Whether you have just met someone and have a romantic interest, or if you have been with your partner for half a lifetime, “date nights” are special times to interact and show someone you care about them. Society has traditions and stereotypical ideas of what activities are considered a proper “date,” but those traditions have little to do with what will create romance or endearment. Getting dressed in formal wear and taking someone to a 5-star restaurant is not a requirement for showing caring and has nothing to do with creating love. What is important is only enjoying each other’s company in a setting where the focus is upon spending time and interacting with each other. Your date, unless they are quite shallow, will not care how much the food or activities of a date cost, but they will appreciate the quality of the time spent together and creativity will give you some romantic bonus points. Here are some suggestions and ideas for fun dates, that can create some romance, without breaking the bank.

  • Throw away the “rules.” Forget the societal standards of gender roles, social status, or acquaintance time, when asking someone out or ways of showing romance. For example, if you are a woman interested in a man, rather than expecting flowers, contact a flower delivery service and send him flowers instead, or even a single rose with a handwritten note, asking him out. Breaking tradition always gains interest.
  • Put away your smartphone. If you must, put it on vibrate and don’t touch it unless you get an emergency call. All your focus should be on your date.
  • Have an old-fashioned picnic. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but get a blanket and pack a box and sit somewhere beautiful and eat and enjoy each other’s company.
  • Go out to dinner, but make it someplace truly unique or a kind of place you have never been. For example, go to a place with live music or dancing or a unique food experience. If you live in the US or Canada, you can find unique restaurants and get good deals by using the local business pages on Groupon.com. For example, if you were in NY City, you could search by city for a japanese restaurant where, unlike the fast-casual Japanese dining experience that many now enjoy, the patrons sit on cushions at low tables and the chefs put on a show, spinning knives and tossing food, while preparing your meal. This certainly will make for a more authentic experience, and you will remember this meal for a long time after. In searching for such a place you may run upon a place like the Mei Hibachi Steak House. Click the deal link and you will arrive at a page dedicated to the restaurant with photos, operating hours, deals, customer reviews and even driving directions. The Groupon site will help you stay within your budget while finding fun places to eat.
  • Candlelight dinner at home. If going out doesn’t interest you, you can cook at home or get takeout, decorate the table, put on some romantic music, candles, flowers, etc., to make it memorable. In this way, you can have a peaceful night together, away from all the outdoor clutter. You could also get cozy later and binge-watch a romantic movie on Netflix. Moreover, if you want to watch a movie that is geo-specific, you may get a VPN service and look for a blog on how to use netflix with vpn.
  • Do something sporting together. Perhaps you can throw a frisbee together in a park, go for a bike ride, do indoor rock climbing at a gym, or in the winter you may go sledding or ice skating. It doesn’t matter if you are good at whatever you choose to do. A bit of ineptitude is great for creating endearing laughter.
  • Plan a surprise road trip. Pick up your sweetheart and don’t tell them where you are going, but just give them an idea of how long you will be gone, whether it be an hour or a week. Go somewhere together that is completely new to them. What you do when you get there could be something like a walk in a forest or on a beach or stroll down the streets of different town.

Whatever you choose to do, remember that it is not the money that matters in matters of romance, it is the only quality of the time spent together.