Sometimes the pressure to be romantic can put a real strain on a relationship - and not to mention on the bank account. Grand gestures can become meaningless after a while and if date night is increasingly becoming an expensive anticlimax, why not take it back to basics and plan a romantic night in instead?
Here at SavvySave, we adore romance as much as the next person, but we also know that being with someone you love (or lust after) doesn’t have to leave your bank account feeling like it wants to break up with you. After all, it’s the spending time (and not the money!) together that counts.
If you truly enjoy being with someone, whether it’s a blossoming relationship or a decades old marriage, you can do so without it costing an arm and a leg. The trouble is TV shows and movies have conditioned us into thinking that ‘date night’ has to be an all singing, all dancing affair but the reality is that you can have just as much quality time with your significant other in the comfort of your own home.
In fact, SavvySave are hereby declaring war on rom coms and we’re using this blog post to sing the praises of the humble (but romantic!) night in.
Sure, a big night out once every so often is great and we’re not suggesting you never leave your sofa, but many of us don’t have the disposable income to be able to throw down on silver service restaurants and magnums of Champagne every month. But that doesn’t mean your relationship should suffer. In fact we think that sometimes, keeping it low key can be even better. For a start there’ll be no need to argue over who’s going to drive and not be able to have a drink - or to have to fork out for a taxi when you can’t agree. There’ll also be no rushing home from work in time to get changed and get out the door to meet that 7.30pm dinner reservation. There’ll be no waiting for a table. And there’ll be no getting caught in the rain or cold to dampen your mood.
However, if the thought of slaving over a hot stove has you reaching for the phone to book a table at Chez Pricey, why not look at some other dining in options. There’s always your local takeaway or a pizza, but for something a little fancier, did you know that food stores at the upper end of the food chain (we’re looking at you Marks & Spencer and Waitrose) offer meal deals for two?
Maybe cooking is a shared passion, in which case why not sit down before date night and put your heads together to plan your perfect menu. It could be a mish mash of each of your favourite dishes, or perhaps an attempt to recreate a meal you both enjoyed on holiday or another special occasion. Make a shopping list, buy the ingredients, crack open a bottle of wine and see if you can’t just bring that paella you enjoyed alfresco in Barcelona or that Thai green curry you can’t stop thinking about from your last anniversary meal back to life. Even if only one of you is a masterchef in the making, providing they don’t object, you can still ‘cook’ together as long as the other is on hand to chat and keep the drinks flowing!
And if you’ve more than just dinner on your mind (and why shouldn’t you - this IS a romantic night in, after all) why not plan a sexy menu that consists only of food to get you in the mood? BBC Good Food’s aphrodisiac recipe ideas should tickle your taste buds…
While we’re on the subject of fine dining, may SavvySave politely suggest that you dress up for the occasion too? This may be a night in, but making an effort for your partner will make the evening feel just as special as it would if you were going out for the night. You may not feel like going overboard, but getting changed out of your day or work clothes will definitely help to set the mood. After all, there’s just something that feels slightly off about sitting down to a plate of oysters and a flute of bubbly whilst wearing jogging bottoms.
Likewise, if you usually eat on your laps in front of the television, if you have the option, you really should go the extra step and set the dining or kitchen table. That candlelight will make all the difference to the mood and the atmosphere (and to tired faces after a long day spent at work or running around after the kids!)
So, dinner is over...now what? The slightly more obvious options are still great for spending some shared time so don’t feel guilty for doing nothing more than catching up on a TV series that you both enjoy or watching the latest blockbuster or a documentary. Don’t forget the popcorn and dim the lights too. Or maybe you’d prefer something with a little more interaction, in which case why not go old school and play charades or dust off an old board game that is suitable for two players and go head to head in a friendly challenge?
Maybe you feel like the conversation could use a little kick start and if you’re the sort of couple that likes to look to the future, grab a couple of pens and pieces of paper and have a go at writing your bucket lists before swapping and comparing them. By the way, who said bucket lists have to be about travel? Of course you could start throwing around ideas for your next (or even first) vacation together...or you could create a bucket list of things you’ve always wanted to try in the bedroom.
Of course, taking things to the bathroom is always a tempting option. Just make sure you’ve got some luxury bubble bath handy (sorry, but that bottle of Matey that belongs to the kids just isn’t going to cut it...) Candles are a must of course, as are massage oils because who doesn’t love topping off a sensual soak in the tub with a little hands on stress relieving action?
On that note, we’ll leave you to it and hope that we’ve given you enough inspiration to start planning your next romantic night in.
Much love, SavvySave!