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Ways to Be Romantic on a Budget

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I'm passionate about health, wellness, social issues and relationships. I offer relatable content and solid advice.

Couple in love

Couple in love

Simple Love and Romance

Some of our greatest memories of falling in love were in our youth—maybe middle school, give or take a few years. When we were kids, we probably didn't have a lot of money to spend on love, but we didn't need it to feel the sparks! I remember when carving your initials on a tree was the ultimate gesture of true love!

There are plenty of ways to show love without spending a lot of money. It requires a little creativity and planning. If you're short on either of these, the following tips can help fan the flame and ignite your imagination.

Kids in love

Kids in love

Love Letters

Love Letters

Tip #1 Write a Romantic Love Letter

Before technology, people showed their love through written word. Love letters of the past consumed pages. Feelings that poured out in pen created letters held close to the heart for years to come.

It was one of the most popular forms of showing love and deep affection to another. There's no reason why you can't bring this gesture back to life with your own love letter to someone special.

Before you begin writing, you need a few budget-friendly tools:

  • A thesaurus; online or book form.
  • A pen that writes well.
  • Draft paper or note paper.
  • Stationary or at least a nice clean sheet of paper.
  • A spritz of perfume or cologne (an added touch). If you don't own any, go to a mall or department store and pick up a sample, rub it on the letter, or spray it on the letter while you are in the store.
  • An hour of time you can dedicate to writing the letter.

You can begin the letter with a reflection on the current state of the relationship. Perhaps you have been married a while. You can express what you may not have time to say on a daily basis, because your lives are busy.

If it is a new love, you can breathe an air of excitement into the letter, hopes and dreams for the future, and those fluttery feelings felt now!

If the relationship is rocky, that's Ok too: "I realize it's been a tough year for us, but I want you to know..." Also, include memories of the good times. Nostalgia has a positive effect on the brain, and it can make someone instantly happy!

In all scenarios, it’s always flattering to mention what attracted you to this person, and how you felt when you met.

A good letter should be about a page length. If you write small, expand your letter size. Make it legible, not sloppy. Now is the time to show your best writing, because that reflects the effort you took to write the letter. Effort is 99% of the romance in this gesture! It's a great honor to receive a love letter.

A love letter is about writing your feelings using descriptive words and displaying in-depth affection. A thesaurus is very useful. I find it helpful to write a draft- that way it is coming from your heart. Get it all out, like a "free-write". Go back through and find common words such as "good", "great", "like", "feel", "fun", "nice," you get the point. Use the thesaurus to replace words like these. Get real friendly with descriptive adjectives!

Don't forget to be flattering to the person you love! Genuine compliments are truly romantic! You can also consider making the letter a little steamy.

The way you deliver your love letter can include an extra romantic gesture as well. You could mail it to your loved one even if you live together. You could put it under his/her pillow to wake up to on Valentine's Day. You could have someone else deliver it.

Romantic Evening at home

Romantic Evening at home

Tip #2 Create a Special Night at Home

Most of the time I view my house as the stomping and romping grounds for my two kids. I can't usually visualize my house beyond chores and work. However, in a new light, you can really make the most of your home when it comes to romance.

Quick tip: Unplugging makes it easier to focus on each other- turn off the phones and don't be tempted by the TV.

A list of romantic activities to do at home:

  • Cook dinner together or for the other person, depending on what you think they would prefer. If you usually cook dinner for this person, skip to dessert or a sexy snack. Make dessert sexy with chocolate cake, ice cream sundaes, or fruit with creamy sweet dip.
  • Give the other person a massage or agree to massage each other. You can find inexpensive massage oils at various retailers, online, or make your own. Make your own together and test it out.
  • Create a special place to snuggle and/or create the mood. A cozy blanket by the fireplace, take a bath together, a porch swing watching the sunset, et. cetera.
  • Bring home their favorite take-out and light some candles.
  • Make a CD with love songs you both like, and listen to that while eating, drinking, or snuggling.
  • Play dress-up. You could slip into something "a little more comfortable" or you can have some fun. After Halloween is over, stores have great prices on costume items. Stock up. I got a "school girl" outfit for $8! Dress up for each other or for your loved one!
  • Homemade massage oils make great gifts or a romantic gesture. Choose a single base oil and add up to 3-4 essential oils.
Love outdoors

Love outdoors

Tip #3 Outdoor Fun

The outdoors is the perfect backdrop for a sexy or romantic outing with your loved one. Please consider whether the other person appreciates the outdoors.

