Dating is hard. I’ve been in a long distance relationship since 2013 and it sucks being so far apart. Aside from the distance, another hurdle is the fact that we’re both students so funds are pretty tight. I think regular date nights are so important especially in long-term relationships since they remind you both that you have a blast together. I’ve compiled ten budget-friendly ideas for date night. No excuses, ladies and gents, no excuses.


  1. Dessert night
    Each of you makes a dessert (or two, or three…) to surprise the other with. No spoiling it for each other. Then spend the evening pigging out and comparing kitchen skills. You could also buy desserts if you’re lazy/awful at cooking but I think it’s more fun to watch the disaster unfold in the kitchen.cinema date.png
  2. Fancy cinema date 
    I know, I know, the cinema is so ridiculously overpriced now but hear me out. If you live near an Odeon check out ‘The Gallery‘ package because you get VIP extra wide seats, unlimited popcorn, drinks and nachos! You can check out the latest flick and also feel like shabby royalty for an evening. It is 18+ and only available in some cities in the UK but I’m sure other cinemas do similar experiences, and with the unlimited snackage, it doesn’t work out as that much more expensive than night.png
  3. Game night
    I’m talking old school games: hide and seek, monopoly, wink murder (maybe not with just the two of you…), cluedo, snakes and ladders, pictionary, charades! Invite other friends/couples round for a more competitive and social vibe, or keep it just the two of you and make up your own rules.scavenger.png
  4. Plan a scavenger hunt
    I remember doing this for my partner when we went on a day trip to Glasgow. One of you comes up with a list of things (or both of you create lists and swap) and then you adventure all over the city trying to collect them all. I’ve left some examples below if you’re confused/stuck for ideas.
    – something blue
    – a photo of a statue
    – a receipt that isn’t yours
    – a photo of a doppelganger
    – thought-provoking graffiti
    – a selfie with a stranger
    – something golden
    – something shiny
    – your name/initials somewhere in the city
    The best thing about this is that you’ll have amazing photos and memories from the day together. If you’ve collected a load of physical items you could even make a scrapbook or something with them.breakfast.png
  5. Breakfast date
    Meet really early for breakfast at a cafe in the city centre and watch the world wake up. Alternatively, make breakfast for dinner! Full English, pancakes, fruit and yoghurt, whatever floats your boat. Breakfast is always a good
  6. Furniture date
    This is basically window shopping. Go to a store and try every sofa, pick out the ugliest rug, choose what you’d buy if you were a millionaire etc. Myself and my partner have had such a blast just dicking around pretending to be fancy. If you actually want to spend money, head to a charity shop and set a £5 budget or something and buy a ridiculous present for each other. Trust me, you end up with some proper crap but it’s so much
  7. Ice-cream date
    I don’t care if it’s October and you’re freezing your nads off, grab a coat, some gloves and head to the park to eat soft serve ice-cream sat on a bench together.bad film.png
  8. Bad film date
    Each of you chooses the worst film you’ve ever seen and you watch them, easy! You could pick one your partner will hate, one that’s so bad it’s good, one that’s downright offensive… the only rule is that you both watch both films all the way through. Sarcastic commentary is of course allowed.quiz night.png
  9. Quiz night
    Find a free pub quiz and join in, or make up your own quizzes for each other. If you’re feeling mean you could make it a relationship quiz and impose forfeits for every incorrect answer.surprisse.png
  10. Surprise date
    Set a budget, then go wild. Each of you plan a surprise with the budget and you’ll have a cracking time. This reveals a lot about your partner and also tends to be hilarious: e.g. if one of you turns up with gin and dirty playing cards and the other turns up with a personalised puzzle of your faces or whatever. You could do the dates on the same day, different nights, consecutive evenings or whatever, just keep the element of surprise and you’ll have a blast.


There you have it! Absolutely no excuses for not having a good time together. I love Netflix with all my heart but sometimes you need to get away from the binge and do something a little more creative with your boo.

Don’t forget you can follow me on twitter and instagram if you’re missing me between blog posts.

Posted by:MJ

20, studying at UEA in Norwich

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