Maybe you were living with a partner before Covid hit, or perhaps the pandemic provided the perfect excuse to U-Haul with your latest Tinder match. In any case, if your relationship has survived the pandemic thus far, then you definitely have something to celebrate on Valentine’s Day. Having endured this eleven+ month quarantine is more than enough reason to go all-in on romance, and spending some intentional time with your sweetheart might be just what your relationship needs right now. Sure, you’ve been stuck inside together for a year in a perpetual Netflix-and-doom-scroll marathon, but when was the last time you actually went on a date? I mean a real date — one where you light candles and hold hands across the table and wear clothes that aren’t PJs or yoga pants?
This year, why not shamelessly celebrate V-Day in all its corny, commercialized glory? Here are sixteen ways you can make Valentine’s Day special, even when you’re (mostly) stuck at home:
Decorate. Lean into Valentine’s Day like it’s Christmas! It might seem silly at first, but bringing some life (and some love) into your space is the perfect way to get you in the V-Day spirit. Your decorations can be reminiscent of your elementary school Valentine’s Day parties (a garland of pink hearts, pictures of cupids, heart-shaped doilies on every surface) or they can imbue your home with romance (candlelight, rose petals, low lighting). Perhaps you have a houseplant that can serve as a Valentine’s Day tree. Deck it out with lights, hearts and all the love notes that you’ve written to each other over the years.
Make a list of your favorite memories together. When the future feels scary and uncertain, looking to the past can bring us some comfort. How did you and your partner get to where you are today? When did you know that you loved each other? When have you laughed the hardest together? Make your own lists and read them out loud to each other. If you want to get crafty, write them out on fancy stationary and frame them. You can even combine your lists on one large poster board for some lovey-dovey wall art.
Set the mood with a playlist that tells the story of your relationship. Do you remember the song that was playing on your first coffee date? Is there a certain song that reminds you of a struggle you overcame together? Make each other Spotify playlists that tell your love story. Listen and enjoy. Who says that slow dancing is only for weddings?
Get dressed up for an at-home couples photo shoot. When was the last time you got dressed up? If you’ve been working from home, when was the last time you wore pants? Break out your date night outfits and take some cute photo booth-style pics. You know you look cute together, despite the weird DIY pandemic haircuts.
Give each other massages. The half-asleep, half-hearted shoulder-rub-before-bed massage is dead. On Valentine’s Day, it’s time to go all out. Fill your bedroom with candles and gentle music. Break out some scented lotion or coconut oil and rid each other of the knots you’ve acquired from all those Zoom meetings.
Whip out that sex toy that’s been sitting under your bed. Do you have a strap-on that’s just collecting dust or a vibrator that hasn’t buzzed in months? Turn off your phones and set aside some uninterrupted time to get playful.
Cook an elaborate dinner. Depending on where you live, you might not be able to dine in at your usual haunts. Bring the fancy fare home by collaborating on a multi-course meal, and make it all from scratch! Bake your own bread. Attempt to grill the perfect steak. Try to recreate those cupcakes from the bakery that’s now closed. Even if you’re not the most skilled chefs, you’ll have some laughs along the way to meal time.
Play in the snow. If you live in a cold climate, February is the perfect month for a snow day. Build a snow person. Have a snowball fight. Go sledding or ice skating. Then head inside for some hot chocolate and a hot bath. Speaking of baths…
Enjoy a sexy bubble bath together. If you happen to have a bathtub that’s big enough for two, break out the bath bombs and the Epsom salt for a bubble bath that’s double the fun. If the tub isn’t an option, try a relaxing joint foot soak.
Draw each other “like one of your French girls.” If you were alive in the ‘90s, you probably had a big, queer experience during that one scene in “Titanic” where Leonardo DiCaprio draws Kate Winslet wearing her necklace…and only her necklace. You don’t have to be a gifted artist to make an abstract rendering of your sweetheart’s nude form.
Make a blanket fort and get cozy (or frisky) inside. You’re probably already bored to tears by the inside of your own place, so pile up the pillows and make a home within your home where you can watch movies, make out, and cuddle.
Have a “love song karaoke” night. Most karaoke bars might be closed, but you can recreate the wild and embarrassing fun at home. Pull up some karaoke YouTube videos that feature your favorite tunes and sing King Princess at each other until the neighbors start to complain.
“Travel” by cooking food from a country you’d love to visit together. Maybe you had to cancel a trip last year or maybe you’re just feeling cooped up. So why not take your senses to a far away place by learning the in’s and out’s of a new cuisine? Don’t forget to play music by artists who call your pretend destination their home. Are you making sushi and “traveling” to Japan? Throw on some K-pop! Making a French dinner? Pump up the Édith Piaf!
Enjoy a distant double-date. Why not double up on the love? If you live in a warmer climate, a socially distant picnic is a perfect V-Day double date. For folks facing colder weather, join another couple or throuple for a masked, snowy walk with a thermos of hot cocoa. You can even connect with long-distance friends for a double dinner date on Zoom.
Have a chocolate tasting. Sure, Valentine’s Day is about love, but mostly, it’s about candy. Grant yourself permission to purchase as many heart-shaped boxes of chocolates that you can handle. Taste them, rate them, and go back for more.
Watch a queer love story that actually has a happy ending. LGBTQ+ movies tend to have pretty devastating endings, so focus on flicks that won’t make you want to smash your TV. Films like “But I’m A Cheerleader” and “Signature Move” will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Happy V-Day, lesbians!
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