When I was little, I had really grand ideas of romance and friendship. Older kids went on big fancy dates, with cute dresses, flowers, and spontaneous situations. When I came to be that age though, the idea of fancy dates became kind of lost on me, but I still liked the idea of big fancy dates if the opportunity ever arose. I'm one of those people who loves to create grand expectations for themselves, builds situations and ideas up before they even happen.
However, as I've grown up, started earning my own income, and learned to appreciate the person more than the setting, I've learned to appreciate the cheap, low effort dates for what they are, time with a person you care about a lot, with the added bonus of more money staying in your pocket.
My boyfriend and I are long distance, so a lot of our dates are just eating dinner together over Facebook video call and attempting to synchronize funny Youtube videos we can laugh at together. We don't get a lot of opportunities to see each other in person during the school year, so we try to make the best out of what we have. As much as I love the fancy parts of dressing up and trying new foods that come with what I guess would be considered more traditional dates, I feel more comfortable and relaxed with our low effort, low budget video call dates. A lot of that has translated into us being more comfortable around one another, something that definitely adds to our dynamic when we are around each other.
When we are together, we like to plan these big fancy dates, but we don't always follow through. Sometimes, having no plan is more fun than sticking to one for the whole day, and figuring out fun stuff to do together. Overall, it just seems like spontaneity helps us try new things and avoid just doing the same old movie date we like to do whenever we see each other.
My boyfriend recently told me he considers anytime we've gone to Taco Bell together a date, and we go there together a lot. At first, I thought this was silly, but then I thought of the drives we go on after or the times we've just sat there, eating and talking without having to yell over a hundred other conversations. Nothing means more to me than honest and open communication and discussion, so it started to make sense to me that we would consider all these drive-thru runs dates. We always seem to come away from them knowing a little more about the other person. Even if the food isn't exactly Michelin star quality, the relationship definitely is.
As a romantic person, I love dates of all kinds, but in finally learning to embrace drive-thru dates, I've remembered what the whole point of a date is. A date isn't for the cute, aesthetic stories, or a reason to get dressed up (even though I really like that part).
The whole point of a date is to get to know the person better.
Even though I've been with my boyfriend for about a year and a half, there's still a lot about him I have yet to know, and I feel like there's no better setting for that then when we're at our most comfortable. And sitting on our beds two states away from each other on Facebook video chat, or stuffing our faces with cheap fast food in a parked car in front of my hometown's lake seem like pretty comfortable places if you ask me.