Let me guess, here’s your plan for every love month:
– Surprise my love with a bouquet of flowers and a heart-shaped box of chocolates
– Watch a movie
– Eat at a fine dining restaurant and chat over glasses of expensive wine
Of course, you don’t stop there. You plan to send serenaders to your love’s office to sing your theme song to her. You want her to feel special. You want to show your love using the biggest expression possible. You’re thinking, “the grander the gesture, the more expensive the surprise, the deeper the love.” But after the love month, how’s your bank account? Will it need more love from you?
Let me share with you some Budget Dating Tips so you can creatively express your love without hurting your bank account.
1. Fine dining is not always fine.
Why is it that when dating, the default go-to is a fine dining restaurant? Just speaking honestly here — most of these restos just serve average-tasting dishes in small portions. The “expensive wine” sometimes tastes the same as some random table wine. It is as if you are just paying for the name of the restaurant.
So, to ensure value for money and a good experience for both of you, why not have DIY fine dining. Maybe you can set up an elegant table and chairs in a garden or in your backyard, or even at your apartment. You can install some cute fairy lights and play romantic tunes to set a romantic mood.
What makes this experience special is the bonding you can get while you are cooking the food. Your time in the kitchen is the quality time that can strengthen your relationship. You are even more likely to appreciate the food because they all came out from your teamwork.
If you want a cheaper food bonding, try a street food crawl. It is more affordable and more adventurous. The experience can even bring you back to your young, college years.
2. Go beyond the mall.
Are you thinking of just “Netflix and chill” for a budget-friendly date? You can do much better than that. You can be more creative yet more romantic by taking your partner to unusual entertainments that are affordable and even free.
You can have a good time in free parks like Luneta which has colorful fountain shows every night. Around the area are free museums where you can visit while appreciating our culture. If both of you are into music, there are a lot of small-scale gigs which charge less than 300 pesos, inclusive of drinks. Not only did you enjoy the music, but you also supported the indie music scene.
If you really want to see a movie, why not consider watching it at an independent movie house. These independent movie houses showcase a variety of quality films while being cheaper than the mall cinemas, plus the comfy seats, and the less crowded. There are a lot of other choices of entertainment. You just need to go beyond the comfort of the mall.
3. Flowers wither, chocolates get bitter
Notice that traditional gifts during February do not last too long? Flowers wither the next day. Chocolates get consumed the same night. Why not try giving a personalized gift that can stand the test of time.
Handwritten letters or handcrafted cards are way cheaper but they can express the greatest affection. The time you spend writing the words in the love letter says more about your love than merely buying something from a store.
If you are not good with words, you can try cooking the trendy fried chicken bouquet. If you are good at music, then you can try the traditional “harana”. There are a lot of other ways to give a gift. Just think about your partner’s interest and your strengths, then let your imagination come up with something fun and unique.
Showing your love does not mean breaking the bank because love does not equate to money. Sometimes, those things which do not have much monetary value are the most valuable to our loved ones. The saying, “It’s the thought that matters,” did not become a cliche just because. It is always true and is most applicable in this every day we need to make special efforts to the one we love.
THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.
1. How have you been celebrating the love month in the past years?
2. How are you going to have a budget-friendly date?
3. What creative yet affordable gift are you going to give to your loved one?
SHARE in the comments below your own ideas for dating on a budget while expressing your best intentions!
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