Buy her flowers, they said.
Buy her diamonds, they said.
She’ll love you forever they said.
BZZZZZZZZT! Wrong Answer.
While giving gifts, and going out for a nice dinner is certainly an important part of the modern courtship ritual… romance does not have to cost you an arm and a leg. Spending lots of money does not necessarily communicate love. And spending money that you don’t have to build a relationship with someone means that you’ll pay for it later, and possible in more ways than one as debt collectors and credit card companies start calling, and eventually, an adjustment in lifestyle to match your income may cause relationship frustration, if you’ve set expectations for an expensive romance.
Let’s look at some ways you can be romantic, and communicate love, without breaking out the plastic, and without spending all your cash.
In this day and age of testing and facebook, we’re missing out on a classic and in fact, classy form of communication that will melt her heart, and make her love you more. Take the time to grab a piece of paper and a pen. If you’re really cheap you’ll write on the back of old bills or envelopes or napkins, but if you’re going to spend money, buy a nice notebook, a legal pad, or some nice stationary.
Write out your affections, and the reason behind them.
Don’t just say, “I love you.” Write WHY you love her.
Reminisce about some time you have spent together, and talk about how it made you feel. A) Women love that stuff. B) You’d be surprised how communicating your feelings on paper, and with a pen, rather than a touch screen keyboard actually makes you appreciate your sweetheart.
Spend the money to send it through the mail. Who DOESN’T like getting an actual letter in the mailbox? Even if you’ve been married and living in the same house for 15 years, a handwritten letter and envelope feels great to receive.
45 cents to a dollar for postage
1-5 dollars for a notebook (free if you write it on a napkin)
.25 – 2 dollars for a pen. (free if you take one from the bank.)
The art of the picnic. You don’t need to go out for a fancy meal. Make sandwiches from home. (Tuna fish or peanut butter is cheap!) Or – if you want to spend a little, snag a hot and ready $5 pizza, a $5 footlong sub, or some $1 cheeseburgers, fill your water bottles with ice water or iced tea, put it in a bag, a basket or a box. Don’t forget plates and silverware if you need them, and grab an old sheet or a blanket, and pick out your spot.
Every community has some kind of park. Many of them have picnic tables. Most of them have a grassy area. Spread out your sheet or blanket, and eat together.
Remember, conversation is more important than the food. So ask questions about her, and listen to her responses.
If the weather isn’t cooperating, consider a picnic at the library, at the mall, in the living room of your apartment, or even in the car, parked in an interesting place.
Minimal, depending on food choices.
3. Sticky Notes.
You can grab a multi-pack of sticky notes at the dollar store. Write little things you love about your sweetheart, and leave a trail of them.
4. Remember Remember the Fifth of November
Forget V is for Vendetta, but remember important anniversary dates. Get a calendar and ink it in – or if you use google calendar, or your iphone, set a recurring reminder. But don’t just remember wedding anniversaries. Remember any important date that you can.
You can also take a few minutes and do the math. Calculate on a random day how many days, hours, weeks, months, you’ve been together, and throw a surprise celebration.
5. Think outside the box.
If you really want to be a romantic without breaking the bank, the secret is just to be creative, and to find things to do that don’t cost any money, or that cost very little.
It’s often the creative thought itself that communicates the romance, more than the activity or the gift.