Every couple has their own way of expressing love. But from going to the movies to buying each other gifts, money is always a factor — especially if you live in an expensive city. Honestly, it can be hard to find ways to be romantic when you're broke. But you don't have to spend cash to express your love. There are plenty of ways to show your partner how much you care without digging deep into your wallet.
"The false notion of romance equating to finance is very toxic, and mind you, money is the number one reason couples argue. Let's put money to bed once and for all — to be more romantic, while fancy dinners and shows of affluence might take our breath away, they are evolutionary in some ways; but there are more ways to beat your chest and show your mate you mean business. Evolutionary speaking, being able to show off assets helps us recognize that our partner can 'help us survive.' So, what was once a leg of dinosaur and berries, is now expensive jewelry and a leg of lamb. You can do this on a budget, or free, with the same (if not more) impact," says zen psychotherapist and neuromarketing strategist Michele Paiva in an interview with Bustle over email.
Money is a tough topic to talk about, especially when you're in a romantic relationship. But thankfully there are ways you can express your love to your partner without having to bring it up. Here are nine ways to be more romantic when you can't afford date night.
1. Give Your Partner A Massage
One of the best ways to feel more connected with your SO is through touch. Instead of spending money on flowers, your partner will appreciate a good rub down after a long day at the office. "Find a YouTube [video] of massage techniques, and give your amour a loving, healthy massage. (Bonus: it boosts oxytocin, the love and trust chemical)," says Paiva.
2. Go To The Library
Do you remember the last time you went to the library? Probably not. Due to the quiet space, you and your partner can learn how to communicate in different ways while you experience something new together. "Go to the library together; spend time being quiet, focusing on eye contact and connecting on cerebral levels," says Paiva
3. Have a Meaningful Conversation
It's really important to have a deep, meaningful conversation with your SO every once in a while. It can revitalize the spark and make you feel connected with your partner. "Have a meaningful conversation. The best [gift] you can give is your time and focus," says Paiva.
4. Take Care Of Your Partner's Home Responsibilities
For myself, I rather come home to clean dishes than a bouquet of roses. While flowers are sweet, they usually don't ease everyday stress. "Romance isn't about grand gestures — it's about being thoughtful. [Do] things that your partner enjoys or what could make their life easier. We have to stop thinking that romance is about flowers or gifts with big price tags," says sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Logan Levkoff.
5. Have A Picnic
Reconnect with your partner the old-fashion way by having a picnic together. Leave your phones at home and have meaningful conversations while you snack on grapes. "This is an economical way to show nurturing and nurturing is so much about love. You really don't nurture unless you really love someone as far as doing anything with," says Paiva.
6. Write A Poem
Roses are red, violets are blue, you should write a poem because it will reconnect you and your boo. While that was cheesy, writing a little note or small poem can show your partner that you're thinking of them. "Poetry is a way to capture a moment and so often the reason why poetry moves us so much — including or specially haiku — is [because it] captures the moment. Show someone that you remember a moment lost in time but captured in heart," says Paiva.
7. Show Them You Listen
Another way to be romantic with your partner is by showing them that you listen to them when they speak. If they have briefly talked about a book they wanted to purchase, randomly buy and give it to them. Not only it will be a great surprise, but it will make them feel loved because it shows that you listened to them, even if the conversation wasn't that big of a deal. "In terms of showing you care, familiarity helps: a small gift from a favorite store or favorite snack, [or] share a piece of art music or literature you think they will they love based on what they have already told you about what gets them going," says licensed to practice marriage and family therapy Gracie Landes in an interview with Bustle over email.
8. Be Engaging With Your Partner
It doesn't seem like much, but if you want to be romantic without spending money, simply just show interest in your partner's conversation. Don't check your phone or watch TV. Your partner won't feel connected if you don't pay attention when they talk. "Really the biggest [way to show that you care] is [by] paying attention. That means looking at your partner when they speak and finding ways to show them you heard [them], such as asking questions to be sure you get it and want more information: what was it like for you when that happened? What does it mean to you? What is your take on this situation? Would you like to experience it again? Things that bring out more information about the other person, who really will become more interesting as you learn more of the nuances that make them unique," says Landes.
9. Try Something New Together
You don't have to spend a lot of money if you want to try something new together. Search the Internet, and find new, unique dates you both can go on. Explore a neighborhood you guys have never been to before, go to a museum during free nights, or try to make ice cream at home. Anything can work if you try to be creative. "Date night really works by bringing people together to [paying] attention to each other, and [creating] a sense [of] specialness; something that naturally occurs when people are first dating. The elements that make any date work are: planning ahead (it won't happen on its own), positive anticipation (looking forward to seeing the other person, imagining how great it will be) novelty, doing new things together, being on good behavior, making sure you look good, [and] really, really focusing intently on your partner. None of those need to cost much money," says Landes.
Images: Pexels; Bustle