Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

In the early years of our marriage we were love rich and money poor. After calculating rent, utilities, tithe, student loans, gas, and groceries there was a menial amount of funds remaining. We were newlyweds wanting to make the most of our time together instead of religiously plopping on the sofa to binge watch, but the question was how? Traditional dinner n’ movie dates or a quick weekend get - away weren’t options for us. If we were going to create romantic memories outside the four walls of our apartment on the cheap, we were going to need to be creative!

In addition to our creative spirits something needed to happen inside our hearts for us to see this stage of life as sweet instead of sour. Our hearts had to redefine our definition of fun and we had to tweak our attitude toward being financially bound. The recipe for ridding the bitterness is thankfulness. Thankful for the love we have, our creative adventuresome spirits, and celebrating the joy of being financially responsible by choosing to live within our means…together.
This post is for the romantics who are love rich and money poor; here’s a list of our top 10 creative adventure dates!

1) Brown Bag Poetry - Each of you carry a simple lunch sack and take a walk. You could hike a trail, stroll along the beach, set out around your neighborhood, or explore your city, location doesn’t matter as long as you each have your brown bag. As you walk, collect various items (twigs, flowers, trash, leaves) and place them in your bag. Try to collect at least 10 items. After your walk, head home or find a comfortable place to spend the next 30 minutes creating a love story or poem to your spouse using the items you collected.

2) The Penny Date - All you need is one penny to your name and a car (or bike)! Drive to the closest intersection and ask your spouse to pick a number between 10 - 25. At every intersection, thereafter, flip your coin and give each other a kiss. If your coin is HEADS - turn RIGHT, if your coin is TAILS - turn LEFT. Keep driving and flip the coin as many times as the number your chose while at that first intersection. When you have reached your last destination park and make a date wherever you end up. You can pack a picnic, create a special playlist for the car ride, or bring board games to play in the back of your truck! The ideas are endless.

3) Our Two Hands - Take turns sharing ways you can serve others together over the next year. Create a list of twelve service opportunities and assign one to each month in the year. As you serve, take pictures of your monthly projects and make a calendar featuring the images for inspiration the next year.

4) And We’re Off - Grab your date and head to deserted parking garage close to your local airport. Pack your car with sleeping bags, pillows, thermos full of coffee, and sit on your hood while watching the plane land overhead. Make up stories about the people on the plane, where they are flying in from, and what they plan to do while they are here. Jot down destinations of exotic places you’d like to adventure to together. Don’t forget your camera and a personalized playlist is over the top.

5) Umbrella’s Up - In Seattle there’s no shortage of rain. Grab your umbrella’s and head to your local grocery store. Brighten someone’s day by walking them from their car into the store under the shelter of your umbrella or stand over their cart as they load their groceries into their car. See which one of you can assist the most people in an hour. If you have a couple dollars to spare, grab coffee and laugh about your adventure.

6) All For Love Scavenger Hunt - Think back to the good ol’ days of going door to door requesting items from your neighbors in order to complete your scavenger list. This hunt is a little different. You and your spouse go door to door but instead of asking for items off a list you simply say, “We are on a hunt for romance do you have anything you can give us?” Once you’ve collected 10 items go home and make a romantic date using the items you’ve received. (People have collected candles, strawberries, dating books, and more!)

7) Audible - Old School - Take your date to your local library and check out a book you are both interested in reading. Once you’ve checked out your book, choose a place to read, under a tree at a park, by the beach, or you could lay the seats back in your car! Get comfortable and take turns reading a chapter aloud to one another.

8) Sunrise and Sunset - Pre-pack a bag with your coffee or tea, muffins, bagels, whatever you both enjoy for breakfast. Check online to see when the sunrise will be and set your alarm. Get up and get dressed and head out to a local clearing or mountain top where you have a view of the sunrise; share breakfast and a devotional as you take in the start of a brand - new day. In the evening, fill a thermos with hot chocolate and pack some cookies, then drive to watch the sunset.

9) Get Fit! Lace up those running shoes, fill that water bottle, and sign - up for a local gym’s free fitness class. Try something you’ve never done before…who knows you might end up finding a new sport together!

10) Creative Tenting - Whether inside your apartment or nestled in your own backyard, set up a tent for the two of you. Charge your cell phones inside and head out back. Fill your tent with sleeping bags, pillows, a flashlight, and make love under the moon. If you are in your apartment string twinkle lights to act as your stars and reconnect with one another.

Celebrating your love together doesn’t have to cost you anything but time. Start enjoying each other in adventurous ways!