Portland Relationship Counseling: 6 Inexpensive Date Ideas

September 10, 2014 by

As someone who provides couples counseling, I often recommend that couples schedule regular date nights—no matter how long they’ve been together—in order to ensure that they are setting aside meaningful time just for the two of them. However, I also know that date nights can get expensive, especially if couples are going to nice restaurants or paying for activity dates like horseback riding. Of course, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a great date with your partner—the experience itself is much more important to your relationship than the dollar amount. Here are a few ideas for inexpensive dates to get you started.

Look for free concerts, lectures, or art exhibitions. Check online for free upcoming activities like concerts, lectures, or art shows in your area. If you live near a university, there are often a number of events like these that are open to the public—just check the university’s website. You might also find some events that are free but donation-based, and you and your partner can make a small donation to a good cause to attend.

Make a meal you’ve never made before. For many of us, weeknight meals are a rushed affair, and we often stick to the same few dishes we know just to get food on the table faster. If you and your partner like to cook but haven’t had much time to put into meals lately, set aside a night on the weekend and get the ingredients to make a dinner you’ve never made before. You and your partner could even pick different dishes that you’ll share when you’re finished.

Stay in for a movie night. Consider combining your at-home dinner date with a movie night. To make the experience a little more interesting than just turning on the TV or logging into your video streaming service, go to a local video rental store (Portland has several to choose from) and browse through some of the less well-known titles or staff recommendations to find something that neither you or your partner has seen before.

Go for a hike. If you’re looking for an inexpensive outdoor date to enjoy before the weather gets colder, check out nearby trails and lace up your hiking boots. Look at the forecast ahead of time to make sure you’re prepared for the weather, and if it looks like it’s going to be a clear day, pack a picnic lunch to eat at a scenic part of the trail.

Go to a bar trivia night. Rather than just staying in and watching Jeopardy, why not see when a nearby bar is hosting a trivia night? Many bars offer trivia on a weekly basis, and it’s typically free to play (you can usually find good drink specials, too). This is a good activity for an inexpensive group date—get together with another couples and combine your knowledge as a trivia team.

Have a game night. For a low key night, challenge your partner to a board game like Scrabble. If you want to get out of the house, take the game to a coffee shop and get some dessert to eat while you play.

Don’t let money stress you out on your next date—many times, inexpensive dates end up being the most fun because they require you to get creative and try new activities that you and your partner might otherwise have missed. Want more ideas? Contact us—we’re full of them at Portland relationship counseling.