Together with Roesler and Sue Sabijan, a Toronto psychotherapist, we've come up with 10 fun and romantic holiday dates that will rock your winter no matter what's in your wallet.
Play in the snow and make a snowman
"It's not about the price tag, it's about the connection you can create with your partner," says Roesler. If you both enjoy the outdoors, throw on your warmest winter coats and roll around in the snow as if you were kids again. "Dating on a budget takes a lot of creativity," explains Sabijan. Get out and build a snowman, make snow angels or, if you're feeling especially frisky, start a snowball fight. Once you've cooled off, head inside to cuddle together under a warm blanket and share a pot of tea while watching a romantic holiday movie.
Check out the holiday scenery
Stroll hand in hand as you enjoy your neighbourhood's holiday lights and decorations. "It's all about building a rapport with your significant other," says Roesler, which can happen over something as simple as "holding hands and going for a walk in the winter wonderland."
Not much happening in your neighbourhood? No problem! "Look for local parks to wander through together, and take in nature's wintry beauty," suggests Sabijan. She also emphasizes that "walking promotes much needed communication in couples." It's guaranteed you'll have fun exploring new areas and enjoying the holiday scenery together.
Build a gingerbread house
Throw on some holiday tunes and make your own gingerbread house while sharing some eggnog. "This is so romantic because it gives you and your partner time to interact, listen and share ideas," says Sabijan. "And teamwork and co-operation are a great way to reconnect and spruce up your relationship skills." If you're feeling adventurous, why not each make your own gingerbread house and gift them to each other.
Page 1 of 3 – Enjoy being outside? Discover the activities you and your partner can do in the great outdoors on page 2.
Get your holiday shopping done together
Shopping for gifts can get really mundane when you're all by your lonesome. "Life isn't about crossing things off of a to-do list," says Roesler. Tag along with your partner and make the chore of gift buying a romantic activity.
"Use this as an opportunity for communication," recommends Sabijan. Indulge in hot chocolate, hold hands, window shop and maybe even hint to your honey what you want for Christmas. We promise, holiday shopping has never been so fun!
If you're craving the touch of your honey, what better way to get close than by wrapping your arms around each other and sledding down a hill? Roesler says childhood activities like sledding are a great way to reconnect with your partner.
Skip the extra baggage of carrying around two sleds and take turns steering the toboggan down the hill. If you're feeling brave and it's safe, surprise your honey by tipping the sled over midway down the hill. "Joke, laugh, talk, share and have fun," recommends Roesler.
Go ice skating
If you live near a pond that freezes over during the winter, grab your ice skates and enjoy an afternoon skating hand in hand in the great outdoors. If you're both city slickers, worry not – most towns have an indoor skating rink. This can be especially fun for those who don't know how to skate. Learning a new activity together can nurture a relationship and bring you closer to your partner.
Create your own tradition
Sabijan recommends creating your own celebration of love with a Love Log. "Keep a chart on your fridge and write romantic notes of gratitude to your partner as a thank you for something they've done for you in the recent days," says Sabijan.
Being specific and focusing your attention on your partner's efforts will go a long way in rekindling the romance. "This sets the tone for a warm holiday season and enhances the passion with compassion," says Sabijan.
Page 2 of 3 – Discover the fun in taking trips with your partner on page 3.
Surprise them with tickets to the ballet
If you’ve got some extra dough, secretly buy tickets to the ballet, opera or a play your partner has been dying to see. “The gesture will make the date a memorable one and meet their needs at the same time,” Says Sabijan.
To add to the element of surprise, take initiative by clearing your partner’s schedule for the night and leaving the tickets on his pillow with a sweet note. “Feeling loved and connected, and knowing someone is listening to your wants and needs is a great way to counteract the stress of the holidays,” says Roesler.
Take a trip to a couples spa or ski resort
Why not forgo the traditional holiday gift-giving and rather than buying each other gifts, combine your finances and take a weekend trip to a couples spa resort. “Such peak experiences are magical and memorable,” explains Sabijan. “A weekend escape filled with holiday cocktails, relaxing couples massages and mud baths is a great way to relieve built-up holiday stress and reconnect with your partner.”
Alternatively, Roesler recommends taking a romantic vacation to a ski resort. To save a few bucks and avoid the big crowds, take a few days off midweek and enjoy the serenity while you ski, snowboard and nurse your sore muscles in an outdoor hot tub under the cold, wintry sky.
Page 3 of 3