Ideas for Valentine’s in Covid Times

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Hey Wendy,

I’m not sure how I’m supposed to make my partner feel special on Valentine’s Day with Covid-19. There’s snow on the ground — I can’t even take her out to dinner. Help!



Hey J.D.

This one is E-A-S-Y.

Ask her what would make her happy for V Day, and from there, have a discussion on what works and/or what would be fun for both of you. You don’t have to surprise her with something unexpected or extravagant. In fact, sometimes ideas you come up with together are more special than a surprise.

If she replies, “Oh, anything is fine,” call her on it by gently saying, “Look, I love you, and I want to make sure you’re happy and that this is a good day for you. We both know that just anything would not be fine, so let’s come up with something together.”

Ideas of Things to Do

Write each other heartfelt love notes: Only try this one if it doesn’t stress you out. If you’re overly worried about what to say, move on to another suggestion.

Curbside pick-up at your favorite local spot: Help restaurants survive during Covid by getting a special meal to take home. And don’t forget Dan Savage’s hot tip: Fuck first, eat later. No one likes trying to climb into bed (or onto that special piece of sex furniture) with a full tummy.

Movie Night: Pick something uplifting that you’ll both enjoy to stream. Avoid romantic comedies (too much of a good thing etc.) and instead maybe pick a thriller or documentary you’re both interested in.

Baking Project: Together you can bake and decorate cookies, cupcakes — whatever floats your sweet-toothed boat! Then distribute them on the doorsteps of the people you love.

Create a Valentine’s Ritual: Light some candles, set a mood, and ask each other these three questions:

  • What do you love about our partnership right now?
  • What do you admire about me?
  • What part of our relationship are you grateful for?

Plan Next Year’s Valentine’s Day: Can’t have that three-day getaway this year? Plan something epic for next year. Get on the Google and see what you two can dream up for the future. Often, one of the very best parts of travel is planning the vacation. Enjoy the anticipation now.

Things to Avoid

Buying flowers: I’m not a cheap person, but I am super-annoyed that flowers triple in price for the three weeks around Valentine’s Day. Price gouging is never okay.

Buying gifts that strain the budget: Some people use expensive gifts (like jewelry) to speak for their affections. We are not things, and while presents are nice from time to time, there are plenty of other ways to express the depth of our love. We should not be tangling up the worthiness of our love (or our person) with material possessions, no matter how fancy or heartfelt.

If you love it and you can afford it, fine, buy it. But straining the budget to express your affection through a sparkly stone and some metal? Nah. (And don’t even get me started on the diamond industry.)

Going out: Seriously. I know we’re all sick of hearing it. Stay home. Stay safe.

Valentine’s Could Be Just Another (Fabulous) Day

Socially, Valentine’s has become a holiday where you have to pony up for your love or else. This is bullshit. If you’re showing your love for each other year-round, this holiday isn’t even needed. You can instead use your energies during this time to give your love to people who might not have it as good as you do. You can support this holiday as “Lonely People Awareness Day” and make a dent in human kindness that way.

Final recommendation: Take care to let everyone you love know that they are cherished. Phone calls, emails, and cards are always welcome.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

.    .    .    .

Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.

You can send a question to the column via email: [email protected]