Author Topic: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives  (Read 3644 times)

SisterX

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Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« on: August 17, 2015, 10:15:33 PM »
My husband and I moved to a new state in the lower 48 about 2 months ago.  We've been really stressed, not only with the move and with the fact that neither of us has a job yet, but also because we're staying with relatives.  It's ok, my family is wonderful, but...there's no privacy here.  There are five adults including us, and one toddler (ours).  Plus two dogs and a cat.  My husband and I have been spending more and more time apart, so much that sometimes I feel like we only really talk to each other about once a week.  We've been arguing a lot lately, too, and have realized that it's not really about us, it's about all the other stress and craziness that's going on.
We're both pretty extroverted...until we're not.  Then we need alone time to recharge.  However, neither of us has been getting enough alone time lately so when we do have a few minutes without external obligations (ranging from taking care of our kid to helping out around the house to job hunting) we've chosen to spend it alone rather than with each other.
Our one outlet has been that we joined a biking group.  It's not exactly time we spend alone with each other, but it's nice to get out and socialize, and we do manage to set some time apart for us to reconnect and talk with just each other.  At the very least, we have time for just the two of us on the way to meet the group and on the way home.  However, I don't feel like this is enough time as a couple.  About an hour a week to talk and hang out, just us?  (I'm not including, erm, sexy times in this.  That's a different category.)
So now that you've got the background, here's my question: what kinds of things can we do together that don't require spending any money (and I do mean any, since we're still job hunting) and which won't involve the family?  Keep in mind that things like the kitchen are communal, and my family expects that whoever's home will be eating dinner together.  So they'd consider it weird if we cooked a separate dinner and went off somewhere to eat alone together. 
Also to keep in mind: due to one family member having Alzheimer's we can't really (or don't want to?) depend on much childcare from the other family members, who are busy with the Alzheimer's patient, so we're mostly restricted to nap time and after bedtime.
We did come up with the idea of doing each other's hobbies (reading and gaming), but the book he was going to read is packed away and my computer isn't good enough to play the video games.  *facepalm*  (We don't have a different computer I could use for that, and obviously no money to upgrade my machine either.  The book could be unpacked or obtained from the library, but it feels lame to have only one person follow through on this idea.)  I had talked to one of my sibs about obtaining a game HusbandX and I could play together, and the sibling said sure but said sibling is also flaky and hasn't followed through.
What other suggestions do you have? 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #1 on: August 17, 2015, 10:24:47 PM »
This isn't the most thrilling thing on earth, but DH and I would just go for walk when we lived with family. Walk through a nearby neighborhood. Talk about the architecture and what you want in a house, or car models, or play iSpy. Basically, any excuse to get out of the house can be a good thing. We also did a lot of grocery shopping together.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2015, 12:12:36 AM »
Picnic in a nearby park that is bikeable, and take a big blanket to hang out on, or a game or something to toss around (ball, frisbee, etc). If it's during the day, you could even take a board or card game (if it's not too hot or windy).

Shut the door and play board games or card games in your bedroom (just the two of you) when the little one is sleeping. If you don't own any, then ask friends or family if they have any you can borrow.

One of you read out loud to the other. It actually is kind of fun if you can do a chapter at a time and only read the book together. Pick something at the library that you both will like (maybe one the reader loves but the readee isn't familiar with). Even more fun if you really get into doing different voices (and good practice for reading to the little one anyway!)

Speaking of which... go to your local library! My husband and I go to a free yoga class at ours once a week, and it's been really nifty. They do book clubs and other fun stuff as well. Check out yours!

Check out your local free activities in your town - any concerts or festivals in the area? I live in a bedroom community outside of a major city, and there are always free activities going on that would just cost the gas to drive there. Try googling "free activities in CITYNAME" and see what pops up. The husband and I go places sometimes just to people watch (strangely, it's lots of fun to head to someplace like a mall - windowshopping and people watching is entertaining, and costs nothing).

There should be free museum days and even free zoo days if you live near a bigger town/city.

Biking or hiking? There's bound to be walking trails or something nearby.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 12:20:14 AM by Frankies Girl »

2ndTimer

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2015, 09:11:39 AM »
Local MacDonalds.  You guys drink coffee and talk while the child explores the play area.

snogirl

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2015, 09:16:04 AM »
Geocaching.
Free App to show where they are hidden. 
Kids and adults can explore new area & sometimes learn history depending on the placement of the cache (some geocache placers make it educational).
Healthy, interesting and FREE for all ages.

Le Poisson

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 09:18:07 AM »
I can't believe I'm saying this, but my Wife has gotten hooked on Geocaching. Its the dumbest hobby ever.

