Dating Doesn't Have to Be Expensive
You can impress your sweetie without spending lots of cash.
Everyone knows that couple time is important, especially when the day-to-day "stuff" that comes with running a household and being parents puts you on overload. But new couples need time to get to know one another, too. Whether you just met in person, online or have been dating or married for awhile, here are some ideas for an almost free date.
When the relationship is new try a mini date.
Getting to know a person and getting a relationship started shouldn't cost lots of cash. Don't feel tied to the date of yesterday that included picking your date up and going for dinner.
Nowadays you both can agree on date plans prior to meeting. For a first date, you can agree to meet somewhere. That way if things don't go good you can make a quick getaway. The place should also be neutral and public. This is to ensure both parties feel safe and comfortable. It should be short, a few hours, unless both parties want to continue longer. It should be an activity that allows conversation. After all, you need to get to know the person to see if you want another date. A small gesture of flowers or candy will make an impression and not cost that much. Pathmark and A&P have great little bouquets, starting at around $5. Even though you may not be doing the dinner thing, there should be some romance.
Instead of dinner, meet for coffee, drinks or dessert. There are many places in Jefferson Township for this like Dunkin Donuts, Ridge Steak & Ale, The Milton Inn or the Jefferson Diner.
If music is involved, it shouldn't be so loud that you can't hear each other. Some places also provide the opportunity for dancing.
Try meeting for lunch and a quick slice of pizza. Jefferson has an abundance of pizza choices, such as Mario's, Frank's on either side of town, or Pizza 15.
Be casual to take the pressure off. Take a hike or bike ride in the park and enjoy nature, but nothing too secluded. Bring along a spread of cheese and crackers. Check out www.jeffersontownship.net or www.lkhopatcong.com for locations. Camp Jefferson has trails and a playground. Be playful and swing on the swings or fly a kite. Or hike the trails of Mahlon Dickerson Reservation.
If you are interested in a second date let your partner know and remember to call or text.
After the relationship is on it's way
After you both are comfortable alone and are wanting the dates to continue, try some of these suggestions.
Stay in and watch a movie or a reality tv show.
Borrow someone's pool or hot tub and stargaze or cloud watch, depending on the time of day.
Teach each other a favorite hobby, like kick boxing or taking a ride on your motorcycle.
Take a scenic car ride and look for dream homes.
Have a game night: a board game or maybe poker using M&M's instead of cash. Each of you bring your favorite game to share.
Visit a local farm or museum.
Take a trip to the closest brewery or winery.
Volunteer together at a rescue mission, home for the elderly or animal shelter.
People watch anywhere there is a crowd. Play I Spy.
Go to the lake or beach.
Explore a bookstore together.
Cruise the local yard sales.
Scavenger hunt: make a friendly wager. Make up the search list together.
Join the gym together on a trial basis. Ask for a free day or week pass.
Free or discounted movie tickets to Clearview Cinemas. If you have all three Optimum services you can get discounted or free tickets by presenting your rewards card. You can get up to 40% off daily and two free tickets every Tuesday. Plus you can save $1.50 on a large popcorn and medium soda combo. If you don't have the Optimum services then maybe someone you know does and is not using the discount. I suggest buying the tickets in advance because they often sell out that night www.optimumrewards.com.
Stay in and have a candlelight dinner or decorate your place in a theme or as a restaurant in a foreign country. Serve food to match.
Make dinner together from what is on hand—no shopping.
Have a creative photo shoot.
Go to free concerts or school sporting events.
Go clothes shopping for yourself and have your date help pick out fashionable suggestions.
Take the ferry to Manhattan and back http://www.nywaterway.com/.
Go to a car show or flea market.
Go to the drive in for a more private movie. It will cost $16 for admission http://www.warwickdrivein.com/.
Check out the travel guide to New Jersey local legends and best kept secrets http://www.weirdnj.com/.
A good date is planned with room for flexibility. Let your partner know the date conditions so he or she can dress appropriately. It should be an adventure maybe with some new experiences, but still be enjoyable. You want it to be memorable in a good way. Put your cell phones on silent and give each other your undivided attention.
Also if you are already married, no children talk. Agree upon some sort of consequence for the first one to mention the kids.
Start making those dates - Love makes the world go round.