My husband and I have experience with love through difficulties.
Like that time we lived 7,000 miles apart (i.e. the first several years of our relationship).
Or recently when he had to slug through six months of 12-hour nightshifts. For the 7 days he was on, we would literally see each other for half an hour (don't get me started on how jetlagged he was for the 7 days he was off… re: ugh).
In situations like this — really in any love situations — the best thing you can do is to find ways to stay connected. For example, while we were dating cross-continents — he was a cryptologist in the Navy, Yokosuka, Japan where I met him while studying abroad, and I was a college student in Maryland — we developed the dinner + a movie date for distance-challenged lovers.
In the spirit of February, I wanted to share with you some frugal ways to stay connected and close to your beau all love-month long.
- Consume the Same Thing at the Same Time: Doing this will give you both common ground for discussion–something desperately needed for distance and time-challenged couples. Listen to the same Podcast together so that you have something to talk about/discuss (like Serial…it's free and awesome!) at work, over lunch time, and during your long, separate commutes. Here's how to download a Podcast so that you can take it with you anywhere. Or get a copy of the same audio book to digest during your separate commutes (use the Interlibrary Loan system at your local library to borrow these for free).
- Leave Notes in Unexpected Places: Think about a post it note in your beau's lunch box, on the mirror so that they'll see it when they first wake up, under toilet seat, on the seat of their car… go through the details of their day and you'll quickly find some great places to hide a note.
- Install Popup-Love Alarms: Set up an alert on their smartphone's calendar with messages of love to pop up throughout the day! If daily is too often, you can schedule these for just one specific date or day of the week.
- Introduce Engagement into Your Food: If you only have time to eat together, then the best way to foster connection is by making the food interactive in some way. Like fondue, where you have to cook your food together. Or ice-cream with a sundae bar (bowls filled with different toppings) so that you each get to build dessert. Not sure what to talk about while guzzling down your grub? Get my Money Questions to Rev Up Your Daily Dialogue for free (hint: these are not your vanilla-bland variety of financial questions, but rather really fun ones that will create intimacy between the two of you).
- Once-a-Week Meetup: It is so much fun to break routine of commute-work-commute-home-dinner-tv-bed. Once a week, set a time and place to meetup with your beau! Paul and I have met one another for a slice of cheesecake (pre-dinner…so naughty), at the Japanese gardens in Hermann Memorial Park where you can walk around for free, for free museum night at the Museum of Fine Arts, etc. What about a mid-week movie? Or meeting up for an evening coffee?
I hope I've shown you there are so many ways to build and maintain relationship connections all love-month long (and beyond) for very little money. And I'd love for you to share your own ways to frugally stay connected with your loved one in the comments below.