Life isn’t a romantic comedy. As much as I wish I was Matthew McConaughey in How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days, or Matthew McConaughey in Fool’s Gold, or I guess any scenario where I’m Matthew McConaughey/dating Kate Hudson, the truth is much less exciting.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the kind time and money portrayed in movies to be crushing date nights three times a week. For every time I’ve had a romantic, beachside dinner while the sun set around my date and I, there’s been ten “date nights” that just involve sweatpants, Netflix, and Chinese takeout. As awesome as I know that sounds (especially for your wallet), sometimes you have to get creative and spice it up. Here are some ideas.
There’s nothing more romantic than enjoying a sensual massage with your lover. You let a professional ease you of all the stress of your daily life, soothing your sore muscles as you gaze deeply into your date’s eyes, and sink blissfully into a relaxed state of nirvana together.
You two don’t have time for three hours of lily-scented spas and full-body massages. That shit would take all afternoon, and you’ve still got to buy your nephew a gift for his third birthday party you’re attending later. You and your partner need to hit the mall to figure out what the modern-day equivalent of Hot Wheels is and pick up a set of those. But wait. You know what else the mall has? Those pay-per-minute massage chairs.
That’s right. Nestled romantically in between the Cinnabon and the child’s playpen are two faux-leather-bound chairs with your names on them. Sure, one of them is broken and only kind of vibrates your head, and the other one feels like broken bed springs digging into your lower back, but that counts as a date, goddamn it. Go drop five dollars (in quarters) into the machine and let two massage chairs that were last serviced seven years ago sink you into a state of deep relaxation. While the smell is less “vanilla and fresh linens” and more “child’s urine and Cinnabon,” You’d be surprised how well those actually go together. Romance and relaxation, what more can you ask for?
When you first started dating, you were in the best shape of your lives. You hit the gym every day after work and your abs were visible (in the right lighting). One serious relationship later, and it takes you four tries to get off the couch, and you break a sweat with the effort of eating a wrap. And we all know that what you’re calling a “chicken and avocado wrap” is actually just a burrito. It’s time to rekindle that old spark and get back in shape.
Lace up those Nikes that haven’t seen the light of day in eight months and set off on a beautiful jog down the lakeshore with your boo. Not only are you getting healthy, this is also quality time you can spend talking about your lives. Or it would be, if you were anywhere near in shape to talk and run at the same time.
Three minutes in, you’ll both realize that you can barely run a mile, let alone the three you agreed on. You’ll start pouring sweat, both out of the exertion of a jogging two blocks, and out of fear that your partner will realize they deserve better than you when you need to take a break less than a third of the way in. You’ll both attempt to keep a natural conversation flowing, but your dry mouth won’t allow for anything past animalistic grunts. You’ll call it quits after .776 of a mile, call an Uber to take you back home, and spend the ride talking about how “great the runner’s high felt,” and how “this is the start of a great habit.” Any self-worth you think you’ve gained with your run is immediately cancelled when you see each other’s flabby bodies while changing out of your barely-used workout clothes. You’ll still pretend to be attracted to each other, but immediately turn the lights off to have sex so as to hide the disgusting view of your mushy bodies slapping together. Couples that run together, have fun together!
Watch The Sunset
Treat yourself to the awe of nature’s glory as you end the day with a beautiful view. Watch the sun light the sky on fire as a blazing ball of color illuminates the world around you and closes out yet another amazing day of your relationship. The breathtaking spectacle is even more colorful as it refracts off all the gas fumes surrounding you as you sit in stopped traffic on your commute. You breathe deeply and intake the smell of car exhaust and leftover McDonald’s you’ve left on your passenger seat since Tuesday.
Of course, your partner isn’t with you, per se, but you did see a picture of the same sunset on their Snapchat story, which is practically the same thing. There’s something so romantic about the fact that, even though you two aren’t together, you’re still looking up at the same sky and thinking of
each other whether the other has picked up dinner for tonight.
Get Cozy In The Backseat
Take it back to your “young love” days and take your date to the drive-in movies. Sure, the nearest drive-in theatre is forty minutes away and it’ll take you a half hour to clean out all the shit from the back of the minivan, but it’ll all be worth when you get to snuggle with your boo.
Put down the back seats of the van, grab a bunch of blankets and pillows, and head to the theater. As soon as the movie starts, you’ll get the rush of excitement you used to feel anytime you were alone together. You’ll catch your partner’s eye, shoot them a sly look, and grab them by the hand to lead them back to your makeshift “backseat bed.” They’ll run their hands through your hair, and you’ll feel their warm breath on your neck as they whisper into your ear “I smuggled in a bottle of wine and some snacks.” You’ll both fall asleep with red-stained teeth and crumbs all over you, no more than 35 minutes into the movie.
Afterward, you’re going to fight about who has to drive, and complain that you have to be up in four hours, but for those few blissful hours, everything will be perfect. .