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50 Ways To Be Romantic on the Cheap


It's Valentine's Day! If you’ve got a significant other, I highly recommend you keep the spark of your relationship alive and find ways to show you appreciate each other, every week and every day, if possible.

Look for little, inexpensive ways to be romantic, and it will pay off for your relationship in innumerable ways.

Why inexpensive? Well, you could rent a limo and take your love to a snooty French restaurant, or whisk him or her off to a trip to the snow-capped Alps, or rent a stadium and have the Three Tenors sing love songs for you while the New York Philharmonic plays in the background. I don’t know about you, but I can’t afford to do that kind of stuff more than a few times a month. The rest of the time, I have to resort to cheaper options.

Before we get into the list, let’s look at a few notes on how to use the list:

1. Weekly Dates

I recommend you have a date at least once a week with your partner. It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, but at least find some way to spend a couple hours time together. If you’ve got kids, like I do, find a babysitter.

2. Communicate

Romantic gestures don’t take the place of real communication. Take time to talk about your goals, your dreams, your plans for the future, your current lives, things you’re happy about, things you love about the other person, things you’d like to work on, things you’re grateful for.

3. Inspiration

This list contains a lot of obvious stuff — you could probably come up with twice as many good ideas yourself. But the list doesn’t aim for originality — it aims to be an inspiration. Pick and choose some good ideas, or use it to spark some of your own. Sometimes we just need a little reminder.

OK, enough talk. Let’s look at some ways to be romantic without breaking your budget.

1. Write a poem

2. Cook a romantic dinner

3. Give a full-body massage

4. Pack a sunset picnic

5. Pick wildflowers on the way home

6. Burn a CD with love songs

7. Give dark chocolates

8. Read poetry together

9. Prepare strawberries with fondue chocolate

10. Snuggle together on a rainy day

11. Leave little love notes everywhere

12. Send a love email every day

13. Take a moonlit walk on the beach

14. Snuggle together while watching romantic movies (Casablanca, Audrey Hepburn are my favs)

15. Get good wine, watch shooting stars

16. Make your partner a romantic bubble bath

17. Bring home good coffee or a decadent sweet

18. Take a walk down memory lane — visit some of the special places from your early days of dating

19. Make warm chocolate cake for dessert

20. Make a scrapbook with photos, mementos, and little notes from you lives together

21. Kiss in the rain

22. Ride a ferris wheel

23. Sneak away from a party and make out

24. Bring home great take-out, and light some candles

25. Fix something or fix up the house just to make your partner happy

26. Slow dance to romantic music

27. Take a nap together

28. Kiss slowly

29. Make a list of everything you love about him or her

30. Write a love letter

31. Clip or email things that make you think of him or her, every day

32. Go to a movie, ignore the movie, and make out like teenagers

33. Groom yourself, and try to look good for your partner

34. Take some quiet time and talk about your day

35. Write little notes, one for each way he or she drives you crazy

36. Feed each other grapes

37. Recreate your partner’s favorite romantic movie scene

38. Pretend you’re going on a first date — show up at the door with flowers, all dressed up, with your car washed and cleaned, looking spiffy. Recreate the first time

39. Create a little box with a bunch of your partner’s favorite things inside

40. Paint each other with flavored body paint. Be creative!

41. Get dressed up, be daring, have fun

42. Give a little token to your partner to wear, and say it’s to remind him or her all day that you love them

43. Sing a favorite song to him or her. Only do this if you can sing fairly well

44. Have dinner on the roof, with some candles. This doesn’t work if your roof slopes sharply

45. Hold hands, and walk somewhere with lots of pretty lights

46. Say I love you. In a different way, every day

47. Take a walk on the Venice canals

48. Declare your love, very publicly

49. Fruit or berries and freshly made whipped cream

50. Tell each other a secret you've never told another person

A bonus way, 51, is brought to you by USC Credit Union! Own your financial future by becoming a member of a financial institution that is here to help you on your financial journey. Financial responsibility is attractive, after all. Learn more here.


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