This Valentine’s Day might be a bit of a mulligan. After all, most of us aren’t going out to fancy restaurants. Many of us aren’t even really leaving the house, making it a little tough to arrange a romantic date of any kind with someone who doesn’t live in your pod. Facemasks do get in the way of a good, romantic Valentine’s Day kiss. What’s an incurable romantic to do?
Never fear. We at RELEVANT put our heads together and came up with a few ideas for pandemic romance, whether you’re living with your Valentine or you’re separated by self-quarantine. Put on your thinking cap, prepare to get creative and tell Cupid to sharpen those arrows. You’ve got a COVID-era Valentine’s Day to plan.
Make it a whole day theme. You can go rom-com if you want, but why not be a little more specific? Make it an Amy Adams marathon, or watch all of Taika Waititi’s movies. You’re stuck inside, so get creative with it — you can even make some themed meals if you really want to go all out. Hey, speaking of…
Stage Your Own Chopped
Grab some random groceries, sort them evenly, set a timer and get to work. You know how Chopped goes. Each team has between 20 and 30 minutes to create a dish with all the ingredients they’re given, plus whatever other things they might need from the pantry. But this Valentine’s Day, it’s just the two of you competing in your own crazy Chopped competition to create the most romantic meal possible with whatever items you’ve got at home. How bad could it go?
Stage Your Own Driving Tour
Everyone knows it’s more about the journey than the destination. This Valentine’s Day is a good time to put that to the test. Hit the road with a couple good playlists, some downloaded podcasts and no destination in mind. Get out of town or take a few side streets. See the countryside or maybe just check out a different part of the city than you normally do. You’ll be going everywhere without leaving the safety of your vehicle. Who knows what you’ll find?
Long Distance Film Festival
Take a look at Teleparty, which synchronizes Netflix, HBO Max or Hulu movies over multiple accounts so you two can watch a movie together without watching a movie together, and even have a little chat box to keep the conversation going. Way better than nothing.
Read a Play Together
You’re probably already chatting about whatever you’re reading together, but take it to the next level with scripted plays. Plays from the greats are a terrific source of narrative tension and you can divvy out the roles in a way that makes reading them together fun (especially if you agree to really go for it with various accents and character tics). It definitely has sort of a theater nerd feel to it but you don’t have to be a drama geek to have fun with this one.
There are no shortage of trivia apps you can use to play a couple rounds of pop culture trivia together, but real trivia heads know the trick is to make your own trivia game. You can use a slideshow or just a Google doc, and choose whatever topics you want. Nature. Theology. Old Hollywood. Current events. Take turns, keep score and the loser has to Venmo the other enough for a to-go meal …at least until we get out of quarantine and can actually eat out again.