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DATING 101: Fun date activities for couples on a budget


Xeng is a researcher at the University of the Philippines where she is working on a dissertation for her Masters in Communication.


We're deviating a bit from the usual topics of my hubs but I think this is something that is worth writing a hub about. Most kids these days engage in dating without really knowing what it is really about. Let us first define what dating is just to make sure that we are on the same page.

Definition of Dating

Dating is when members of the opposite, or sometimes, same sex, agree to go out and do something together in pursuit of closer ties and better understanding of each other. It is the phase when the couple can talk about their hobbies and interests or do activities that they both enjoy.

Kinds of dates couples can go on

These days, it is pretty common for couples, even the really young ones to go out. Listed below are the kinds of dates that couples can go on.

  • group dating - kids these days often use the term "hanging out" to refer to group dates. This happens when a couple goes out with a bunch of other people in order to get to know each other without the awkwardness of a first date. This way, the interested parties can observe and converse with each other while still gauging and assessing each other whether they are "boyfriend/girlfriend material".
  • friendly/casual dating - this is when friends go out together casually to talk and catch up. Usually, there is no romantic intent when going out on this kind of date. Typical destinations involve coffee shops and cafes or quaint little restaurants. The purpose is to enjoy and there are no expectations between the two people involved. They can freely date other people as there is no type of commitment in this kind of date.
Can't wait to try wakeboarding? Click the link below to find out more about it!Happy dating!

Can't wait to try wakeboarding? Click the link below to find out more about it!Happy dating!

What to do on your date

  • blind dating - aptly called, blind dates are usually arranged for people who do not know each other and are set up by people they both know. Concerned people believe that due to maybe some of their hobbies and interests, the two of them might get along well and maybe even have an exclusive, romantic relationship in the future.
  • speed dating - there is usually a third party here who organizes the event. In this kind of dating, people are given 10-15 minutes with other interested parties in order to assess whether it's a GO or a NO. If a couple hits it off, they can arrange for another date in the future by getting each others' contact details.
  • exclusive/romantic dating - this is also often called going steady. During this phase, a couple officially declares that they will not be going out with people other than their partners. A friend of mine once said that lunches are for friends and dinners are for lovers and I think there's a little bit of truth in that, that's why most couples who are exclusively dating choose to go out at night.

Things to consider when planning a date

For couples who are exclusively dating, it is imperative to know what your partner is into to plan the date perfectly. Ask yourselves some questions to help you decide where to go, what to do, and how much to spend.

  • Is s/he outdoorsy or adventurous?
  • Is s/he a foodie or coffee person?
  • Is s/he into sports or books?
  • Is s/he into music or arts?
  • Is s/he laid back?
  • Is s/he stressed with work?
  • Is s/he a homebody?
  • Is s/he romantic by nature?

These are just some of the questions you can ask yourselves then from there, plan your date with your special someone.


Fun (and sometimes Free) Date Ideas for Couples

When you're done asking yourself about your partner's interests, you can start thinking about what to do that the both of you, especially your partner, could enjoy.


If you're both adventurous, sporty, and willing to try something new, you might like indoor wall climbing, wakeboarding, and parasailing. If you're both the laid back type, you can just hit the beaches near you and soak up the sun. There are a lot of beautiful beaches and resorts that don't hurt the budget around the metro.


If you're both the foodie type, why not try a cook-off? It's a day where both of you surprise each other with meals you both cooked personally. No take outs. Another variation can be cooking together. If both of you aren't confident with your cooking, you can still trying cooking, even just a dessert. Just spend time engaging each other while cooking. You get to see and personally learn how the person really is like. Cooking will test your patience, perseverance, as well as creativity.


Head over to the nearest public library with coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and read a book together or play a board game. You can also go to the park or a coffee shop and discuss the kinds of books both of you are into. Bring along friends. The more, the merrier. BONUS: Bring a book that you think your partner will love and give it to him/her on your date. :)


With these kinds of partners, you can ask them to hit the gym and play a sport of your choice. Engage yourselves in friendly competition and you'll learn more about each other. Bowling, table tennis and other indoor sports are perfect if you don't want to go out.


