Whether you’re taken, single or setting your Facebook status to “It’s Complicated,” Valentine’s Day is bound to look different for everyone this year. Although those of us who are single might take comfort in the fact that we won’t have to watch throngs of lovestruck couples holding hands in the streets this year, the idea of a quarantined Valentine’s Day sounds dismal no matter your feelings towards the holiday.
Don’t lose hope, though; regardless of your relationship status, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day this year while still practicing social distancing.
- Watch a romantic movie. Get ready to fire up Netflix Party and invite your partner or friends to an especially sappy movie night. If you’re tired of watching “The Notebook” for the seventh year in a row and need some recommendations, “Moonlight,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and “The Half of It” are my favorite romantic movies on Netflix right now. If you don’t have a Netflix subscription (or if your ex just changed the password to the account you used to share), you can also watch “Moonlight” through Lafayette’s free Kanopy subscription, along with fresh takes on the romance genre like “Eighth Grade” and “The Lobster.”
- Host a game night with your friends. We’ve all become acutely acquainted with the world of virtual game nights over quarantine, making it a certified crowd-pleaser activity for your Valentine’s Day hangout. Make (or break) friendships over Jackbox (Jackbox Party Pack 4 has a charming dating-themed social deception game called Monster Seeking Monster), Skribbl.io and—of course—Among Us. What better outlet is there for your romantic angst than violently murdering colorful avatars of your friends in the cold expanse of space?
- Spread the love by volunteering. Although it’s difficult to volunteer in person right now due to the pandemic, there are plenty of virtual opportunities that you can participate in. Volunteer Match has a constantly updated database of virtual volunteer opportunities that I encourage you to explore this Valentine’s Day. Something as simple as sending a nice letter to a nursing home patient isolated in quarantine only takes up about fifteen minutes of your day, and it could make someone else’s Valentine’s Day a lot less lonely.
- Make a playlist for that special person in your life. Chronicle your relationship with your partner, confess your feelings to a crush or express to a friend how much you care about them—when it comes to curating a playlist for someone else, the possibilities are endless. On the other hand, you could throw together some Lizzo and Avril Lavigne and celebrate your single-ness with a guaranteed head-banger of a playlist.
- Go on a (virtual) adventure. If you’re feeling wanderlust this Valentine’s Day, spend some time exploring virtual tours of famous museums, zoos and theme parks. My personal favorite is the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live cam collection. The aquarium also has a delightful YouTube channel filled with lofi hip-hop squid videos. Watching cute animals won’t take your mind off the crippling loneliness completely, but it sure will help for a bit!
However you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, just two things keep two things in mind: 1) make responsible choices and respect your local social distancing guidelines, and 2) don’t forget to stock up on half-price chocolate on February 15. Happy Valentine’s Day!