Baby, it’s cold outside! Yeah yeah, I know the holiday season is over but I can’t seem to stop that song from playing on repeat in my head. I actually had a point by starting out with that line – it IS cold outside – at least in the northeast where Mr. MMM and I reside. I’d like to take this opportunity to share with our readers all about how we date for free. Yes, we are married, but this stuff works for just about anyone who isn’t just starting out. I accept this caveat because there are certain unwritten (I’m sure they’re written somewhere) rituals that span the globe, and state that resources, better known as money in most parts of the world, must be blown on initial dates with a potential long-term partner. It is what it is and there are very strong biological processes that have conditions humans that way. But that’s not a topic we are not going to delve into here on Mad Money Monster. Here, we’re going to focus on how to have awesome dates with your partner for FREE. Yes, Free.
Dates Are Important
Dates are very important to Mr. MMM and I, and we feel they’re necessary to keep our marriage running on all cylinders – I’d like to think we’re a super efficient 4-cylinder :) In all seriousness, we actually like to know what is going on in the other person’s life, and having the occasional date allows us to do just that. I know it’s hard for some people to leave their children or to find a trustworthy babysitter. But if you have the means, I highly recommend continuing to make time for dates long after the newness factor has worn off. For us, a few hours here and there are golden nuggets that have proven to rejuvenate our relationship time and time again. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how we do this…
If you plan it, it will happen. Also, Mr. MMM and I found that if we plan it, it becomes an actual date. You must get it on the books. This gives you something to look forward to, just like you did when you were first starting out. We’re fortunate to have family members (mainly Grandma) who want to spend time with Mini Monster almost every weekend. This allows us to have a few hours of quality couple time. We start off by talking about what we’d like to do early in the week. We each offer up our own suggestions and hammer out the details from there.
Each excursion* inevitably commences with some coffee and tea; this is the first leg of the date. From there, we might do any combination of the following:
- Open Houses – I am a real estate lover and investor so this is totally awesome to me. I can’t get enough of seeing the latest builder trends and what our area has to offer.
- Fall, Winter, Spring, or Summer Hike – Obviously this never happens on the same day, but we love enjoying the various hiking trails that are within spitting distance (that’s a slight exaggeration) of our house. Note: I took the feature pic for this post on a winter hike last year.
- Cooking – We love trying new recipes and eating somewhere other than our normal spot. We found that switching things up from the daily routine makes it special. Cook a meal and eat it on TV trays or out on the front porch. Just a little tweaking makes a huge difference. Try it!
- Movies – Uh, yeah, we love movies. After all, movies are the quintessential date activity. Try a homemade dinner and a movie at home!
- Watch You Tube Videos of Old Commercials From Our Childhood – Yup. So. Much. Fun.
- Break Out Family Albums And Talk About The Past – We try to tell each other funny or interesting stories the other person has never heard before.This gets increasingly difficult as time passes. As if I needed to tell you all that.
- Play Cards Or A Board Game – Who doesn’t love doing this? Charades is my all-time fave.
- Paint! – I don’t mean paint the walls. We might whip out a piece of scrap wood and turn it into something new. I’m serious here. You might not be a Picasso, but I bet you could create a pretty cool abstract! If you are interested in our painted walls, you can check out our home reno post here.
- Visit Antique Stores – We love doing this. It’s a real treat when we find a mid-century modern piece. We don’t buy it of course, but sometimes we try to duplicate it at home with things we already own.
- Make Plans For The Future – We actually map this stuff out. And it’s fun! Think: Career aspirations and vacations! Just for fun, you can read all about our not-so frugal family vacation from last year. Yikes!
This list could go on and on and on, but you get the idea. Combine any number of the items above and you have a pretty awesome and free date!
*Excursion: We head downstairs to our pub table in the family room or out and about IF it’s a VERY special occasion or we have a gift card.
Okay, Mad Money Monsters, let me have it! I want to hear what you guys do for dates with your partner? Please leave a comment and help us add to our list :)
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