ROMANCE IN THE TIME OF PLAGUE
The Ultimate COVID-19 Valentine's Day Guide
Let the countdown to Valentine’s Day begin!
The most romantic day of the year is just around the corner, but how are we supposed to celebrate it when most of us are on lockdown?
You deserve to indulge in the pleasures of love, lust, and romance, but actually doing so in the days of COVID-19 is a challenge. We’ve put together this guide to help you make the most of February 14th. It doesn’t matter if you plan to celebrate via video chat or in real life, because we’ve collected all of the tips and ideas that will make your day safe, romantic, and fun.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Finding a Guy Worth Spending V-Day With
Before starting to plan all of the fun, cute things you can do with your date on Valentine’s Day under lockdown, you first need to find a date.
Maybe you already have a few guys you’ve been chatting with and you gotta pick the best of the bunch, but if you’ve been on an online dating break, now’s the time to start looking. So download Tinder or Hinge, and start swiping and chatting!
There’s just one thing you should keep in mind: It’s better to spend V-day alone or on a hangout call with your friends than with a guy you’re not excited about. There’s nothing romantic about spending your evening listening to some dudebro mansplain why you need to invest in crypto.
Here are the things you should consider before agreeing to spend your Valentine’s Day on a date with a new beau, even if it’s just over video chat:
If you answered to all of these, then you should definitely consider scheduling a video date with him!
A real-life date, however, should require stricter standards.
If you think you’d like to meet face to face, jump down to our section on whether he’s worth meeting IRL.
How to Prepare for a Valentine’s Day Video Date
Maybe you don’t know him well enough or perhaps there are real, physical limitations like distance, work, or living situations that make a meeting in real life impossible. Whatever the reasoning might be, these video date tips will set you up for success.
Video chats require a different energy than meeting in person. Because of that, scheduling considerations are about more than just availability.
1Think about how much time you want to spend on your Valentine’s day date. Are you mentally prepared for an all-day video chat, or do you want to just set aside an hour or two?
2The better you know the guy and the longer you’ve been talking, the longer the date can be. If you’ve just started chatting, 45 minutes will be enough, but if it’s your long-distance boyfriend of many years, free free to plan a series of activities that’ll last multiple hours.
3When it actually comes to scheduling, make sure the two of you agree on beginning and end times well in advance, and also consider your timezones. Sending a calendar invite for the date might seem a little formal, but it’ll guarantee that you’re on the same schedule.
At this point in the pandemic, you probably already have your go-to spot for video chats, but we’d recommend not having your Valentine’s Day date in the spot you use as your home office.
Try to set up your space as though it was going to be a real date, so the couch or dinner table are much better spots. If your only private space is your bedroom, then set it up in a way that’ll still feel a little special and different. Maybe use propped-up pillows and some fairy lights to turn your bed into a special spot, or give your desk a romantic vibe with some candles. For some of the wackier date ideas we suggest later on, you might actually want to get situated in the kitchen or on the floor.
You’ll also need to consider signal strength. If your Wi-Fi is great all over the house then you’ll have plenty of freedom, but otherwise, it’s better to compromise on location aesthetics in favor of having a high-quality connection.
Another thing to consider is lighting! Having any light behind you will make you dark and invisible to whoever you’re chatting with, while light from above will give you some major dark circles. You don’t need to go out and invest in a ring light, but just turning on a lamp or sitting in front of a window during daylight hours might be good enough.
Tech and Devices
As for your actual device, we recommend you keep things hands free. Having to hold your phone for the entirety of your Valentine’s Day date will be uncomfortable and may also make you a little more self-conscious. Your computer might be a better choice, or you can just keep your phone on a stand.
Also remember to charge all of your devices, from your computer or tablet all the way to your Bluetooth headphones. Whatever you do, test drive your set up well before the date, to guarantee that everything runs smoothly.
At this point in the pandemic, you’ve probably already perfected your signature Zoom beat. Whether you amp up the contour or keep your look soft but polished is up to you. If you’re not bothering with makeup these days, that’s fine too.
The key is to put a bit of planning and effort into grooming yourself before your date. Styling your hair and picking out an outfit will help you mentally prepare. You’ll feel like you’re still doing something special, and it’ll also be the ideal moment to enjoy those exciting pre-date butterflies in your belly.
Give yourself enough time to also double-check how you register on camera. Before your date is set to start, turn on your phone or computer’s camera app, and examine your look. This will allow you to adjust your outfit, makeup, hair, or even the lighting in a way that’ll make you look best on screen.
Video Call Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day 2021
So what should you do on your video date? Since it’s Valentine’s Day, it has to be a little special! We’ve got some cute virtual date ideas that will work whether you’re spending your Valentine’s Day with someone brand new or someone you’ve known for decades.
