With the latest Euro zone crisis dominating worldwide headlines and continually ominous prophecies of a double-dip from the newsreaders acting as modern-day oracles, the economic recession is never far from our minds… or hearts. A recession is never easy on anyone, least of all a struggling couple who want to retain at least some of the idealism that Hollywood endorses!
‘Recession romance’ has been one of the buzzwords as of late, such is the extent of the dilemma; many publications have reviewed it over and over again. Here are my top ten tender but thrifty ideas for romancing that special person:
1. Run a sensuous bath for the two of you
If your daily routine consists mainly of a hurried shower in the morning while your partner brushes his or her teeth, why not change it up and bathe together (if your tub with allow it of course!) Think along the lines of the famous scene in Out of Africa and run a hot bath teeming with soothing bubbles. Put some music on, lie back and lather up together…
2. Donate a relaxing massage
All too often, partners neglect the power of being tactile with each other. Often it is an ideal way to be giving and generous; offer to give them a massage and take your time with it. You could perhaps make your own aromatherapy oils at home and even create a hot towel cabinet effect worthy of a top salon by warming the towels on the radiator first.
3. Get crafty with a homemade card
Remember when you were younger and your teachers used to encourage you to find your artistic talents through making Mothers’ Day cards? Well that was all good practice for expressing your feelings to that special someone! From experience, homemade cards are the ones that survive the threat of the recycling bin and remain treasured in a trinket box. You could use photos of the pair of you or tickets from your first dates together to create a card that will be treasured forever.
4. Pick your own flowers
Rather than buying an overpriced bouquet, create your own bunch that symbolises you as a couple. Sometimes the most beautiful and suited bouquets are a mélange of different flowers and personalities. You could pick flowers from the garden or, if you don’t have one, head out to the woods to find some beautiful wild flowers. Just be sure you have permission to pick them first, you don’t want an angry forest ranger on your tail!
5. Cook up a storm
If cooking isn’t your thing, don’t worry, as you can surely earn lots of bonus points for effort. Experiment with different recipes and edge towards the unusual to create a unique menu that differs from your usual take-out on a Saturday night. There are lots of celebrity chef cookbooks out there to take inspiration from, or for extra bonus points, get a nostalgic favourite recipe from their family that takes him or her back to fond childhood memories!
6. Straight from the art
Even if art wasn’t your best subject at school, for that special person your art work will be a masterpiece and an example of how much you value them, to go out of your comfort zone. From experience, some of the best birthday gifts have been pieces of art that can adorn the walls of the co-habiting home.
7. Homemade jewelery
Jewelery is the quintessential romantic gift, but if finance is an issue then you might have already dismissed the idea. But sometimes the cutest jewelery can simply consist of a few daisy chains that remind you of that summer music festival where you first met. It is possible to make your own jewelery that will be cherished forever. A stone found on a beach makes a great necklace pendant or a simple homemade friendship bracelet can speak volumes.
8. Stitch together a patchwork quilt or cushion
If like me, you were a little lackluster at textiles and haberdashery, you might be a little afraid of the next option. Making a patchwork quilt from t-shirts or souvenir towels could be a really imaginative option. If you’re feeling like investing in something a little more personal, superimposing your most romantic photos onto material and then stitching it into a quilt or a cushion will produce a piece of interior that could last a lifetime.
9. Love tokens
Many couples don’t feel they have enough quality time for intimacy. Writing out a love token or love cheque is a promise of excitement to come. There’s no limit to the content of a love token, so let your imagination run wild.
10. Collect ‘your’ songs
Gone are the days when we created mixed tapes, waiting for the radio DJ to play that one song that reminded us of that special someone at school; now it’s all about the electronic playlist. It’s easier than ever to source the perfect songs and upload them on to your beloved’s MP3 player or computer; think about the songs that were played during your first date, first kiss or first dance.
As always, this list isn’t exhaustive; the key with a recession romance is keeping everything fresh and aim to keep the flame burning while leaving your bank balance (and stress levels) untouched. While you may have stresses in the office, coming home to your loved one in the evening should be one word… fun!
This guest post was contributed by Leyla, an aspiring blogger. She is currently writing on behalf of Salons Direct, the leading stockists of hairdressing and beauty supplies in the UK.