This economy has had the same effect on relationships that a punch to the jejunum has on a person's sense of safety and wellbeing: not good. Somewhere along the line (I'm guessing roughly 10,000 years ago) it was decided that in lieu of emotional availability, men could trade material goods (such as food, shiny stuff and designer, sabretooth loin clothes) for physical affection and carnal congress. And for a while it was good.
Then the economy became a real bummer and the whole program went spinning off into the sun. So every week or so, I come up with a good and cheap date idea for couples to try out. This week, hit the library.
I know what you're thinking, "Isn't having sex in a public place a little cliché and possibly illegal?" Yes, yes it is. I'm not suggesting that you play Angela and Tony (Judith Light and Tony Danza from Who's The Boss?) in the stacks*; you do so at your own risk and may Zelda the Librarian have mercy on your soul.
What I am suggesting is becoming members of your local library and using their resources. Although it's an outdated place to do research, the library has lots of free stuff. They have new books, old books, paperbacks and how-tos of all ilk… for free (not to mention copies of books like Sex: How To Do Everything). They also have movies, magazines, audio books and some music. If you're not afraid to ask a very wholesome-seeming woman where the Kama Sutra is, you can get that too. Way to save some cash, ya'll. Read: Kama Sutra 101
How does this help your relationship? It helps your relationship the same way that purchasing any of these fine entertainment products might. So, make a trip to the library, look up a few dirty words in the gigantic dictionary, check out The Notebook and pick a book out for your piece and have him do likewise for you. Because the items are due back a certain date, it'll force you to actually read it, watch it or listen at it with a quickness.
If you're fixin' to take a road trip for a holiday (like Memorial Day!), scoop up an audio book that you'll both enjoy (like a Steve Martin novella or this great new book called The Da Vinci Code), because most radio really sucks. This could save your relationship and, if one of you is terribly dramatic, your life.
*The only exception is if you're a college student in her last semester, then bone away, young exhibitionist.