Simply Romantic: 20 Romantic Ideas You Can Afford on a Shoestring

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Simply Romantic: 20 Romantic Ideas You Can Afford on a Shoestring

Romance Defined:  

1)  a love affair  

2)  ardent emotional attachment or involvement between people; love  

3) a strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination or enthusiasm for something; a childhood romance with the sea

Aren't we all, at some point in life, caught up in Romance?  I still am.  I pursue it every day.  I am in pursuit of Romance.  How about you?

Who says you have to dress up and go out to experience Romance?

Romance is simply a result of atmosphere.  It is a desire to do things that stir a whirlwind of emotions for me and my husband.  I think I, for years, had the wrong idea of Romance.  I always thought that Romance was for people who could afford dining and wining, a beautiful wardrobe, artificial nails, and well, the fireplace and candles.  While all of those things are great, I have changed my mind.

My husband and I are both passionate, Romantic and sensual people.  However, we have 3 children: 2 of them are toddlers.  My house becomes stressful and chaoitc at times.  We have learned how to Romance one another on a shoestring budget, and most of the time without leaving the house.  Often when we can leave the house, we are too tired to leave the house.  He has worked in the office all day and I have been a referee most of the day for 2 competitive and strong-willed toddler daughters.  

Dinner is not always enjoyable.  We get through that and then it's time to clean up.  With a little down-time with the family, the next thing for us is: 1 down and 2 to go (to bed).

The next thing I know is that it's 9:30 and all the kids are finally in bed.  How do we find time to date or even find time for one-another.  Well, that is what I am going to tell you.  All of our little secrets (well, not all of them), step-by-step.  

#1 -  Hold hands and waste time together at least once a week.

#2 -  Hold hands as often as you can, even if you are just walking through the yard.

#3 -  Hug regularly.

#4 -  Wear your love's favorite scents and be sure to memorize each-other's sweet smells and perfumes / colognes.  Smell has been linked with some of the strongest memories and the smell centers of the brain happen to be one of the closest sense areas to memory storage.  

#5 -  To women:  stop nagging.  Period.

#6 -  To men:  Shut up and listen more.  Only offer advice and keep your "fix-it" hat off until your lady seriously asks for your advice.  Most of the time, she is processing verbally and universally about her thoughts and emotions and just needs to be heard.  Sometimes, it is fun to do a devotional together or read a relationship book to understand each other better (and it can be fun).  But keep it light.  A good book to read might be John Gray's Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus.  Be sure that it won't trigger something strong or negative.  This time is meant to be light, Romantic and fun - not serious and heavy and full of tension or conflict.

#7 -  If at all possible, when spending the little bit of quality time you have together for Romance- keep conversations about friends, family, controversy and issues out of the atmosphere.  It is a Romance-killer.

#8 - Don't be afraid of the silence together.  Learn to enjoy just being in each other's company and getting some peace and quiet.  

#9 -  Dream together.  But, don't just dream - Dream Big!  Spend some time with some light Romantic music and begin to list your life dreams on paper together.  Don't get caught up in trying to figure out how you will acheive them.  Just enjoy dreaming and the time shared dreaming together (almost in a child-like way).  If you don't have your favorites available, you can download some of your favorite Romantic tracks in a few minutes.

#10 -  Find a place, either inside or outside, and reserve it just for you.  For us, we decorated a small corner of our yard with strands of twinkle lights (like what you would hang on a Christmas tree), hung flowers all around, and set up a small table and chairs.  We even wired some old computer speakers under our little old-fashioned gazebo and we plug in our mp3 player at night and flip on the lights with 1 switch.   We added a few tiki-torches with some fuel oil to enhance the "tropical feel" to the atmosphere (for less than $20).  You can even enjoy a little wine and a snack.  If you have trouble with bugs, just make a spray bottle with some original brown listerine and water, and be sure to spray the area before you go out and the mosquitos will leave you alone.   

#11 -  Whenever we do have the extra money, we will go to one of our favorite restaurants and split our favorite dish.  We save half the money and the portions are large enough for us to split anyway.  

# 12 - Using what is in your possession, find some things you can fix up to enhance the area.  Adding color, building some additional flower boxes and throwing out some bird seed to draw the birds in can add a great deal of ambience to the scenery. 

#13 -  Visit your local thirft store or garage sales and find odds and ends that can spruce up the appeal.  We call it treasure hunting.  Sometimes, when we are out treasure hunting, we drive slow, order a coffee or tea, hold hands and waste time doing it together.  We have to purposely slow down to resist the pressures of striving and busyness of life.  

#14 -  Work to clean up the area at first, and then keep clutter out of this area so as to preserve it for your stress-free Romantic place together.

#15 -  Chasing the sunset:  Often, we will see the sun setting in the evening and the beauty of it is almost overwhelming.  It seems to entice (as if to tease) us to come and look.  We jump in the van and drive across country roads in the westward direction in pursuit of the display beauty as the sun sets on the horizon.  We play our latest Romantic CD (like the Boston Pops covering Frank Sinatra classics).  It is called "Night and Day / Celebrate Sinatra". 

#16 -  Take advantage of the time when your love leaves the house.  Be Romantic on purpose by cleaning up, setting up candles, music and a simple yet nice meal for when he or she returns.  Pour a nice glass of wine and even leave a simple love note.  Think (and pray) that Romance will fill the air for your loved one.  

#17 -  Take note.  What does your living area look like?  I have added pops of red to enhance the feeling of Romance.  I have twinkle lights in my dining room.  Just because I have 3 children doesn't mean I have to change or do away with the things that I love.  I just hang them higher on the walls!  I am a candle and home decor consultant for Partylite and so I have great access to lots of high quality wall sconces and things of that nature.   I can have my kids and my candles at the same time.  

#18  -  Get your favorite decor magazines or any magazines that offer photos of Romatic settings and use them to inspire your decorating activity.  You can even have a notebook (or wall) where you tape your favorite Romantic scenery and lighting combinations to gain more inspiration.   I built what I call a "garden wall" and I cut and paste my favorite and most beautiful scenery from different magazines.  You don't even have to buy magazines for this.  You can get many free samples of magazines online as well as finding annual piles of magazine collections sold at yard sales or thrift stores for pennies.   I don't have an entire room I can devote to this, so I devoted 1 wall in my laundry room for this an call it my dream wall (or garden wall).  

#19 - I read a book 1 time, Dare to be Yourself by Alexandra Stoddard.  Alexandra, the author, taught me how important it is to be able to see my favorite things, smell my favorite things and touch my favorite things as soon as I walk into my house.  My house is my sanctuary.  The first time my husband, then boyfriend, came to my apartment, he was immediately caught up in the Romantic ambience and decor.  These were all of the things that I loved and still do (surrounding myself with beautiful smells, sights and sounds), and they still draw him in!  

#20 - Girls always let him have the last bite.  They say that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.  Giving him the last bite of your meal says "I Love You" in more ways than one.  He'll agree.

What about you?  What Shoestring Romantic Ideas can you share below?  Would love to hear.

Delight yourself!

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