Creating great date nights or times to have quality time together is not always easy but the effort is certainly worthwhile and especially so for those committed to keeping the love alive and sizzling. Deepening the connection with your partner and maintaining that hidden glow takes commitment- some say work! I’d like to say commitment and the desire to keep the sizzle and flame burning. I recently gave 4 creative ideas to consider – here are three more!
In that post I mentioned that Dr Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., a sociology professor at the University of Washington in Seattle and a relationship expert emphasises the importance of revving up your romantic routine and in particular creating date nights that are tailored made in that they meet the romantic and personality traits of you both.
Let’s look at some examples
You like To Splurge. He likes To Budget. Date Suggestion: Agree to a Splurge to Budget Ratio!
So say for every five or six dates, there is one blow out on an upscale restaurant or adventure or luxurious night away. Get creative in ways that the dates in between are fun but have a ceiling cost so that over a period of several months your budget dates contribute or fund the others. In the end the needs of both of you are met.
My personal opinion is that by addressing each of your needs in this manner the budget nights become an adventure as you are budgeting for two reasons – to have fun as well as to save, and the more luxurious date nights by contrast become elevated – even more special and you’ll feel even more spoilt!
My Own Adventure into Budget Dating
When I was in my early twenties I was living in London. My then boyfriend and I loved to eat out. But at that time in London it was not common for young people to frequent restaurants and the cost compared to the wages made eating out quite prohibitive. To most of our English friends a date night was a trip to the pub, and to keep costs down, a trip to the pub met going half an hour before closing time! So no time and the cost capped by there being NO time for more than a drink or two!
This didn’t gel with either me or my then boyfriend, so we decided to find a solution that did not break the bank but suited our experiences and expectations of a date…romantic, exclusive, and included food AND wine – entertainment a bonus! We set a budget similar to a night at the pub – for our evenings out, and then set to work to find cheap but good restaurants where we could bring our own bottle of wine, and come out of the evening a few pounds more than a quick drink at the pub.
Voilà! We were both on a mission. It was challenging initially but that is also what made it so much fun! Our English friends thought we were insane when we told them of our intentions…
…but their scepticism was short lived! Over a period of six months we amassed a list of restaurants that fed our bodies and enriched our adventure. And we were raving! Our date nights had become an adventure – full of fun and variety! In fact we took turns to finding new restaurants –each taking responsibility for an alternative Friday night!
Within six months we knew every little restaurant within a reasonable radius that had a good ambience, great food and a BYOG (Bring your own bottle) policy and a fixed priced two course menu! And had amassed a list of a further 10 or 12 restaurants that we were keen to try! To the point that after 4 months, our date nights had become legendary! Friends wanted to join us!
Not sure how to deal with this new dilemma – wanting to share our ‘finds’ but not share our date nights we came up with a new approach to our restaurant challenge. We revisited and shared some of our favourite restaurants with friends on a monthly basis and then extended the search to find new haunts for a social gathering to them. We invited them to find new haunts for us all to try- but these haunts had to be tried and tested before being put to the group – which meant we were free to explore on our own as well.
Occasionally we would take a break and go away for the weekend and splurge on accommodation or a special meal in a restaurant known for its cuisine. This felt so decadent! And due to our regular Friday ‘budget’ nights made me feel so special and so loved!
My then partner did not enjoy the glitz of white table cloths and stuffy waiters. Nor did he enjoy exploring new cuisines or flavours… but as a foodie I was in heaven. As Schwartz indicates agreeing up front to a splurge to budget ratio meant that the needs of both of us as individuals were met! It ‘felt adventurous and romantic’ at the same time! And that was certainly my experience!
And ‘best of all, it relieves the money pressures, even when they exist!’
You love to relax. He likes to stay active. Date Suggestion: Be Separate… Together!
The notion that you have to be together and participate in the same thing is somewhat flawed. The reality is that not everyone enjoys taking it easy. I for one get restless doing nothing! I love the beach – but don’t ask me to sit on the beach all day! I would not be a happy bunny by evening!
I once had a boyfriend who when on holiday loved to take a nap after lunch! I discovered this when we first holidayed together in Fiji. After a very romantic lunch together I assumed that his suggestion for a nap was his quiet way of escorting me back to our room for a bit of fun together! Imagine my surprise when he was serious about the nap!
By Day 2 he was napping and I was back by the pool, book in hand! Knowing that for the next few hours I was my own best friend! And that he would emerge in time for sundowners on the beach!
The simple truth is that for some people, relaxing is not relaxing. Schwartz’s recommendation is to ‘find a place where you can chill [and] he can get his heart rate up, like the gym.’ You take a yoga or meditation class while he sweats through spin class, and then afterwards share a healthy lunch or smoothie together.
You have Strong Opinions. So does He! Date Suggestion: Be Creative Develop Some New Interests Together
So what if you and your partner’s tastes don’t seem to overlap? For instance you enjoy romantic comedies while your partner enjoys sci fi.
Rather than choosing one over the other, why not explore new genres together. Google around and explore new options together. As Schwartz acknowledges ‘When people have strong tastes… honor them. Otherwise, both people aren’t going to enjoy themselves’.
I’ve had several loves in my life that have had a keen interest in horse racing. One had grown up in a family that bred race horses, the other has spent his university days as a book maker’s clerk so not only loved the track – loved the mathematical algorithms and skill of the book makers as they adjusted their odds as the bets flowed in!
And I’d grown up in a family that had very strong opinions on women attending race meetings as being inappropriate! So the thought of going to a race track let alone spend the whole day trackside did not sit well with me! So how to allow my horse loving partners their thrills and remain true to mine? Let them go and enjoy and occasionally accompany them knowing I was out of my depth – in what for me was a foreign land.
Well I hope that this has given you some new and novel ways to think about and plan your date nights. It is after all about having fun together and spending time reconnecting and deepening the affection for one another. So go have fun!
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