One Man’s Relationship Boost on a Budget

One Man’s Relationship Boost on a Budget


Hey Urban Housewives! Back again with one of my favorite guest writers, Reed Patterson. Last month Reed broke down the myth of the man cave. This month, he’s proving that a creative and romantic “getaway” with your significant other doesn’t have to break the bank, and that some guys out there know how to make a gal feel special.  

Sipping coffee before work, I think of her. She’s not my girlfriend, but we’re exclusive. She stays over, but won’t leave her toothbrush (something I dig, but can’t figure out based on simple convenience). She wants to try new activities with me, go on unique dates, and explore the world – but my budget has room for dinner and a movie and not much else. How can I give her what she wants when money is tight?1

My coffee goes cold as I sit and think. I don’t have a microwave, so a quick zap is out of the question. Brewing a new batch in the French press is out of the question too; I had to leave for work five minutes ago. Packing my bag and looking ruefully at my cold coffee, I have an exceedingly rare ‘eureka’ moment.

Coffee. French Press. A thousand blends, roasts and flavors.

I walk out of my apartment and sent her a text message that said, “How does evening coffee in Rio sound?”2

So as not to belabor the story any longer, what follows is a brief outline of an on-going activity I maintain with my now-girlfriend (not sure if this did it, but we are officially together).  It is cheap and fun – and could bring you and your significant other closer together.

With a hands-on coffee maker3 and a quick Internet search, I found a way to spend a special 20 minutes with my girlfriend everyday.

Buy a French press (or AeroPress), and learn to make coffee with it.  Acquaint yourself with the process of making a really good cup of coffee.  (Press the strainer down together if you want to get super sappy with it.) Use up all the old coffee grinds in your apartment.

Next, find a local coffee shop that doesn’t serve Venti-Half-Caff-Skinny-Caramel-Machiattos.  One near me is called “Beans”, and it has barrels and barrels filled with, you guessed it, coffee beans of all kinds. Go and browse the selections. Take in the earthy, dry aromas, ask knowledgeable clerks about different roasts, flavors and storage methods.

Then, pick a country or three you want to sample coffee from. Brazil, Vietnam and Peru are all good places to start. Buy some small bags of beans and be on your way.

At home, put on some traditional music (free on YouTube or Spotify) from the country you are preparing coffee from. Read about how natives of that country say ‘coffee’ and ‘cheers’ while your water boils.

Brew the coffee. Take a sip. Talk about the aroma and the flavor. Enjoy.

After a few weeks of this you will have sampled coffee from a dozen countries, learned a thing or two and shared a lot of fun (and inexpensive) moments with your significant other. Plus you can impress your friends and family with how much you know about coffee…and when money allows, you can order up a perfect cup in any country you visit.4

1 I’m not complaining. She likes me for things other than my wallet.  But she does expect me to be creative and thoughtful, which is every man’s big issue, right?

2 Only at lunch did I realize that I locked my keys in my apartment. My landlord brought a spare set to me that night…and coffee in Rio turned into coffee at Starbucks. So day one failed, but the rest went swimmingly!

3 Automatic-drip sort of ruins the ‘hands-on, joint activity aspect’. In this writer’s opinion, also brews an inferior cup.

4 You could use this activity as a jumping-off point for learning a language…but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. It is only coffee!

Photo Credit: globalreset