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My sister and her boyfriend were best friends before they started dating. The day he finally asked her out, he told her he wanted to go on an actual date and take her to a nice restaurant. My sister told him, “No, we aren’t fancy restaurant people” and told him if they were going to date that she wanted that friendship to be part of it. She wanted to still do what they’ve been doing, just now hang out as an actual couple instead of just friends.

Somehow this came to my mind today, and I was thinking how I am actually the same way. Sure, a nice restaurant every now and then for a birthday or exciting news is nice (because let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t beat that awesome expensive food). But I’m not a fancy restaurant person.

Instead, take me to a bar on a football game day, buy me a beer, and lets scream and high-five other sports fans we don’t know who are also watching the big screens.

Take me for a walk in the park and sit on the swings with me. Come to my house, watch one of my favorite movies with me, and attempt not to get annoyed when I start reciting word for word what the characters in the movies say. I can’t help it. Play monopoly with me, and don’t let me win. I like competition.

Come offroading with me and let me show you how much I adore the woods, how much peace and adventure it brings me. Watch me wipe out on my snowboard from not having had practice in the past two years, though I love shooting down the hills at a dangerous speed. Take me horseback riding since I can’t own my own. Gather a group of friends and lets all go to a paintball course so I can feel like a sniper.

Teach me how to shoot a real gun because I like being the girl others know not to mess with.

Let each other in on little secrets that the other person may not always pick up. Tell each other things you love, things you want to do, things that make you feel alive, make you scared, make you excited as if it’s the greatest idea you’ve had all year. Don’t do the normal things, because I doubt you’re a normal couple. Don’t go to a fancy restaurant just because that’s the norm. What do you as a couple like to do? Don’t just date, be friends. You should marry your best friend, and if you’re not doing fun things together as if you were friends, then doesn’t it feel tense? Feel comfortable in the relationship whether you really are just friends or if you’re something more.

You don’t always need to do something that costs money. You don’t need to always be alone. Heck, you don’t even need to go somewhere. But remember the things you love, and do those things, not the things everyone else does. You can be romantic and still have fun without having everything planned out. I am not a planner, so there won’t be much planning involved in mine.

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