New year, same pandemic.
2020 may be over, but social distancing, mask-wearing, and other safety restrictions haven’t gone anywhere. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 is still impacting thousands of lives per day, so we might not be able to enjoy a date with our partner the same way we used to.
But don't worry; there are still some alternative ways to celebrate the romantic holiday with your S.O. this February. Here are five Valentine's Day date ideas that are safe, socially-distant, and just as cute.
- Have a backyard picnic
Just because you're staying at home doesn't mean you can't spark some romance. Planning a backyard picnic for your partner will sweep them right off their feet, and it’s way safer than going out to eat.
Here’s what you’ll need: a comfy blanket, a basket, a cooler for beverages, and your Valentine's favorite snacks and dishes. If you're not sure what to put on the menu, go with finger sandwiches, sushi, homemade quesadillas, or a charcuterie board.
Set up your picnic right before sunset for an even more intimate, romantic setting.
- Play board games in your pajamas
You don't always need to go out to a fancy restaurant to connect with your S.O. Sometimes, getting in your coziest pajamas and kicking their butt at a board game will do the trick.
To keep it romantic, you could even play The Newlywed Game (don't worry, you don't actually have to be married).
This game allows couples to quiz each other on all facets of their relationship, such as when and where your first kiss was, your partner’s favorite movie, your first impression of your partner, and so on. Taking the time to ask each other these questions will strengthen your bond, which is what Valentine’s Day is all about.
If that's not your style, you can keep it simple and get some lighthearted, quality time with a mean game of Scrabble.
- Paint portraits of each other
Painting a portrait of your S.O. might seem silly, but it can actually be pretty romantic. Even if you aren’t a skilled artist, this activity could be a fun way to give your partner a glimpse of themselves through your eyes.
You will need some extra supplies for this, so time to hit the craft store! Grab two canvases, a pack of paintbrushes, and some oil or watercolor paint. Your portrait doesn't have to be perfect or accurate. All you have to do is put your feelings for your partner onto the canvas, whatever that may look like. It'll be a great bonding experience, and will probably give you lots of laughs.
- Cook a meal together
Instead of going to a restaurant or party, try staying home and cooking a Valentine’s Day dish. Cooking a meal with your S.O. is nothing but fun, quality time. In addition, you could totally still dress up. Put on your best red dress, add a white tablecloth to your dining table, and make it fancy.
As you shop ingredients, find new recipes, prepare the dish, and dig in together, you'll be enjoying each other's company.
- Watch a rom-com via Zoom
If you are unable to see your S.O. this Valentine's Day, or just want to play it safe, you won't be left without a date. Your holiday may not be conventional, but it can still be celebrated.
We’ve grown so accustomed to connecting with our loved ones and co-workers through our computer screens, so why not do it on a date?
First step: choose a romantic movie! Some of my favorite rom-coms available to stream on Netflix include 50 First Dates, Always Be My Maybe, A Walk To Remember, and Someone Great.
Next, turn on your camera and call up your valentine via Zoom. On your Zoom homepage, click Share Screen. Also, make sure your Share Computer Sounds setting is enabled. Choose which screen you’d like to share, boost up your movie, and enjoy with your partner.
While we dive into 2021 with high hopes and a positive mindset, we still need to be mindful. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, and it might not be for a while. Celebrating Valentine’s Day indoors or through a screen might feel different, but it can definitely be just as special.
Reminder: Before meeting up with your Valentine's Day date, make sure you've tested negative for COVID-19 and aren't experiencing any related symptoms.