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Dear Lifelines: Romance on a Budget

Dear Lifelines:

I’m not good with romance, but want some ideas to impress my girlfriend. What can I do? I don’t have a lot of money.

Valentino Wannabe

Dear Valentino,

It sounds like you really care about her and it’s wonderful that you want to do something extra-special for her. It’s a real myth that impressing people requires spending a lot of money. You can do any number of things that will impress her if you just take some time to notice and be aware of what she gets excited over. Does she enthuse about you making her a supper or cleaning up after a meal or does she love receiving things from you like affection or caring and supportive words? It just takes a bit of time to notice these things and once you realize what she really likes, then you have cracked the romance code and can follow the pattern for what impresses her. If she loves getting gifts, getting a special book, a thoughtful card, a solitary rose or hand-picked wild flowers or something you make for her might be just what she would love. If she frequently asks to do things together with you, you might want to plan out a night just for her, doing all of her favourite things without waiting for her to ask for it.

So those are a few ideas, but only you will be able to predict what she might enjoy by paying close attention to the way she responds to other people’s gifts, what she holds close to her and what she values as special. Many people would much rather spend time with their loved ones or enjoy hearing thoughtful and positive words from them rather than getting jewellery or gifts. If you plan something out with her in mind and on a regular basis, it will become easier and easier and it might just be the best thing for your relationship.

One other piece of advice might be to pick up a book called The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts by Gary Chapman. Within this book are many tips regarding five areas to focus on with your partner and yourself which can drastically improve your relationship. It’s worth the effort to check it out!

Enjoy your detective work and Happy Valentine’s Day!


“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.”

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) Scottish satirical writer, essayist, historian and teacher.


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