Anyways, there are 'caches EVERYWHERE. You can use your phone as a GPS, and a hunt can be in your neighbourhood and take as little as half an hour. You will come home with some useless crap to put in a rubbermaid on your dresser and transfer to the next cache you find. It amounts to a nice walk, a common goal, and may be a way to combine your techhie side with a shared adventure.

<EDIT> Apparently I should have read that warning about someone posting while I was typing. 

OK another activity to try - if there is a yacht club/marina nearby, call the manager and ask if there are any boats looking for crew. I know yachting is crazy expensive, but only if you own a boat. Crewing is free. All you have to do is sit on the boat and do whatever the skipper says. "Rail Meat" is just people who move around on the boat to provide ballast where needed. Trimmers work the ropes to adjust the sails to the wind. A good skipper will give instructions as he gets feedback from the helm. A boat usually has a crew of 3-5 people, and skippers are ALWAYS looking for crew. Usually a skipper will supply beer/snacks to keep good crew coming back. Cost to you is to show up with running shoes on - you may want to get your own lifejacket, but most boats come equipped.

Around here the yacht clubs have race night every Wednesday from about 6:00 PM until the boats get in. Could be as early as 8:00 if there is good wind or as late as 10:00 if there is no wind.

The upside to this is that a lot of the boat owners are business owners which may help with your job search if you are outging in the post-race chatter on the docks.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 09:27:39 AM by Prospector »

AZDude

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2015, 02:05:44 PM »
Try the local library and see if they have free passes to local places, like museums and such. You can even take the little one with you, although I think you are selling yourself short if you believe that your relatives cannot help out and watch the LO for at least a couple of hours a week.

Other than that, job hunting should be a full time job. If you have too much free time, then you are probably not looking hard enough. Two months is a long time without either of you having any employment. If my relatives stayed with me for two months without finding a job, I would probably start to think they were moochers(not accusing you, just that could be perception if you start taking leisurely picnics and/or play games/read all day).

Valetta

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2015, 02:14:37 PM »
A lot of these will depend on the size of your city:
You can often find free music - either outdoors or indoors. Even a concert at the local high school could be good if you pick the "honors" band or whatever. Colleges also have this kind of thing, often free.
Many cities have museums that are totally free. I know our biggest art museum is always free.
Free zoo, conservatory, gardens, etc. Some of them may not be free all the time but maybe they have a free day of the week or month?
Go on walks or hikes at local parks or just around your neighborhood.
Libraries often have free events.
Local colleges, schools or churches may have lectures on interesting topics. For example one of the churches here hosts the Town Hall forum - it's not at all religious, just topics of interest and it's free.
Williams Sonoma Stores have free cooking classes. Of course they want you to buy things in the store, but at least the one I went to was really low pressure. We didn't buy anything and had a great time. we also still make the recipes they taught us!
Breweries or wineries have free tours.
The big local theater here has free behind the scenes tours, it's surprisingly interesting. Yours may have something similar.
Many government buildings offer free tours and you can learn some local history.
Colleges also have free astronomy nights - you can look through the big telescopes, it's pretty cool. I've known multiple schools that do this and it's open to the public.
Give blood together - you're doing something good and enjoying time together. You could also donate plasma together and get paid.
Find a volunteer activity to do together. you could both usher at a concert or a play in the evening after bedtime.
The parks department website in your area should have a list of activities - most of them likely free - like movies in the park.

Le Poisson

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2015, 02:26:16 PM »
Little league anything can be a blast too. Make up bingo cards ahead of time. "Kid drops ball",  "Parents dote", "Kid scores" etc.

SisterX

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 01:59:16 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas!  We did spend one evening streaming/watching a show to catch up on the last episode (didn't get to see it because we were in the thick of moving).  Our anniversary is coming up too and we decided to get away for a night to go bike camping.

Other than that, job hunting should be a full time job. If you have too much free time, then you are probably not looking hard enough. Two months is a long time without either of you having any employment. If my relatives stayed with me for two months without finding a job, I would probably start to think they were moochers(not accusing you, just that could be perception if you start taking leisurely picnics and/or play games/read all day).

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!! 
Don't worry.  Without getting into specifics, just know that we're pulling our weight.  Part of the problem is that we're spending so much time job hunting and helping out around the house, in addition to all normal parenting duties and assisting with elder care, that we just haven't had all that much time to ourselves or for each other.

wordnerd

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Re: Date ideas that don't involve money...or relatives
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 02:11:09 PM »
My husband and I have never gone on a lot of "dates," but tend to enjoy mundane tasks together. For instance, just wandering through stores like Big Lots and commenting on the merchandise (I have no idea why this is enjoyable but we usually end up laughing). We listen to podcasts together. We hike. We go on walks to the lake by our house. We cook together.

Living in such a crowded house in a new state sounds hard. You've gotten a lot of good suggestions on outings, so I hope you're able to have some fun together!