopeful end result is that you’re fluent in another language and so is your spouse. A lot of crazy can happen during this whole ordeal, and I’m all about the crazy.
13. Make a fun movie together. You read it correctly. Write a script, put together costumes, and film it. You can bring more people into it if you want, but I guarantee it will create memories and bring you two closer together.
14. Play with your pet. Don’t have one? Borrow someone else’s pet. Go to a park and play frisbee with your dog, or mess with your cat.
15. Go to the library. Woo-hoo…right? Seriously though, libraries have a lot to offer, like books, movies, and events for its patrons. It’s also enticing for all the rules you can break. Play hide and seek – get in trouble because of your noise level and immaturity. Have fun in the wackiest places. The fastest way to have a dull married life is to be serious all the time. Heaven knows your husband can’t be.
16. Do a puzzle together.
17. See a free community play or concert. A lot of towns and cities offer seasonal entertainment free of charge.
18. Make use of gift cards. My husband and I get gift cards as thank you’s or just because’s, and instead of spending them willy-nilly, we hold onto them until we’re in the perspective that it’s a date night. We get a classy dinner or an ice cream run and we spend no money.
19. Volunteer somewhere. Give back to your community. Find an organization you’re both passionate about and help out for a day.
20. Invent a board game. It’s another possible long-term project, but if you like games then come up with your own. We have one in progress that has something to do with spies.
21. Give each other a lesson in each other’s hobby. The beauty of our relationship is that Adam and I are very different, especially in our interests. He got a kick out of this idea and decided that he would teach me how to weld.
22. Camp out in your backyard. You don’t have to wait until you have kids to do this if you don’t have said kids. Set up a tent, eat s’mores prepared on your stove, and tell each other ghost stories until the wee hours of the night.
23. Go stargazing.