The Global Economic Crisis affects everything and now that the USA’s debt crisis has put pressure on the economies of every other country we’re all looking for ways to save a penny right? However, I don’t want you all to start using the stock-market melt-down as an excuse to stop being romantic! Sorry guys, tight budgets just won’t wash when it comes to romance – maybe you can’t buy her diamond rings, or go on that Greek Island cruise, but there’s still plenty of great ideas you can work with. I’m no multi-millionaire myself, so when it comes to treating my lovely lady special I usually have to be more creative rather than fiscally extravagant.
So, for all of us feeling the pinch in our hip pockets at the moment (and let’s face it that’s most of us these days) I’ve compiled a list of Big Romantic Ideas for small dollars below. Tell me what you think and, because this is by no means a complete list, feel free to make your own suggestions. Most of these suggestions will work just as well whether your mate is your lovely lady, or your handsome man. Enjoy!
Go for a walk together – this is not for exercise and it usually helps if you can find a nice location to go walking. Try a beautiful forest, or a beach, or river-side.
Organise a picnic – put in some special stuff; your loved-one’s favorite sweets, a bottle of bubbly (doesn’t have to be alcoholic), strawberries (a time-honoured aphrodesiac, especially when shared), etc. Get creative with the food and make sure you select a beautiful, private place (without too many ants, or mosquitoes 🙂
Re-decorate the bedroom – I’m not talking about changing the wallpaper, or building an ensuite, but simple things like a vase full of flowers on her dresser, hang some gauzy material over the window, or drape it off the light shade (make sure it’s not going to catch fire if you turn the lights on). Check out my page ‘Creating Romance’ (http://rym.com.au/wordpress/creating-romance/) for some examples of the crazy things I’ve done to dress up our room and make things special on a low budget.
Arrange a candle-lit dinner – I don’t know what it is about candles, but to the ladies it says ‘romance’. You can try to find a nice restaurant that uses candle-light, but if you really want to impress her (or him), cook something yourself (just a little secret here guys, if you’re no good at cooking, you can get some great instant meals these days, which will look just as impressive if you serve them up on a nice plate). Remember to dress like you are going out to a top restaurant.
Bike ride – like a good walk, if you find the right location and set a gentle pace, it can send all the right messages
Massage – especially if your partner’s main love language is touch (see our e-book for more info; http://www.rym.com.au/eBook.html), offering to give them a massage after a hard-days work, could be just the thing to light the fires for the evening.
Bath – Like a good massage, or a candle-lit dinner, there are little things you can add to a simple bath to make it a truly romantic event for your mate. Pay attention to the temperature of the bath (and the bathroom itself), prepare the bath with a good dollop of bubbles or, if you prefer, scented oils. The bathroom should smell delicious – not over-powering, but some understanding of your mate’s taste in perfumes will help. Set some mood music playing softly. If it’s safe, candle-light works the same wonders on a bath as it does with a good meal. And piece-de-resistance is a glass of bubbly (maybe with a strawberry in it). If your bath is big enough you may want to share it together, but otherwise you may just want to stay close by so you can wash your mate’s back, or feet (my wife loves having her feet washed)
Shower – not every house has a bath, so you can improvise by sharing a shower, with most of the same elements as a romantic bath (although a glass of bubbly doesn’t usually work well in the shower)
Starry, starry night – find a quiet spot, away from the city lights, where you can lie together out on a rug under the night sky a gaze in wonder at the beauty of the Milky Way spread out above you both. Sharing this wonder together can make for a great conversation starter, or simply a great excuse to cuddle. Make sure you’re able to keep your special someone warm enough.
Ice skating / Roller skating / Roller bladeing – I’m not sure what it is about this that is romantic, maybe it’s the whole ‘rescuing the damsel in distress’ from the the hard concrete/ice, or maybe it’s just having a good laugh together/at one-another, or maybe it’s something to do with the giddy feeling of whirling, out of control – the risk of injury makes you feel more alive. I don’t quite understand it myself, but it can be quite romantic. Costs can be kept down if you have your own rollerblades, etc and can just go out somewhere together.
Rent a movie and cuddle up together to enjoy.
Compile a CD of Romantic songs. Make sure there is an area you can dance together.
Movies in the park – I don’t about where you live, but here in our city, the local council regularly arranges free movies in the park. It’s a great opportunity to rug-up together, bring fish-and-chips (or whatever you like to eat – see the picnic suggestions above) and the obligatory bottle of bubbly (if the local regulations allow) and share some free entertainment together. It’s like going to Gold-Class cinema, but more cozy – and it’s free!
Go to the beach – There’s something wonderful about lying side-by-side, within easy reach of one-another, under the warm sun (be careful to wear sunscreen) after splashing around together in the waves. And those salty kisses are really special; very more-ish.
Scenic drive – (this works especially well if you have a convertible on a warm Summer’s day) I’m sure that not far from where you live are some spectacular sights, breath-taking views, or beautiful, tree-lined, meandering back roads. Put on some smooth cruising music, set a realistic distance and time-frame (don’t try to rush it, or drive too far and wear each other out) and just get away from it all for a day, or an afternoon, or an evening. This can also work well if you have a 4WD and go off the road to explore place not many people go.
Go camping – the cheap alternative to staying in an expensive hotel can often also be the more romantic option. Setting up the tent together, sharing the simple things of life, cuddling together under canvas can be a wonderful way to get a romantic break away without breaking the budget.
Build a bonfire – perfect on a cool Winter’s evening although this can sometimes be harder to organise. It’s usually not safe to do in your back yard, but if you’re allowed to make a fire on the local beach, or at a friends farm, or local bushland (check the local rules first) you’ll find a wonderful romantic experience to share. Be prepared with camp chairs, or a rug to sit on, marshmallows to toast and a thermos of hot cocoa to share. If you can’t build a bonfire often just sitting around the fire at home will do the trick.
Keep it personal – there are lots of little romantic things you can do that will cost little, or nothing if you understand your mate’s love language (see our eBook for more details;http://www.rym.com.au/eBook.html). If your partner’s needs are words of affirmation, you could do something as simple as putting post-it notes all over her dressing mirror telling her how wonderful you think she is. If your mate’s love language is gifts, then even a bunch of flowers out of the garden can say ‘romance’ to them. If your loved one speaks the love language of acts of service then coming home to find you’ve cleaned their car for them may be all that’s needed to make them feel romantic.
There’s lots more cheap, or free romantic ideas out there – what works for you?