If you want to know what to do for your wife, girlfriend, female partner on the day dedicated to LOVE, ask a lesbian.
Valentine’s Day can be polarizing: either people are totally into it or they roll their eyes at the mere thought of it. The over-marketed Holiday of Love usually smacks of stale heteronormative traditions, ideas, and prescribed behavior which can be intimidating for young LGBTQ couples who want to celebrate their partnerships loud and proud but do so in a manner that is unique to them and their relationship. Enter, lesbians. Lesbians are known for having overwhelming emotions and displaying them at any given moment. And when it comes to showing their partner how much they love them there’s no holding back such a display. But how they do it is what sets them apart especially when it comes to a holiday typically geared towards heterosexual couples. So, how do they do it? Two words: Connection and communication.
Dr. Lynda Spann, founder, and Chief Therapist at the Lesbian Couples Institute has a history of guiding couples on a journey back to love and has helped them take their relationships from stale and disconnected to joyful and thriving. For over twenty years, Dr. Spann has helped nearly 600 couples reconnect and find the joy and passion that was missing from their relationship. Having helped different sex (or straight couples) as well as couples in the LGBTQ community, she has noticed a common thread: connection and communication were the two topics these couples had the most difficulty with. The difference she saw though, was that LGBTQ couples had a much easier time opening up and doing the work to improve these things. Dr. Spann attributes this to the fact that the LGBTQ community, having been discriminated against and often unaccepted by family and friends, sees their romantic relationships as an opportunity to experience unconditional love with another person and finally feel seen and accepted. So, what can straight couples learn from their LGBTQ counterparts?
Dr. Spann provides a list of ideas straight from the “Lesbian Handbook” that encourages couples to think outside the heart-shaped box of chocolates and craft an experience that will infuse their relationship with laughter, affection, joy, creative energy, and pleasure. She bemusedly refers to this February 14th as a “red hot chance for reconnection.”
Here are her five Valentine’s Day ideas to spark creativity and romance:
Give each other full-body massages. Maybe even with happy endings! Go all out and get some good massage oil. Heat up some river rocks in a roasting pan to put on your partner’s back, light a few candles, and play instrumental background music to set the tone. Make it extra sweet and trace cute messages on your loved one’s back and have them guess what you wrote. This is a great way to deepen your connection beyond just the physical.
Camp-out In Your Living Room:
One of the things lesbians are known for is creating intimacy in everyday moments. You don’t have to set up an elaborate (or expensive) display to woo your sweetheart. Build a cozy fort in front of your fireplace. Stuff it with yoga mats, pillows, a book of poetry, and a lantern. String up some lights from your box of holiday decorations to add to the mood. Make some hot cocoa (with or without Baileys) to sip and make smores in the fireplace. Tell campfire stories, sing songs from your past, and read poems to each other. Giggle and cuddle in your cozy, comfy fort.
Do a Selfie Couples Shoot:
Lesbians are the Queens of selfies but it’s not because they’re vain. They love showing off their partner! It feels good knowing your partner wants photos of you that they can look at any time to remind them of how amazing you are. Take a ridiculous amount of couple selfies. Let yourself pose in ways that are silly, sexy, sultry, sophisticated, and spastic. Gather interesting props, outfits, or none. Just have fun. Make an agreement ahead of time about who will get to see these pics. And how you’ll decide to share them on social media.
Create a Wine and Cheese Pairing Class for Two
Gather several kinds of cheese, making sure that a few are new to you. Take it a step further by writing down how each cheese represents an aspect of love. For example, Parmesan to withstand the rigors of life. Brie could be associated with the feeling of being in love because it melts all over when warmed. Add a description of how your partner matches each sentiment. Include a variety of wine to sip with the cheese. (Extra points if you remember her favorites.) Create a rating sheet with each cheese. Write out the flavors you taste in the cheese and wine. Rate each on a scale of 1 to 10. And pick your favorite pairing.
Cook a Fancy Dinner Together
Alone in the house and feeling really brave? Cook with nothing but your aprons on. With or without clothes, treat yourself to whatever culinary finery that you’ve been craving. Anything you cook at home will be less expensive than dinner out. Find a recipe or two in your favorite cookbook or online. Crank up your favorite playlist, sip a cocktail or mocktail, feed your partner tastes as you go, dance a little while the meal finishes cooking. Set a beautiful table with linens if you like, a flower vase, and candles. Dim the lights, sit across from each other so you can gaze into each other’s eyes, chatter like you’re on your 4th date, play a fun questions game, and enjoy your delicious dinner. Most importantly, use this time to truly be present and connected with your partner. No phones, no discussion about work or bills, and all the things in everyday life that make you stressed. Set those thoughts aside and focus on each other.
According to Dr. Spann, “no matter what your opinion of Valentine’s Day is, this holiday is a platinum opportunity for couples to be completely unapologetic in how they show each other how special they are to one another.” It is her hope that this year we are able to show the ones we love how we truly feel and allow ourselves to remember why we fell in love and rekindle the spark all over again.