For many lesbian couples, Valentine’s is a challenging and dreaded day. Even during a pandemic-free year.

The lead up to Valentine’s Day can be fraught with anxiety. What gift should I buy my partner? Will she want to go out? Where should we go for dinner? Will we be comfortable or feel awkward?…

This over-marketed Holiday of Love, usually smacks of stale heteronormative traditions, ideas, and prescribed behavior. Leaving many lesbian couples feeling like misfits, or like the token queer couple in an over-crowded restaurant or movie theatre on the biggest romance night of the year.

Ugh!

Until a couple of years ago, it was nearly impossible for queer women to find any suitable Valentines Day cards designed for women who love women. Now, you can find 4 or 5 cards out of 1,000 that might be a good fit. 

Better than nothing. But not great.

With our cities on social distancing restrictions, restaurants only operating at 25% capacity, bars and dance venues closed— lesbian couples just might be off the hook.

This year, those of us in lesbian relationships have a silver-lining opportunity to design a Valentine’s Day that’s free of those typical V-day constraints and joy-busters.

I’ve brainstormed a list of ideas that might help you design a Valentine’s Day that will go down in your relationship history book.

In a bit you’ll get to see my list. 

First, I invite you to think outside the heart-shaped box of chocolates and craft a Valentine’s Day experience that will infuse your relationship with laughter, affection, joy, creative energy, pleasure, and a twinkle in your eye.

See this February 14th as a red hot chance to reconnect with what initially attracted you and your partner. Rediscover the best in each other.

Let these 5 Valentine’s Day ideas spark your own creative juices:

Play Masseuse:

You can 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.

Camp-out In Your Living Room:

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 you 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:

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 cheeses, making sure that a few are new to you. And get a variety of wine to sip with the cheese. 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 play list, 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 form 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.

Now it’s your turn to think about how you can make this during-a-pandemic-valentine’s-day full of delight for you and your partner. Brainstorm on your own and with your babe. She might have some great ideas, too.

Most of all, don’t let yourself fall into the COVID hole that leads to feeling depressed and stagnant. 

Let yourself rise above these crummy circumstances and fully embrace the chance to go from disconnected to deeply connected.

Yes! You can enjoy a romantic experience that frees you to be your unique, wonderful selves. You have every right to enjoy big, bold pleasure!