Candlelit Zoom Dinner
A candlelit dinner is the most traditional way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. It requires a bit of effort to set up and plan, but it’s incredibly romantic and it does the best job of simulating real life.
It’s a great way video date to have with someone you’re starting to get serious about, like the guy you’ve been chatting with since the start of the pandemic. It’s easy to recreate the setting of a restaurant by dimming the lights, lighting some candles, and putting on some mood music in the background.
To plan this kind of date, you also have to decide on a menu. Make sure to pick something you won’t feel uncomfortable eating in front of your date on a video call. A sloppy Joe or a bowl of ramen are too messy to handle elegantly, and there’s nothing stopping your sweetheart from taking a sneaky screenshot.
Here are some ideas for how you plan ahead:
- Maybe the two of you can attempt to cook the same dish (which is a fun video date idea of its own).
- You can order the same meal or order food from the same restaurant you both like in real life.
- You can just eat your own thing, the important part is that you’re doing it together!
A dinner video date probably won't last more than 45 minutes, even if it includes 4 courses and dessert, so you may want to combine it with a few of our other virtual date ideas.
Valentine’s Day Films?
10 Things I Hate About You 1999
A pretty, popular teenager can't go out on a date until her ill-tempered older sister does.
The Lovebirds 2020
A couple (Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani) experiences a defining moment in their relationship when they are unintentionally embroiled in a murder mystery.
Silver Linings Playbook 2012
After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own.
Fun and Quirky Date Activities
If you’ve been together a while or you both just have a silly sense of humor, you might like these fun and non-traditional Valentine’s day COVID-19 dates.
Play a Video Game Together
If you’re both gamers (and even if you’re not), playing video games together remotely can be a lot of fun!
Come get the lay of the land and learn what to expect when you set out to create your own island paradise. If you’re an island life veteran already, we hope you will share this video with newcomers and welcome them with open arms!
It’s a platforming adventure game seen from a unique perspective, or two. Play as a pair of Yarnys – small beings made of yarn and connected by a single thread – in local co-op or as a single player. Run, jump and swing through platforming puzzles, foster friendship, and shed light on a world covered in shadow.
You’re alone in a room with a bomb. Your friends, the “Experts”, have the manual needed to defuse it. But there’s a catch: the Experts can’t see the bomb, so everyone will need to talk it out – fast!
Put your puzzle-solving and communication skills to the test as you and your friends race to defuse bombs quickly before time runs out!
Drinking During Video Dates - Fun or Risky?
Alcohol is the great disinhibitor, but there’s definitely such a thing as too much disinhibition. A glass of wine or a fancy cocktail can be a great complement to a video date, but you might find yourself tempted to drink to excess when keeping the conversation starts getting difficult.
At this point, we all know the risks of drinking too much. During a video date, you’re effectively at home alone, so while your date doesn’t pose as much of a risk, the alcohol itself can still take a serious toll, with no one there to take care of you.
Do yourself a favor, and don’t drink beyond your limit. This will save you from a hangover or from finding embarrassing screenshots posted online the day after. You can let yourself get a little drunk on a date with someone you know well, but if this is your first time chatting with someone, don’t rely too much on that liquid courage.
Is He Worth Meeting IRL?
A video date is one thing, but meeting in real life is a whole ‘nother story. Even before the times of COVID-19, going on a date with a new guy was always a little risky, which is why women developed all kinds of safety strategies.
Now, with the virus added to the mix, there’s a new risk as well as new challenges. First, there’s simple safety to keep in mind. Back in the day, you’d always have your first date in a public place where nothing bad can happen. Nowadays, with coffee shops and restaurants off-limits for most of us, having a date in a public place isn’t so easy, so you might be tempted to invite him to your home or go to his, even if you don’t know him too well.
In general, we don’t think you should bring anyone you don’t know well into your bubble, but we’ve also got a checklist.
If the answer is , do yourself a favor and avoid meeting him.
If it’s , you may proceed!
We have a few ideas for socially distant activities you can try:
- It’s pretty simple, but why not go for a walk! Mugs of a tasty hot beverage like hot chocolate or mulled wine will help you stay warm, although you’ll need to keep your distance when taking sips.
- To have a bit more fun with it, turn the walk into a fake tour of your city, where you make up random facts about your surroundings.
- If you’re lucky enough to live in a warmer climate, a hike in nature is the perfect socially distant Valentine's Day date. Each one of you can even pack a picnic lunch.
- If you really want to go out to a restaurant or bar, we recommend only doing so if there are patios and outdoor seating in your area. Those places will likely be packed on Valentine’s Day, which puts you at a higher risk, so consider breaking with tradition and moving your date to the 13th or 15th of February.