Love on a Budget

I think people often mistake expensive dates for romance. You don’t have to a fancy restaurant every weekend, in fact idea number one is

Cook In instead of dining out. Yes usually grocery shopping is more expensive than just one evening dining out but the food you get can be used for multiple meals so at the end of the day you’re definitely saving money. Cooking together is a great bonding experience too, you learn how particular your partner is about materials, measurements, and sanitation as well as learning what frustrates or stresses them out. Creating a meal together allows you to feel like a united team accomplishing a goal together and the shared memory is a great building block in a relationship.

It’s much easier to find free things to do over the summer such as hiking, parks, and finding some water to splash around in. However low key or intense you want your adventure to be, you can find a good fit! Back in high school when everyone was just learning how to drive, I loved late night adventures just driving around, singing along to the radio, and feeling the wind on your skin. You can make amazing memories out of nothing as long as you’re with people you love and the good vibes flow.

Look into events going on in your neighborhood since the tickets are usually cheap or free! There might be a cover band at a brewery, the local theater putting on a play, or a food expo at the museum across town.You can have fun with your friends too by inviting them over for game night or splitting the cost of a weekend getaway trip.

You don’t have to always miss out on dining out or an expensive experience, you can look for deals on Groupon and other coupon sites to make it more affordable. Restaurant week is the perfect time to dine at the fancy places on the water that you would normally never go to (or be able to afford).

How to Handle Your Family Meeting Your Significant Other

With the holidays coming up, this might be the first family gathering your significant other will attend. Drunk grandpas, loud aunts, and unfiltered kids you have no idea what’s going to come out of their mouth next or what crazy thing they might do under the watch of a fresh pair of eyes. Will your significant other feel awkward and come off cold and distant? Will their vibrant personality rub some cousins the wrong way?

There are pros and cons of having a significant other meet family during a large gathering. Parties usually have various small groups or couples chatting together throughout the area which can help keep your SO from feeling too overwhelmed and you might be able to dodge any troublesome relatives. Even with a large group, the attention might not be all on your SO since parties are always a good time for people to catch up with others they haven’t seen in a while and others outside the family could be invited as well.

Of course, you are still throwing your SO into a sea of strangers with loud chatter and music. A smaller gathering of just immediate family or a quiet dinner might be less stressful on the senses for your SO. There won’t be tons of faces and names to remember, family relationship links to keep track of, nor an endless string of stories to listen to with characters you don’t know.

Either way it’s important to talk to your partner and see what they’re comfortable with and how you’ll best be able to management the stress of a new dynamic. Just remember, no matter how embarrassing or overbearing your family might be, everyone is nervous. It’s totally normal to be nervous and probably won’t end up being as bad as you think.

And if it is, well at least there’s no where to go but up from here!