Romantic Dates

Excerpted from

Cheap Dates: Fun, Creative and Romantic Dates That Won't Break Your Budget

By

Looking to add a little romance to your new dating relationship? Or perhaps you're in a long-term relationship and feel it's time to rekindle the sentimental and amorous moments from the early stages of your courtship. Whatever your current situation, don't despair. It's never too late to be romantic, nor is it ever too late to be romanced. This chapter is full of creative ideas that are sure to add romance to any dating relationship. So get ready to restore the passion that's so vital to keeping the flame burning brightly!

Oceanside Picnic Date

A romantic experience that incorporates the unexpected, the Oceanside Picnic Date is one stroll along the beach shortly before sunset (or a local lake or river if you aren't near the coast). To you, however, it's a preplanned affair that involves fun, food, and some help from friends.

While you're on your way to pick up your date, have a friend go to the beach on your behalf to set up a romantic picnic at a predetermined location: a blanket, a picnic basket full of delicious fare, a tune box playing romantic music, a single rose in a vase, and two wine glasses (but not the bottle of wine-that comes later!).

As you and your date begin your walk down the beach, have your friend, who's been safely guarding your picnic site, leave the scene unnoticed when you come within 50 to 100 yards of the picnic. As your date watches with surprise and delight, sit down, begin to serve up some cheese as an appetizer, and then appear to realize that there's no wine to go with it. With an "I can't believe I forgot the wine" look on your face, draw your date's attention to the ocean surf, only to find someone (another one of your friends) paddling to shore in an ocean kayak to hand-deliver the purposely forgotten bottle of wine. (If you really want to be creative, arrange to have a scuba-diving friend surface from the shallow waves and fin up to shore to uncork and pour your wine before treading back to the breakwater.)

This date is sure to make a big splash no matter what the occasion!

Motorcycle Ride Date

Motorcycle dates are clutch, in more ways than one. First of all, they provide a great opportunity for intimacy as well as adventure. Second, when you "clutch" down and kick it into gear, your date gets to "clutch" onto you with a grip that'll last for miles!

For this date, pick a destination such as a remote, scenic location that has special meaning to you (or at least it will after this date), or plan to ride to a nearby city and attend a special event together. When you are on a motorcycle, event parking is easy and convenient. Wherever you go, be sure to take country roads so you can increase your chances of seeing some horses grazing along the roadside, which you can pull over to pet. It's good to keep the destination under twenty miles because you won't be able to talk much during the ride.

Taking a picnic lunch with you on the motorcycle would be a big plus. If that's not possible, an outdoor lunch at a quaint roadside cafe would be a great alternative.

This is a great date that appeals to all of the senses:

  • Touch: Enjoy the feeling of holding tight to, and being held onto by, your date.

  • Sight: Take in the beautiful landscape along a scenic route.

  • Taste: Stop along the roadside to pick and eat some wild blackberries.

  • Smell: A whiff of the fresh country air will clear your mind and revive your spirit.

  • Hearing: There's nothing like the sound of a revving engine in concert with the whipping sounds of the breeze blowing by your ears.

Once you reach your destination, try to find an alternate route home so you can experience different sights and sounds.

Outdoor Home-Dinner Date

Preparing a home-cooked meal for your date, or surprising your spouse with a full-course dinner at the end of a hectic day, can be utterly romantic. The smell of certain foods in the air, the scent of burning candles, a romantic collection of instrumental music playing in the background-all appeal to the romantic senses.

To make this creative dinner date truly special, arrange to have dinner outdoors on your deck during a warm spring or summer evening. (Other locations may include your patio, backyard garden, gazebo, or rooftop garden.) Decorate your table with a centerpiece of flowers, romantic candles, a tablecloth, and dinner settings. Include some bamboo torch lights for illumination. From within your home, bring out plants and furniture items to help create a cozy atmosphere.

As a clincher, woo your date with a surprise musical serenade. As you settle down for dinner, you begin to hear romantic melodies from a violin playing in the distance. Eventually the violinist (who is a friend of yours, or a friend of a friend) meanders up the stairs and serenades the two of you for an hour.

Once the music is over and your dinner finished, conclude the evening with some dessert and a stroll around the yard or block. Your date will be impressed by your thoughtful and romantic touch.

Just Dessert Date

One of the most romantic images by far is of two people out on a date, sitting across a candlelit table from one another, lost in great conversation at a restaurant known for its romantic charm and ambiance. Although such restaurants are also often known for their fancy prices, that factor poses no barrier for the smart dater on a budget.

