Valentine’s Day during the pandemic is actually more special. Here’s why.
You could be missing those fancy dinner dates or trips to the movie theaters this year, but a COVID-19 Valentine’s Day might not be so bad.
In fact, it may actually be more special.
That’s because this pandemic-era holiday reminds us through thick and thin, strong relationships can withstand many hardships— including a global pandemic.
Many couples have spent an unprecedented amount of time together throughout the last year. Others were forced to navigate long distance unexpectedly and with no end in sight.
I’ve experienced both of these extremes in my own relationship, and it showed me how resilient my bond is with my boyfriend.
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My boyfriend Alex and I have been dating for almost two years. Very suddenly we found ourselves thousands of miles apart, quarantining with our respective families and faced with a 3-hour time difference for five months.
I’m grateful he was willing to stay up late, and I too adjusted my sleep schedule to make time to talk. The unplanned time apart showed us our relationship goes beyond physical affection, as we still enjoyed each other’s (virtual) presence with nightly FaceTime calls and Netflix dates.
In July, we reunited and began quarantining together. Being together at all times had its own new, unique challenges. We found ourselves trying to balance the need to stay safe and desire to be physically in the same location with our inclinations that we shouldn’t rush the pace of our relationship. We also had to figure out how to be each other’s sole companion and still focus on our own self-care needs.
Our communication skills made us stronger. Through trial-and-error, we learned the advantages of airing out frustrations and annoyances, rather than letting minor inconveniences bottle up.We learned how to comfort each other, to listen to each other’s rants, and to focus on our own well-being with fun (yet safe) activities. Best of all, we learned more about each other, our expectations and the stability of our relationship.
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Like us, this year, many couples were pressured to address the more serious aspects of a long-term relationship, learning not only to be kind and considerate, but also empathetic and communicative.
We learned how to be a good companions and support systems — and that is worthy of celebration.
So this Valentine’s Day, don’t be sad you’re stuck inside or apart. Celebrate that you made it – together.
If you’re celebrating from a distance:
- Send a homemade card or baked goods
- Have a virtual dinner date
- Use Netflix Party to watch a movie together synchronously
- Make a virtual photo scrap book together
- Allot some time at night to video chat
If you’re still quarantined together:
- Play board or video games
- Bake a homemade dish together for dinner or order gourmet take-out
- Cuddle up on the couch and watch your favorite movie
- Go on a nice walk together
- Relax with some massages