Keeping things fresh, maintains a healthy relationship. This is emphasised by expressions like “variety’s the spice of life”. However, a nine-to-five or family routine makes this ideal near impossible. Both men and women agree that great communication, feeling appreciated, whilst achieving new things together can help. Then there’s the advice of avoiding arguments over the M word. No, not Marriage - but Money, a major reason why relationships break down. The following suggestions may help you keep love alive, whilst sticking to a budget…
Share a hermit day. Enjoy time where you ‘kick it’ in your cute, yet comfy home-wear. More people than we imagine enjoy the idea of relaxing together at home watching a good film. Talking or simply sitting in ‘comfortable’ silence indicates you enjoy each other’s company. It can warm-up other bedroom activities too. A long-lasting intimacy comes from understanding someone well and is achieved through spending quality time in an environment where you’re both free to be yourselves. But remember, home alone is very different to home with your partner. There is no excuse for ‘letting one rip’ or talking on the phone to your friends for 2 hours. Bear in mind the ‘quality’ in quality time. Be on your best, yet homely behaviour.
Cost: Under £10
This can be indoors or outdoors and is low-cost fun. Try visiting a creative space such as a museum, art exhibition or preparing a picnic (when the English weather allows). A favourite from both men and women has been cooking together. Though this is bad news for those allergic to the kitchen, it’s a recession proof remedy to a hungry belly. The West African etiquette of inviting someone to eat with you shows that sharing food encourages bonding and close relationships. Making something from nothing is a good assurance that you can build a home, family and life together.
Cost: Under £50
After Money, comes the F word – Facebook. Whether inappropriate interactions or some strange social media dependency; this is another area of contention for many relationships. However, spending time online isn’t always divisive. Using the digital world to your dating advantage, can eventually lead you out the house. Browse sites such as Wowcher, Groupon, Lastminute.com and Living Social for online cinema deals, events, restaurants, spas, dance classes, whatever interests you both. This way you learn about what your lover loves (apart from you). Taking your relationship beyond four walls is also a great opportunity to see your significant other in a real social situation. Someone’s personality can alter drastically from an intimate setting to a public environment. No-one likes ‘faithful in the bedroom, flirty in the street’, so filter out these red signals before it’s too late.
Cost: Under £100
Challenge yourself outside your comfort zone. Mini adventures such as an extreme sport, rally racing, a hot air balloon ride, a trip to an amusement park or paintballing with friends releases endorphins (the happy hormones). Regular laughter can often reduce the impact of a petty argument or dispute. So search all the deal sites for unique activities. You also won’t need to sacrifice more than one day on the weekend, if you have commitments during the week.
Cost: £100 +
If you feel the need to getaway for longer, plan a low-cost or luxury holiday. In the early stages of a relationship, you’ll be excited to play house. Alternatively you may actually need a break from mummy, daddy duties. Either way, anytime out of the school holiday periods are best to travel to your dream destination. This way you’ll avoid high-prices and highly-excitable kids under your feet. Unless someone’s treating the other; please remember not to argue about money. If one of you can afford to pay in one lump sum, and the other can’t, simply agree a monthly amount that you can both put into a holiday fund covering fares, accommodation and spending money. The saving and travelling experience is great way to practice working together. It may reveal more about your partner and teach you how to resolve conflict, as you negotiate on a daily basis about what to eat, where to go and things to do.
Overall, the sense of achievement that comes from doing things together whilst keeping costs down should reduce stress and make you happier. This ultimately creates an enjoyable and hopefully life-long adventure together.
Words: Nadine Caesar
Photo Source: miraimages.photoshelter.com