Romance on Any Budget
A Hopeless Romantic is defined as someone who has romantic ideas about life. They tend to be thoughtful dreamers who see love and romance everywhere and envision an idealistic life. Hopeless, because it’s thought to be impractical. Romantic because it’s an idealized view of reality.
I like to think of myself as more of a “Hopeful Romantic.” My glass is always half full, and the other half is filled with bubbles.
When I think of romance, I think of Paris, and for good reason. It’s as if the city were built for romance – walks along the Seine with locks placed on bridges as a statement of love; strolls through tulip-filled gardens and statues of lovers, love lost, and love found; lots of tables for two outside charming cafes with sexy food and good, cheap wine. It’s the one place where kissing on the street is as commonplace as Starbucks. The French do romance like nobody’s business. While we can’t all live in Paris, we can find the ambiance of those places – sometimes literally in our own back yard.
I’ve had both men and women tell me they wish their partner were more romantic. For this, my answer is always the same – teach by example. It may seem strange at first, but just think of it as your little secret project and stick with it.
I guess you could say there’s sort of a Golden Rule of Romance – create unto your partner the romance you’d like them to create unto you. With a little time, they’ll catch on. If they don’t, you may need to lock them in a room for back-to-back showings of The Notebook for a few days, or at least until tissues are required.
The hopeful romantic may have more of an innate inclination toward romance than others, but I believe that, like playing an instrument or riding a bike, anything can be learned with practice.
Here are just a few ideas to get your romantic juices flowing for no, little, or a bunch of money.
- Wake your partner with kisses and a morning backrub.
- Send romantic texts throughout the day.
- Snuggle all night.
- Give lots of random kisses.
- Hide notes or cards in the medicine cabinet, fridge or underwear drawer.
- Spend Sunday morning cuddling in bed.
- Have your breakfast or lunch al fresco. Put a nice cloth on the table and use the good dishes.
- Tell your partner something you love or admire about them. Often.
- Take a walk in a park. Sit on a bench and talk about your dreams.
Cheap-ish (depending on the wine)
- Have a romantic meal at home. Turn off the TV, hide the cell phones, light some candles, put on music and open a nice bottle of wine.
- Put fresh flowers in the bedroom.
- Use a diffuser to inject your home (especially the boudoir) with fragrance from essential oils (my favorite combination is lavender and peppermint), or burn scented candles. Create the ambiance of a spa, only better because it’s home.
- Take a bubble bath together. Dim the lights, light some candles and bring the champagne bottle.
- Stroll around a flea market and pick up some strange, new treasures.
- Drive somewhere pretty for a picnic. Or have a picnic at home.
- Go to a museum to admire favorite art or discover new art. Take time to sit and talk and share ideas or pretend to be intellectuals.
Pricier to Splurgy
- Go out for a lazy Sunday brunch at an outdoor café.
- Get a couple’s massage.
- Send flowers – preferably an obscene number of roses.
- Get dressed up for an elegant date night at a favorite or new restaurant.
- Go to a charming bed and breakfast complete with fireplace and Jacuzzi. Bring wine and snacks. Hibernate and enjoy each other’s company.
- Give a gift, for any or no reason.
- And of course the ultimate in romance – a quick (or not so quick) trip to Paris.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The free ones you can practice several times a week. The cheapish ones maybe once a week. The pricey ones whenever you can.
Sometimes even the best laid romantic plans just don’t work out exactly as you planned them, so be open to adventure. On a weekend get-away, my husband and I had planned to find a nice restaurant along the road for a romantic dinner. We were driving, looking, Yelping, and getting a little discouraged as we neared our destination with still nothing special in sight until we came upon a Trader Joe’s a.k.a. the wine, bread, cheese and chocolate store. Our romantic restaurant dinner became beautiful picnic on the floor in front of the fireplace. Romance restored.
Let me know what you try and how it works out. And be open to adventure!
I wish you love and romance.
Bonjour! Je suis Kelley
Hi, I’m Kelley – thrower of parties, drinker of wine, and lover of all things French. I hope you enjoy my Lessons in Becoming French!