If your partner is into music and the arts, you can go to concerts or art exhibitions. These are nice dates for minimal costs. You can also hit artsy bars with live performances for a cozy night out. You can also head to the park, bring a guitar or a musical instrument of your choice to serenade your partner. Show off your skill. You can also hang out and watch musical plays or movies and just enjoy each other's company.


Watch movies at the comfort of your own homes. Minimal costs. Prepare food that's within your fridge and get cozy while watching your favorite movies. Get a bit intimate with wine and a nice dinner. You can even decorate your house with candles for a more romantic feel. Surprise your partner with breakfast in bed. The possibilities are endless!


If your partner has been stressed with work/school recently, why not treat him/her to a day of pampering? This doesn't have to be expensive. You can try to learn a few massage techniques before your special day and when the day comes, you can do it yourself for your partner. It is also very romantic to have someone touch you in such a way.You can light scented candles and play soothing music while doing your thing. If you're not confident with your skills, you can just both head to a massage parlor/professional masseuse so both of you get to relax. My boyfriend and I went to one recently and got a full body massage. It was really a satisfying experience.

Picnics at the park are fun ways to enjoy the outdoors!

Picnics at the park are fun ways to enjoy the outdoors!

Dates need not be expensive. The main goal is to enjoy and get engaged in each other. To learn to know more about each other and to appreciate each other's quirks and weird habits. Through dating, you get to interact with your partner and you get to know more about him/her.

Just remember that when dating, you need to be open. You need to be able to adjust. Dating is often a preparation for a serious relationship, after all.

Do you have other date ideas that you'd like to share? Please feel free to let me know via the comments section. I would love to hear from you.

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Janko Petkoski on September 16, 2020:

I really like to watch tv-shows especially my favorite is

Nicole K on December 16, 2016:

I love the different categories you created, like adventurous vs. foodie or bookworm, etc. It really put a unique spin on the various types of dates. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

Xeng (author) from Philippines on October 27, 2014:

Thanks Joe. It is important to really know your partner to be able to set that perfect date, and of course, both of you are evolving. It would be great if you can find help that would suit whatever state you're in at the moment. Because you know, there are always those phases in a couple's lives, like if you're still young and wild, you can get into all these adrenaline inducing activities. But as you age, well, you tone down your activities and so you need to find ideas for those kinds of dates as well. :) Dating is for all ages so better be prepared. I actually wrote this for future reference. LOL. :) Thanks for dropping by!

Joe Dowgiallo from Maryland on October 27, 2014:

I like how you classified dating into different categories. I think online help often devolves into advice that is too catch-all to apply to any one specific couple. You ask a few good questions and let the couple find the date that works best for them.

Xeng (author) from Philippines on May 18, 2013:

Thanks Kathryn. I would love to link back to that article. I'm sure my readers would be looking for nice gifts for their partners as well, especially if they're going on a really romantic date for an anniversary or something. :) I think this is important because people nowadays are always looking for innovative ways to make their partners feel special. :)

Kathryn from Windsor, Connecticut on May 18, 2013:

This is a very good subject, and you have provided so many great ideas! I hope you don't mind that I linked this into my "Gifts For Boyfriends" hub under the "Making Memories" section. These are very memorable dates to go on! You have ideas for many different types of guys/couples, and that is important.

Voted up and sharing.

Xeng (author) from Philippines on May 15, 2013:

I might link one of your articles to my aunt who's over 40 and still single. Thanks for sharing!

Amanda Jones on May 15, 2013:

Definitely, I love to cook and to try new recipes, so I follow you. If you need a dating advice please feel free to read my hubs

Xeng (author) from Philippines on May 15, 2013:

Thanks AmandaJon. Please feel free to check out my other hubs as well. I write mostly about food and restaurant reviews. :) Happy hubbing. :)

Amanda Jones on May 15, 2013:

Great topic for a hub! I rated it up a notch!

Xeng (author) from Philippines on May 12, 2013:

That's very true prettynutjob30. However, not everyone enjoy hanging out with other people that much so I guess your level of enjoyment will still depend on you and your partner. My boyfriend, for example, would rather spend more alone time with me than us with other people. The intimacy level there is just lower.

Mary from From the land of Chocolate Chips,and all other things sweet. on May 12, 2013:

Me and my hubby have done the group dating, it can be very frugal, we saved at least 50 dollars. We went to the aquarium so we got a discount for the amount of people that went.

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