Mary is a 20-something-year-old who knows what's it like to navigate today's fast-paced, you-snooze-you-lose dating landscape.
I can’t speak for any other country, but in recent times, the Nigerian Twitter space has had me gaping at the seeming ‘requirements’ and ‘standard’ for dating. From “How can you take me on a date and not spend up to 100k” to “If you’re picking me up, you must not drive anything less than a 2019 Range Rover,” I’ve heard it all. I have nothing against having personal standards; this is just a disclaimer to save you the trouble of going further with this article if you subscribe to the above sentiments.
Everyone deserves to love and be loved without breaking the bank, after all, ‘love don't cost a thing’, yeah? You might already be thinking of spending quality time with your better half, a rather normal line of thought where love is concerned. Not to rain on your fantasy parade, I’d love to share a couple of simple ways to create memories with your partner, through planning low-budget dates, which would still be very much meaningful and impact your relationship positively.
Below are six date ideas for you and your partner, if you’re on a budget. You can try them out; one at a time or incorporate two ideas into a single event, and just have fun, while still not breaking the bank.
1. Play a Game
A low-budget date could involve playing your favorite game and engaging in other fun activities with your partner. Playing games is surely a way to bond, as you both interact with the game and each other, as you play. It could be chess, cards, scrabble, etc. Any game of your choice would do, as you play over homemade snacks and drinks. Asides from the excitement from playing the game, you also get to spend quality time interacting with your partner, which is exactly what any date is all about. So, it's surely a win-win.
2. Have a Picnic, with Homemade Food
Another date idea that can be implemented whilst not causing a dent in your bank account is to have a picnic with homemade food. You could decide to go to a beach for a picnic and work with your budget by preparing homemade food and beverages to be taken along. Going on a picnic gives you time to discuss, play and bond, whilst having delicious meals on a low budget. Picnics allow you have fun with your partner in an external environment.
3. Watch a Movie over Snacks and Drinks
Another great date idea is a movie getaway with your lover, either at a cinema you can afford or indoors. You can choose old movies from your childhood, a movie you both love, or a new movie that just got released to watch and bond over. Watching a movie would give you things to talk about, nuggets to ponder on, and even learn from. You can decide to choose a love-themed movie, which you can both learn from to strengthen your relationship, as well as have topics to discuss later on after the movie ends. This can be done on a low budget, without stressing your finance.
4. Volunteer for a Day Together
Volunteering is also another valuable way to go on a low-budget date with your partner. Besides the fact that you would be on a date with your best human in the world, you would also be contributing your quota to a noble cause and giving back to society through volunteer work. That's a win-win there! You can go to an orphanage home with a volunteering company to visit the children, play with them, give them gifts and just have fun with them. It could also be in a zoo, where you both volunteer to take care of the animals, give them food, watch over them to guide from poachers, walk them, etc, depending on the kind of animals. You should definitely try volunteering with your partner. It is so worth it!
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5. Go to a Free Concert, Museum, Botanical Garden, Gallery
You can decide to go to a free concert, where you can both vibe to music and dance. You can also go to a gallery where works of art are displayed, provided gaining entrance into the gallery wouldn’t cost too much. You can also visit a botanical garden and appreciate the flowers and other plants there, relishing their smell; as you take a walk with your partner with your hands locked in each other.
6. Organize a Dinner Experience at Home
This is definitely a superb date idea on a budget since you’d definitely eat dinner on a regular day. Rather than have dinner with your family, you could prepare dinner for yourself and your partner and invite them over to dine with you. Excuse yourself from the crowd, and have your dinner date somewhere else in the house.