The Just Dessert Date describes exactly what you plan to do-have just dessert. By doing this, you can enjoy many of the benefits of being at a trendy restaurant, without breaking your budget. Stretch out your time together by mulling over all of the mouthwatering dessert options. If the desserts are of gargantuan proportion, consider teaming up on one dessert and asking the waiter to bring you two forks or spoons. In most cases, however, you'll want to each choose a dessert and share a bite or two of each other's choice.

A little dessert wine or gourmet coffee may be a nice complement to your Just Dessert Date. In return for the generous dessert portions and coffee refills you'll likely enjoy as you share conversation and laughs with your date, show your appreciation to your waiter with a generous tip.

Fireside Date

Another romantic date worth considering on a cold winter's evening is the Fireside Date. A warm, crackling fire illuminating the living room, a CD carousel filled with hours of romantic background music, a platter of freshly prepared hors d'oeuvres, and a kettle of hot, steamy apple cider are all you need to put this date into action.

Enjoy each other's scintillating conversation. Read a favorite short story to each other. Entertain each other with a friendly game of backgammon or chess. Enjoy laughs as you comb through old school yearbooks and photo albums.

As the evening progresses, put on a pot of coffee and cuddle up on the sofa to watch a classic movie you've rented. Midway through the movie, take an intermission and go for a brief evening saunter around the block before returning for the second half. Place another log on the fire to ensure that the essence of this date keeps burning bright.

Great Day for a Picnic Date

When you think of planning a romantic date during the day, more often than not, a picnic plays a role. A picnic basket loaded with the works-homemade sandwiches, cheese and crackers, grapes, a favorite bottled beverage, and a box of animal crackers for dessert-is a sure winning combination, especially when its contents are spread out over a checkered tablecloth.

When choosing the ideal spot for your next romantic picnic, be selective, be original, but most of all, be creative. Here are a few sites to consider:

  • along the bank of a rippling stream, where you can skip rocks or hunt for crawdads together

  • near a cascading waterfall after a pleasant hike into the woods

  • in a meadow with a stunning view that can be reached only by horseback or four-wheel drive

  • on the lawn of a historic site or county courthouse

  • at a picturesque overlook near an ocean, lake, or pond

Different locations have a value and significance that is unique to each individual. Take the time to make your next picnic location one that'll be hard to forget.

Teddy Bear Date

Many women and men still have a soft spot for teddy bears. Perhaps it's a fond recollection of their favorite doll growing up, or maybe they are avid Chicago Bears and Cubs fans and love anything that growls! In any case, a teddy bear date is just what they need.

Days before your scheduled date, mail your beloved a teddy bear greeting card with a note describing the theme of this upcoming date-teddy bears. On the appointed day, take your date to a novelty gift shop and buy a little teddy bear (or a Chicago Bears keychain!) to keep as a memento of the day. Or you could even arrange with the shopkeeper to surprise your date with a "free" teddy bear, which you purchased earlier in the week!

Be sure to incorporate the teddy bear theme into the rest of your date. You might sneak a pack of Gummi Bears into your date's coat pocket, play the song "Teddy Bear" by Elvis Presley on the car stereo, or watch a Bears or Cubs game at a local sports restaurant. If you're lucky, the date will end with a big bear hug!

More than Just a Dinner Date

A little teamwork from friends can make all the difference when masterminding the ideal creative date. Such is the case with the More Than Just a Dinner Date.

For this not-so-ordinary date, drive to a remote location, such as a cliff with an ocean view, a meadow, or a riverbank. As you get out of the car and begin walking down a trail, notice the surprised look on your unsuspecting date's face when a table adorned with a tablecloth, two fancy place settings, and candles comes into view. Not far from the table is a friend in a chef's hat, who is warming up the grill. This friend will play a triple role as chef, waiter, and entertainer for this occasion. Once dinner has been ordered, cooked to perfection, and sewed, your friend will smoothly bring out a guitar and begin to entertain you with some romantic acoustic sounds.

Unbeknownst to your date, another friend across the way in the nearby shrubs has been secretly taking candid pictures of this entire date using a telephoto lens. Later that evening, when you return home to watch a rented movie, place the photos (which have been developed at a one-hour photo shop and dropped off at your home by your friend) in the center of your coffee table for your date to discover!

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Tags: Dating


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