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Pandemic Valentine’s Day Dates

Valentine’s Day looks and feels different this year, but it doesn’t mean you have to spend it alone! There are so many new tools and fun ideas for creating a socially-distant yet emotionally-intimate Valentine’s Day date with your sweetheart. 

Distance your Picnic

            It’s always nice and romantic to pack up everything you could want with another person and eat in a secluded place, just you and your partner(s), and it is fairly easy to stay six feet apart. Granted in a lot of places it’s too cold for this date right now, but I can assure you it is just as romantic to eat on a blanket on the floor, if not more. For added mood, move your house plants around the blanket. Practically outdoors, right?

Have a Movie Night

            The tried-and-true movie night, whether that is bad rom- coms, good romance movies, or a genre of your own preference, is completely translatable to long/social distance. You can’t cuddle and be otherwise physically intimate, but you can share movies on Discord, Zoom, Skype, or another service. The “Netflix and chill” move is also easily translated to online voice or video calls. If that’s your type of night, that is.

Write a Letter

            Nothing feels quite the same as holding your partner’s handwritten words that they hand wrote and sent to you. The care, time, and energy that goes into writing a letter, especially a love letter, are felt by the recipient. Maybe it’s the witch in me, but thinking of someone while writing a letter with the intention that they feel loved seems like a very specifically meaningful action. Not to mention, they have a physical representation of your relationship that they can come back to and read.

Bake Sweets Together and Exchange

            Pretty similar to writing a letter, the time, energy, and care that go into homemade desserts make them so meaningful. Plus, if you do this on video call, you can cook/bake with your partner(s) and enjoy their treats while they enjoy yours once they are delivered.

Make a Playlist

            It’s been some time since couples making mixtapes for each other was the thing to docould make mixtapes for each other, but playlists are essentially a new medium for the same gift. Listening to songs that remind your partner of you is such a heartwarming experience, it can add a lot to your understanding of your relationship from your partners point of view, as well as improving communication about yourselves as people, not just in your relationship. Plus, you can listen to the playlist anytime you want to be reminded of your partner.

Sponsor a Pet

This is my cat, you can’t sponsor him, but I want everyone to see him because he is precious

            Getting a pet is expensive, time consuming, and sometimes arduous. In the age of the internet, you can pet-shop with your partner(s) to find the perfect cat, dog, mini pig, etc. to sponsor. It’s almost like adopting a pet together, but it is all reward and no risk. There are hundreds of homeless pets that you can sponsor and provide a home to.

Make an Eye-Spy in your Camera Background

            I personally really enjoy this one. Plan out where you’re going to set up your camera for a video call and in the background set up some valentine's day themed objects. Hide a little heart in your bookshelf, a flower on top of your wall-hanging, anything of the sort. Tell your partner how many there are and let them inspect your room to find them. The added awareness of your surroundings makes video-dates seem much more intimate.

Arts and Crafts Together (on zoom or distanced)

            When was the last time you made a valentine? You know the ones, a cut-out heart with some ribbon and glitter that you write a little note on? Maybe it’s colored pink with crayons? Make it. Make a valentine for your partner that looks like a four-year-old made it. Whether you exchange them or just show them off on video, it’s really special to let go of the pressure to make something good and just make something for the fun of it.

Have a Trivia Night

            Write out trivia questions about yourself. It can be anything from your favorite color to your favorite middle school teacher, just make sure it’s a challenge. Ask your partner(s) to do the same and see who can get the most trivia questions right! This is so easy to do over video chat, and it can start some great conversations that build up relationships.

Put on a Fashion Show

For a lot of us, the pandemic has led to a distinct downturn in our daily dress. I can’t count the number of zoom meetings I’ve attended without pants on, or in my pajamas with a cute sweater thrown on. But, wearing clothes that make you feel good is great for your mental health, and seeing your partner(s) all dressed up is always romantic. Whether this is a video-call date or just distanced and masked, you can make some great memories.

Delivery Roulette

We’re all looking to support local businesses during this trying time, and we’re also looking for any excuse to order takeout. Communicate dietary needs beforehand, maybe an idea of what sounds good, and use apps like Grubhub or UberEats to surprise your date with a delicious meal. Extra points for a creative table setup!

Game Night

There are so many fun game options that can work virtually or distanced. Open up a Discord server and play your favorite games together, or try something new over video chat. My favorites are:

  • Doodle.io, online pictionary 
  • Jackbox games, witty games you can use your phone to participate in
  • Codenames, a spy-themed word guessing game 
  • Geoguessr, share your screen as the game drops you at a random location on Google Earth. You have to use clues around you to guess where you are.
  • Question-based games to know each other on a deeper level, like We’re Not Really Strangers or 36 Questions to Love

 Story Time

Pull out your favorite short story collections and read them to each other. Or, go to an online forum like Reddit and read posts to each other. Communities like r/AmITheAsshole, r/AskReddit, and r/RelationshipAdvice can provide hours worth of entertainment and conversation starters.

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