Morgan Jones

Date Nights for Every Budget

Morgan Jones
Date Nights for Every Budget

It’s no secret that I love eating out, finding a new favorite martini, and getting dressed up for an hour to sit at a table in front of someone who sees me basically everyday. But since we’ve graduated college, grown into our careers, and had to figure out how to maintain a normal adult life (as opposed to deciding whether or not to go to one of my two classes per day in college, going to the gym instead, and going straight to happy hour), it’s inevitably become harder for us to figure out how to spend more QT with each other that isn’t us sitting in a room after a long day at work while we both continue to work, and go through the same motions everyday. The two of us have been together through my sorority days (YIKES), summers back home, and now in real adult lives supporting our own damn selves and at each phase of our relationship, the one thing that has kept us true to US is learning how to close out the rest of the world and paying attention to no one other than each other. [..............]

Low-Budget: You don’t have to be on the lower income spectrum to want to have cheaper, more lowkey date nights; and to be honest, once I started making more money, it often meant that I was working harder and longer hours and craved nights in more than anything. I also became more conscious of my money and my investments, savings accounts, and credit cards once I had more money to spend (anyone else feel this way??) A few of my favorite cheap date nights include:

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  1. Ordering chinese or thai food, ordering bottles of wine to my front door, smoking a joint and renting a movie: And yes, I order wine to my door because if I’m going to be lazy with ordering my food, I basically have no reason to go out to buy wine to pair it with, amiright?? - TOTAL: $50 all in

  2. Going to bottomless brunch in a new neighborhood: eating out can get to be really expensive, but if you pick and choose the meals you eat out, it doesn’t have to be. I love more than anything to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday and take the train somewhere we aren’t familiar with (although more times than not I end up in the West Village because, well, it’s my favorite neighborhood to ever exist). Plus, when you have nowhere to be all day, going to a new restaurant for brunch and drinking throughout is the perfect leeway into talking goals, bringing up something you’ve wanted to, or just laughing at the little things you don’t always get to appreciate. My favorite addition: put your phones in the middle of the table and whoever picks theirs up first has to pay….if you’re really on a budget you’ll make sure not to pick yours up ;) TOTAL: ~$40 no ubers included (there’s no rush anyway)

  3. Happy Hour: there’s no explaining to do here - choose a new place each time and vent about work stress, ask for advice, and have a martini too many to forget about work - you’re not there anyway!

Medium-Budget: for when you can’t decide if you want to go all out or save up for your next extravaganza

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  1. Go to your favorite dinner spot: For some reason, whenever Christian asks me where I want to go to din when we’re being casual, I always choose Italian - probably because I feel like i get full & fat for what I pay for and wine is always on the menu. If you and your latest fling are new to the dining scene, I suggest going on Infatuation or Yelp and finding 4+ star restaurants with 2-3 $’s. Personal trick: look at photos of the inside and drinks to make sure you can get a good instagram if nothing else. You can thank me later.

  2. Museum + Cocktail Bar: nothing like walking around a new museum and being visually stimulated while also feeling cultured and educated. TBH I have to pull an arm and a leg to get CKA to go to a museum with me unless I bribe him with “I’ll buy din after” or “I’ll walk puppy in the morning” BUTTTT that being said, this is one of the easiest ways to get out of the house and do something new without having to put much work into it. And on the cocktail bar note - I think this one is self-explanatory - especially if your beau is anything like Christian, you’ll need a drink after forcing him to see the beautiful brush strokes on paintings from 1786 for two hours.

High-Budget, No F$%*s given: If you know me, you know I love nothing more than to eat well and drink lots while booking my next adventure. There doesn’t always need to be an occasion to celebrate either, which I think is something we all overthink way to much. Our victories worth celebrating can be as big as getting a promotion, anniversary, or birthday, or as small as having a rough day or week at work, accomplishing your daily goal, or just fucking because you woke up feeling worth it.

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  1. Dinner at the Polo Bar while brainstorming next vacation spots: I realize that this one is over the top and usually these dates have a lot of balance to them whether that’s in the form of sharing an entree while booking flights internationally, or indulging in the meal and looking at Google Destinations to find the cheapest places on your bucket list during specific dates. Either works and I don’t have a preference over which is prioritized more.

  2. Staycation: I have a horrible habit of trying to justify splurges to myself. Like when I decide to book a new hotel in NYC for a random night and say that I’m doing it so that I can write about it. So this one comes in the form of a challenge for me. Recently Christian and I stayed at the One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge with Beau, ordered room service, and then spent a day at the Russian Baths. We opted out of giving each other big gifts for Christmas and spent the money on a staycation instead. More about this here [LINK] - but this is the PERFECT way to unwind and decompress when feeling overwhelmed with stress and anxiety nonstop.

  3. A day - or weekend - planned of activities: Originally I wrote “Spa Day” until I realized that not everyone’s boyfriends are like Christian who loves nothing more than a good face mask and bath bomb or “soak” in CKA’s words. Call a restaurant that is impossible to get a reservation at and ask for their next Saturday night dinner res for 2, and plan a day around that dinner. Christian and I did this for his birthday weekend at Cecconi’s in Brooklyn (a restaurant that is a brilliant idea and comes from renowned history of Cecconi’s, but this one in particular was one of the most horrific dining experiences ever…..BEYOND THE POINT), we went to Brooklyn early for Christian to take photos (his hidden talent), and to get drinks and explore. Not every date night needs to be planned in a timely manner, and I highly recommend making random reservations weeks or months in advance and planning around that to make it extra special.

What are your favorite date nights? How do you and your beau find one-on-one time with each other in your crazy lives? Share in the comments, I’ll always respond :)