Love-Life on a Budget

Looking to leave a lasting impression on your date, but not ready to invest in that private helicopter tour? Try these alternatives that will show you’re in a romantic mood without a huge tab at the end of the night.

1. Salsa dancing and Latin fare: Most cities have a free or low-cost salsa-instruction night at a local restaurant or bar. Plan for dinner in advance followed by a little instruction and an evening on the dance floor. Dancing is a great way to get close while staying classy. Plus it’s a chance for her to wear that ruffled dress she needs an excuse to wear out. For guys, black slacks and a button down shirt and you’re ready to go. No tie needed for Latin night.

2. Movie and a meal: Rather stay in than go out? Create your own version of “dinner and a movie”. It could be anything from watching Chocolat and preparing a fancy dessert to watching the Godfather and whipping up some homemade lasagna. The important thing is to pick a theme and stick with it. It shows that you put time and thought into planning the date, and that’s good for major brownie points! Prepare the meal together and enjoy the sensuous food experience.

3. Adult Ed: Sound like a strange way to get romantic? Think about a partner’s cooking class, or maybe pottery? Everyone can picture that seductive scene in Ghost…Adult education classes can be weekly or a one-time event, and are very reasonably priced. It’s sure to be unique, and learning together generally results in lots of laughter and closeness.

4. Art museum and jazz: Almost all art museums have at least one free night each week. Pick a wing to explore together and take your time to relax and enjoy the discussion that flows. Finish the evening with coffee and dessert at a low-key jazz club, where the sharing of ideas can continue in a romantic atmosphere.

5. Outdoor picnic: Some dates have become classics for a reason. Prepare a light picnic meal in advance, (wine, cheese, fresh bread, fruit, honey) and choose a secluded spot. A spot that can become “yours” when you walk down memory lane. Remember to keep the hiking light so you’re feeling calm and confident when you arrive. Time it right and get to your destination to watch the sun set during dinner.