Too often, when people think “romance,” they immediately default to over-the-top cliches: the room filled with rose petals, the marriage proposal on the ball park screen, a kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower. And sure, maybe once or twice in a lifetime those things are both warranted and doable. But it’s not always necessary to go all out to achieve a romantic setting — there are plenty of little things you can do. Here are five simple ideas to make your dates more romantic:
1. Lose The Cell Phones
No date, especially when you’ve been together for a while, occurs without at least one partner checking their phone. At dinner, one or both of you may put it on the table as if it’s a pet that could nibble from one of your plates. Try eliminating cell phones from a date, or for a weekend. It will help you direct your attention toward (surprise) each other.
But be sure to account for the fact that you won’t have cell phones. Wear a watch, set up times and places to meet, and be precise. Along with making it much tougher for horror movie villains to catch and kill their victims, cell phones have made it easier to find each other. You could use phones until you find each other, and then shut them off. But stick to the rules.
2. Put Price Limits On Gifts and/or Dates
Many fairy tales, cheesy sitcoms and romantic comedies preach that you don’t need money to be happy together. All you need is each other … and Christian Louboutins and a huge HD TV, right? Seriously, though– when you have a lot of money, or spend a lot of money (even though you don’t have a lot of money), it’s easy to make someone happy. It doesn’t require as much creative thinking, either. Setting a budget for gifts and dates means you’ll have to come up with something fun but simple. You could even create a rule where you’re not allowed to spend any money on the date at all (I would love that rule!).