15 Ideal Date Ideas For Men, According To Men

Surprise him with plans for a date he'll love.

couple driving in car on a date Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Dating is expensive. If you're going out on dates hoping to meet someone and make them your boyfriend or girlfriend, chances are you'll be dropping a lot of change on drinks and dinners.

Dating isn't a thing to embark on when you're broke, but sometimes we do it anyway. Because while our wallets might be empty, when our hearts are empty too, we'd rather focus on our hearts and let the chips (and credit card bills) fall where they may.


But in terms of date night ideas, not everyone wants to drop serious dough on a trip to the movies, an extravagant dinner, or tickets to a show. In fact, some of the best date ideas include those that are spent at home. While most ladies would agree, what men think may actually... be on par with a woman's perspective.

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Sure, you could sit around and stare at each other for hours, but a big part of building a relationship with your man is actually going out and experiencing different things together.

Can you do that on a budget? Is it a possibility? 

I wondered if this was something that men, as the folks who traditionally pony up the bucks on dates, might have feelings about too. After all, if it's something that women worry about, it's got to be on the mind of the dudes in our lives too, right?

Sure enough, when I headed over to the AskMen subreddit, I found that this was a pretty popular subject on the forum. It wasn't just men complaining about dating being expensive, either. In fact, what I found really made me happy — men were advising each other on great date night ideas for stay-at-home dates that didn't have to cost an arm and leg.


As you can imagine, a bunch of guys immediately named "doing the deed" as their preferred stay-at-home date. But plenty of the other men took the struggle seriously. Check out what these guys recommend to a man eager to find some affordable options for the best date ideas at home.

15 best date ideas to plan for men

1. Take to the open road.

"One date that I did with my wife, I prepared some food, and I got my laptop and an external monitor. I drove us up into a secluded area in the mountains in our SUV. I then laid the middle seats down so we could jump into the back seat, and I set up the laptop and external monitor on the collapsed middle seats. I hooked the laptop earphone jack into the vehicle's sound system for more theater-like sound, and I brought blankets and pillows. So it was basically a twist on the traditional dinner-and-a-movie night. She enjoyed it very much and all it cost was a little gas and my time to prepare the food in advance and set up the equipment in the vehicle."

2. Channel your inner child.

"Build a fort in the living room with pillows and blankets."

3. Cuddle up with a movie.

"Our cheap nights tend to fall into two categories: 1. Pirate a movie or find something on Netflix, make some popcorn on the stove. 2. Play cribbage, and get drunk on Two Buck Chuck. Alas, it's Three Buck Chuck here."


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​4. Cook something fun.

"I like when we cook together. Get some ice cream cones going and go for a nice walk, watch a movie together, cards."

5. Watch the game and snuggle up.

"Order a pizza (or grab some hot dogs from the supermarket if even a pizza's out of your price range), watch the game, have sex afterward, instant awesome night."

6. Battle each other in video games.

"Got any video games? Are you in a place where you can build a fire and roast marshmallows? Those are both winners for me and the old lady."

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7. Jump in the shower together.

"Cook, movie, heavy petting, shower together, more heavy petting, sleep."

8. Break the law together.

"Grab a bottle of wine, a blanket, foodstuff, and glowy sticks. Find a golf course late at night and have a picnic."

9. Watch tutorial videos online.

"I look up cheap recipes, like maybe a pasta dish of some kind, and make dinner. Then I go on YouTube and look up partner dance videos, play it on the TV, and practice dancing with her. After that, I look up tutorials on how to give a good body massage. And then cuddle."

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10. Rent a free movie.

"Go to your local library and get a movie for free, you can also cook a nice meal together and enjoy a couple of drinks. You can start a new TV show together, maybe play a game. Go for a walk and explore your town, listen to an album together and get a little bit stoned. Start a YouTube channel, and vlog together. Read a book together and switch off every chapter."


11. Check out a local drive-in movie

"A drive-in movie. If it's nice out, camping outside."

12. Have a picnic.

"The nights are long in the Northern Hemisphere. Get some food. Put it in a basket. Take a blanket with you. Take her out for a picnic. It doesn't have to be expensive. Connection is more important."

13. Spin some vinyl.

"We have a nice beer, play a board game, and spin a record."


14. Check items off your bucket list.

"You don't have to spend cash every night when you two are together. Heck, it wouldn't be smart to spend money every time. Play a game, watch a show, cuddle in bed all night, make a bucket list, and try new sexy stuff. You can do basically anything."

15. Get in bed.

"If there is absolutely no cash: sex. If there is some cash: a bottle of wine, board game then sex."

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer, podcaster, and former Senior Editor of Pop Culture at Newsweek.