Welp, here we are. It’s February 2021 and it’s still not totally safe to eat in restaurants or hang out indoors with groups of friends. While it was difficult deciding whether to risk it and be with our families and loved ones at Thanksgiving and Christmas, Valentine’s Day is a little bit different. For one thing, established couples are already in their own a safe bubbles. But what should you do if you’re hoping to snuggle with someone new on the 14th? We came up with some romantic Valentine’s Day ideas for unusual times.
Of course, it would be a fantasy to say that this Valentine’s Day will be just like every other year. It simply won’t. Luckily, there are options!
Take a Hike
A moonlit walk on the beach may sound romantic, but if you live anywhere north of Miami or San Diego, chances are that an evening walk outdoors will be chilly. And, of course, you need to be near a beach. Instead, if it’s a bright, sunny day, go on a scenic hike or take a bike ride on a picturesque trail. Even if it is cold where you live, some vigorous exercise actually raises your body temperature.
If you’re wondering how exercise is in any way romantic, it turns out that it can actually improve your sex life. Which makes a couples’ workout a great way to spend your Valentine’s Day afternoon. According to an article published at Verywellfit.com, “How Exercise Makes Sex Better,” by Mark Stibich, moderate workouts can make you feel sexier, it may prevent sexual dysfunction, and could even stimulate female arousal.
Not sure where to find bike and hike trails in your neck of the woods? Then head over to TrailLink. Just type in your zip code and select your activity. You can find trails for everything from horseback riding to inline skating and even birding. You can even find wheelchair accessible trails.
Indoor eating is one of the best ways to pick up a case of Covid. So instead, why not support a local restaurant and order a romantic meal for two for pickup or delivery? This year for Valentine’s Day, restaurants all over the country are designing romantic menus to-go. Either go to your favorite restaurant’s website or check out a variety of offerings in your town on DoorDash, UberEats, or Postmates.
Stir up Couples Cocktails
It turns out that drinking a moderate amount of alcohol can increase your feelings of attraction toward your partner. Having a few libations, according to 8 Ways Alcohol Can Affect Your Sex Life, by Laurie Watson, LMFT, in Psychology Today, can also make you feel closer to your significant other in the moment. And if you have, um, some performance anxieties, then a little booze can help with that too. Of course, there are a lot of downsides to drinking too much. So we suggest that couples approach this activity with much responsibility and maturity!
We found this red and fruity “Love Potion” cocktail by The Gay Globetrotter.
- Cranberry juice
- Grapefruit juice
- Orange juice
- Fill cocktail shaker with ice cubes
- Add vodka, grenadine and cranberry, grapefruit and orange juice
- Fully cover top and glass and shake vigorously
- Strain contents into highball glasses, fill about halfway
- Add a splash of plain or lime-flavored sparkling water
- Garnish with strawberries
Watch a Comedy Special
Do you know what else is good for relationships? Laughing! In a review of more than three dozen studies from around the world, University of Kansas associate communication studies professor, Jeffrey Hall, found that humor is crucial to having a good relationship. He says that it’s important to “find what’s funny in the everyday and enjoy it together.” One sure way to have a laugh with your guy or gal is by streaming a comedy special. One of the best standup routines of 2020, according to Vulture, is Dave Chappelle’s 8:46, which you can stream for free on YouTube. Leslie Jones: Time Machine (Netflix) is another top-rated special. The SNL player dissects love and lust at different stages of life. Douglas, by Hannah Gadsby, is a follow-up to the New Zealander’s wildly popular 2018 standup special, Nanette (Netflix). Even before the pandemic and tragic loss of his partner, Lynn Shelton, famous WTF podcaster, Marc Maron, was sharing his cynical observations and yucking it up about End Times Fun (Netflix).
Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas: Play a Game
If you play together, you’ll stay together. Yeah, we don’t like lame rhymes either, but the sentiment is real! Actually playing games together helps couples feel closer. It can even raise your oxytocin levels, according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family. Researcher, Karen Melton from Baylor University in Texas, found that as couples play board games together, their hormone levels — those specifically associated with trust, sexual activity, and empathy — increased. While this study just evaluated couples playing classic board games, like Monopoly or Clue, other studies have found that playing video games, like Mario Kart and Call of Duty, can also help couples feel closer.
If you’re not sure what game you’ll be in the mood for when V-day arrives, Hasbro has a special, 3-in-1 Game Night for Nintendo Switch, which is available here for 22% off. It includes the biggest board game classics of all time: Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit.