Valentine's Day and COVID...the pandemic has changed many of the ways that we approach our traditions and rituals. Now, Valentine’s day is right around the corner and this year things will look a little different. Without the old standby of dinner out and movie, what options are there for a couple looking for romance? Valentine's Day and COVID; what's going to change and what will stay the same?
We asked our team, what are your top recommendations for at-home date nights when planning for Valentine's day and COVID. The result? Enough ideas to get us through the year!
Get creative and set up a surprise indoor picnic; find a bread basket, some wine and cheese. If you have kids, keep the prep simple, do it earlier in the day and then wait until the kids are sleeping for the picnic!
Create a special event together. Make a point to dress up a little, light some candles, and turn on a romantic playlist. After a candlelit dinner and maybe even a slow dance or two, go through photos together. Reminisce about memories early in your relationship and maybe even before. Ideally, these photos are not on your phone where distractions are waiting!
Have your old family movies digitalized and share them. Make it a party and share them through Zoom with other interested friends, lots of laughs and a creative way to share a “double date.”
Send an invite to your partner it can be flirty or formal. Decide together if this date will be dress up or dress down. Select a date to include all of your senses. Or deprive a sense to make other senses come alive more; blind-folded food tasting?
One idea is to read Eight Dates by Dr's Gottman. This book guides you through eight essential conversations with different questions to ask on many different topics including sex, money, and adventure. This is a great way to get to know someone even if you've been together for decades!
Try taking turns cooking a new type of cuisine—watch a YouTube video and maybe even try cooking a new meal together. A lot of couples can find joy cooking in the kitchen together. This would also be a fun one to dress up for. If you are having a special dinner, then find the fanciest thing in your closet and both get dolled up. Or, better yet, make it a costume party and raid the Halloween costumes. You could even make it so that you get to pick the costume your partner has to wear and vice versa.
Designate a spot in the home and create various themes for each date time: day or night. Perhaps you have a picnic corner, a “drive in” movie spot, a paint night area…get creative as you reimagine your space.
Set up a distraction-free zone; turn off all screens and devices. Each of you write out three things (all on separate pieces of paper) you would love to do at home, e.g., go for a walk with a coffee, play a board game, cook dinner, foot massage, or any of the other ideas from this list! Then pick out one from each partner's pile. Those are your two activities for at-home date night. You can even save the unselected cards and draw again next week.
Most couples love date nights once they get into the habit. It’s the getting started that’s the challenge. Start small. Take a few minutes and made a list of possible date night ideas. Then flip a coin for who plans the first one. At the end of the first date set the date for the next date that the other partner will plan. Some couples find a given day and time that is sacred—no cancellations allowed. Some couples have too scattered a schedule to make that work. Here are some ideas to add to the list:
Valentine's Day and COVID present a challenge but you can make it work!
Remember the worst date night is better than the same old routine. It’s an investment in time in your relationship that will pay off for decades. This list includes ideas that are free and ideas that could cost take a little budgeting but there is something for every couple here to plan for Valentine's Day and COVID.
Valentine’s Day can be a great kickstart for couples to make time for each other regularly. If a regular date night is something that has fallen out of your routine during this pandemic it is time to carve out the time again. Looking for a little accountability? Consider working with one of our relationship coaches.