Whether it's a high school romance or simply an excuse to get away from the kids, dating is one of the most important things you can do to nurture a relationship. Dating ultimately lays the foundation for a long, healthy, and compassion-filled marriage. How? By compelling you to set aside time for your significant other, listen to what it is they have to say, communicate about everything going on in your lives, and best of all: do something fun together.
Unfortunately, dating is low on the priority list for many couples. It’s hard enough to find an extra hour or two you can spend with your significant other. When you’re raising children, saving up for a house, or paying off student loans (or all of the above), you might even wonder if dating is worth it at all. But dating doesn’t have to be rocket science. It also doesn’t have to cost a fortune. With a few proactive measures and ideas, you’ll find yourself rekindling that passion that first incited your relationship.
Make Date Night a Priority
This might not apply to a couple who met only recently, but for the married folk out there, try to make date night a regular part of your schedule. This might mean different things for different couples, as everyone’s schedule is unique. For some, this might mean a formal outing once a month. For others, this might mean spending some quality time alone together a few times a week. Either way, your significant other will be flattered you’re taking time out of your day to do something fun together and show them they matter.
Perhaps you and your significant other have become big-time foodies, movie junkies, or local bowling champions. Whatever the case, try to come up with a plan of what is you’ll be doing on date night, and how frequently you’ll be doing it. By factoring date night into your budget ahead of time, you’ll always be prepared financially. One great way to come up with money for date night is automating your savings. Mobile banking apps like Chime can save a portion of your paycheck without you ever needing to transfer money around. Once you’ve accounted for your finances, you can consider what date ideas best suit your budget.
Try Some Cheap Date Ideas
In the transition from living on your own to living with others, there will be changes that occur as you adjust to sharing a space with someone else. When it comes to sharing a space with your partner, you want to make this next chapter in your relationship one that is smooth and painless. Taking big steps in any relationship come with its own set of challenges, but every milestone is meant to signify the growing strength of your bond and love for eachother. The process of moving in with your partner should be exciting, and there is so much to look forward to. Before you take your first steps, you’ll want to do your research though, and have a few conversations with your new roommate.
The 50/50 Split
In most roommate situations, there is an agreement to split rent, utilities and finances down the middle. When you move in with your partner, you’ll have to decide how you’ll evenly split your bills, rent, and utilities like water, electric, and cable. If you agree to split finances equally with your partner, you want to make sure to pick an apartment or home that you are both comfortable affording as well. Keep this in mind when house hunting, and if you enlist a realtor for help, be sure to be honest about your price range. That way you stay within budget and avoid overspending, and the financial anxiety that comes with it. Also, don’t be afraid to talk openly with your partner about your annual income, any looming debts, and your spending habits, to help determine better delegate how much each of you will contribute to bills and other living expenses. Splitting the bills is a great way to start out, before taking more serious steps in your relationship, and living on a shared income.
Be Open About Expectations
When you are making decisions about moving in, you’ll want to be have honest discussions with your partner about your expectations in your new home. Discuss cleaning habits and preferences to set yourselves up for success. Adjusting to another person’s lifestyle may be one of the biggest challenges you face, and confronting them about issues that are bothering you will be even harder. The key is to approach confrontation with your partner without hostility, and addressing the direct issue that is upsetting you. For example, you might want your partner to wash the dishes more often, but maybe they need a little hint or push to do it. Don’t assume your partners a mind reader, and be patient and respectful during this learning experience for both of you.. You’ll also want to be clear about your preferences surrounding guests and pets. All types of pets can make great companions, but they are also a huge responsibility. When you are sharing a space with your partner, you’ll want to make sure your partner is on board with that level of responsibility before you decide to bring home a furry friend.
The Stuff: Yours, Mine and Ours
With the merging of lifestyles, also comes the merging of your “stuff,” which can be a challenge if you don’t stay organized. Prior to moving in, you’ll want to create a detailed list of belongings that you both have in order to avoid any duplicate furniture and appliances. This will also help you pinpoint what items you could sell to make a little extra money to spend on your new home. Now that you are living together, you’ll also have to discuss what colors and themes you’ll want to introduce into your new home. Take some time to look through catalogues or home decor blogs like this one to give you some ideas and tips on how to style your space to reflect both of your interior tastes. As you slowly bring your home together over a period of time, you might want to invest in a few key pieces like a living room furniture set or a kitchen table that you love, and center the rest of the decor around these pieces. If you don’t want to buy new right away, check out apps like craigslist and community Facebook pages where members sell quality used furnishings at affordable prices.
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