Relationship experts tell us that finances are one of the main causes of conflict in a relationship and that a couple handles financial stressors better when they feel valued and connected to each other.  Romance is one of the best ways for a couple to build intimacy and develop feelings of value and connection.  In today’s economy, many couples are struggling to keep romance a high priority at the same time they are trying to cut extra spending from their budget.

If you don’t have money to spend on a romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant or take a romantic vacation for two to some exotic island, don’t worry because you can create your own romantic experience without spending money or traveling.

Romance is about getting to know each other in an intimate way and taking time to share intimate details with each other about who you are and your life experiences.  If you have children, get in the habit of letting them enjoy a night at their grandparents once in a while so you can have a romantic evening alone together.  Here are some ideas to keep romance as a high priority even when money is low.

7 No-Cost Romance Ideas:

1. Sexy Scrabble: After dinner, light some candles and pull out your scrabble board game.  Set it up on the coffee table and make up some new rules…like all the words have to be sexy words, words that describe your sex life, or words that have a special meaning in your relationship.  The winner gets a special prize…maybe a backrub or a foot massage! 

2. Compliment Contest: Start on Monday and see who can give the most compliments by Friday evening.  Compliments can be given verbally, or by text messages, post-it notes and sign language.  The only rule is that you can only use a compliment once so it is fun to think of different ways to compliment each other. Be sure and have a no-cost special prize for the winner!

3. Volunteer: Nothing builds intimacy and appreciation for each other more than helping those who are less fortunate.  Volunteering your time together as a couple through your local church or community centers on a regular basis is a great way to experience romance because of the closeness you will feel as a couple from the rewarding experience of helping others.

4. Share your Heart: Write a poem or letter to read to each other before you watch an old romantic movie together snuggled up on the couch.  

5. Camping Indoors: Move the furniture out of the center of the family room and put up a tent.   Pretend you are camping.  Eat hot dogs and smores, tell some scary stories with your flashlights and sleep in sleeping bags.  Share childhood memories of camping and family vacations.

6. Dream Vacation: Pretend for the evening that you are on your dream vacation in Italy.  Put on Italian music, cook an Italian recipe, decorate the room in Italian décor, and then as you are eating dinner, enjoy talking about your dream vacation that you will take one day together.   

7. Naked Chef: Cook dinner together naked or wearing just an apron.  Choose romantic foods with wonderful aromas, passion fruits, chocolate, noodles, and spices!

Try one or all of these ideas…romance can be fun and creative without being expensive.  Letting your partner know that you are thinking about them, paying attention to them, and enjoying spending time with them regardless of the cost is a great way to strengthen the relationship, create special memories, and build intimacy.  After all, these are the important aspects of romance that money can’t buy.

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Article Written by Crystal Hollenbeck