In the beginning of every relationship there’s usually a honeymoon period, a little sliver of time where your boo can do no wrong and you do all of the giggly, googly-eyed, corny little things that make those first few months, sometimes the whole first year, so special. It’s bonding time, get-to-know-each-other time, fall-in-love time. And then, if you make it past that stroll through the beautiful flower field, there looms the mountain of the real relationship for you to climb.
And that’s where The Man and I were, still having fun, still in love, still enjoying each other’s company, but needing something new. And then Groupon and Living Social cropped up and gave us a whole new world of ideas for things to do together and sassy little trips to take. They gave us opportunities to do try new stuff together at a discount — especially because we’re not rich. Yet.
That right there makes a huge difference because, no matter how much we plan and daydream for our someday trips to Greece, Italy, and a couple of countries in Africa, one glance at our current checking account balances lets us know we’ll be keeping our four feet planted on the sweet soil of the continental United States for the time being. And that’s cool, because nothing’s worse than traveling broke. When I was back in college, I somehow managed to get from, like, Brooklyn to Winston-Salem on, like, $50. Now as a more dignified adult less willing to ride 350 miles across state lines crunched into the lap of a backseat passenger, I’d rather not.
So until that time comes and world travel becomes a viable hobby, we’ve been able to amuse ourselves with discount sites—also including Yipit and Hotwire, my absolute favorite destination spot online, which is how we managed to visit Chicago for the first time last summer. I pride myself in making a dollar holler, and in the process, keep the fun going with the help of the good folks behind the best bargains on the web. It’s actually helped us:
Support each other’s hobbies. Three things make The Man happy: food, music, and sports (and sex, but Groupon isn’t offering any red light district-esque specials as of yet, not that I’d buy). Give him any three of those things or, even better, a combination thereof, and he’s content as a toddler with a new toy. Because this guy eats and sleeps and Xboxes basketball, I’ve purchased tickets to college and pro games at less than half the normal price to watch his little eyes light up. He, on the other hand, rides out with my love of museums that (hallelujah!) cough up admission discounts every now and then.
Do stuff we keep meaning to do, but keep putting off. When you’re on a budget—especially in a long-distance relationship like ours, where spare dollars generally go to either Greyhound or Exxon in treks to see each other—you have good intentions to get those professional pictures taken together or buy little tokens of appreciation just to say “hey, I think you’re pretty swell.” Discount sites move it from intention to actually doing it because everyone loves to snap up an irresistibly hot deal.
Learn how to do something new together. He loves sushi and he loves to cook, so for Christmas, I hooked him up with a sushi-making class. I love cheesy get-togethers and flexing my creative muscle, so I strong-armed him into trying an evening of couples’ painting, complete with wine and dessert to sedate him in case he got restless. He isn’t chomping at the bit for his own personal paint and canvas set, but it was an experience we wouldn’t have otherwise enjoyed had Living Social not offered up the suggestion.
Date nights have gotten a whole heck of a lot better because 1) discount sites are always publicizing unique products, places, and activities I never would’ve thought about and 2) they’re cheaper than they normally would’ve been. Still, just in case nothing tickles our social calendar fancy, we can always sign up for one of the 1,001 hair removal or teeth whitening deals that stay in heavy rotation.
Do you use discounts or coupons for date night?
Image via sundaykofax/Flickr