Nature has a way of bringing out the positive vibes—it keeps us present in the moment, active, and helps us experience things using all of our senses.

  • Picnic. When planning a picnic, choose some of the other person's favorite foods. Decide whether you want the place to be more secluded or public. Find a spot where the view is good or private. If your are both active, you can plan a hike before reaching a place to have your picnic.
  • Star-gazing. Find a nice, open area on a clear night. Plan to park and snuggle. Bring a blanket and maybe some hot cocoa or another beverage of choice. Read up on your star knowledge so you can impress your loved one- it can make for delightful conversation. Choose the best date and times to star-gaze. You can look this up according to your location. Bring a telescope if you have one or can borrow one.
  • Find a nice place to walk and feed some birds. Carve your initials on a tree or log. Read or recite a poem to the other person or take turns reading poetry to each other from your smartphones.
  • Explore. Pick a spot or town you have not been to at all, or very often, with your loved one. Explore this place together. We have a lot of neat small towns in our area. It's exciting to be a "tourist" for the day.

Take a souvenir with you- a sea shell you found together, a rock, or some flowers to bring home and dry or put in a vase.

Love Story

Love Story

Tip #4 Make Your Own Story

Years ago there was a site where you could create your own story with your kids being the main character. The storyline was pretty simple, but we had a lot of fun with it. I still have the "books" printed and saved away.

The stories ranged from humorous to adventurous to everyday good fun. You really don't have to get terribly creative with this. The goal is to have fun! The look on someone's face as they turn the pages of their story is priceless, and cheap!

Tools you many need include:

  • Scrapbook or cardstock paper found at craft stores or construction paper is fine too, but not as durable.
  • Scissors.
  • Random crafting supplies you have on hand. Stickers, colored pens, etc.
  • Stapler for stapling the pages together. It doesn’t need to be bound fancifully.
  • Old pictures, especially of you and your special someone.
  • Tape or sticky tabs found in scrapbooking aisles of craft stores, and some retailers.

About eight pages makes up a great book, and a thoughtful gesture. You can begin the book when you met, and move on through the most memorable times throughout the relationship. Add your personal flair to it. Tape behind the pictures to place on the paper pages or illustrate yourself if you're artsy- stick figures might be humorous, playful, and cute, just be sure to put effort into them and personalize them.

Your can get creative as you want—maybe you show up as a knight in shining armor or a witch or wizard who cast a magic spell on your loved one! You can add clipart to your pages as well.

Love Notes

Love Notes

Everyday Romance

Everyday Romance

Tip #5 Everyday Ways to Show You Love Them

You don't have to make one big, grand gesture to show you love someone. There are everyday ways to show it, and often times don't cost a penny! These small gestures go a long way, especially in relationships that are long-term, years down the road when routines settle in. It becomes easy to forget to let the other person know how we feel other than "I love ya babe." "Love you too."

Small gestures can speak volumes:

  • Love notes in a lunch box or car.
  • Take sexy pictures of each other in different poses.
  • Create your own love crossword puzzle or word search for the other person.
  • Make a CD of their favorite music.
  • Kiss on the lips romantically more often.
  • A romantic scavenger hunt.
  • Play a board or card game and have fun together.
  • Recreate something from your first date or the first time you said "I love you."
  • Make a card or a gift from scratch.
  • Dress up and look nice for no special reason.
  • Compliment the other person.
  • Take out some old photos of you two and go through them together.