Updated on 5/16/2022
Valentine’s Day looks different for every couple, but whether you go all out or make plans to stay in, the goal is to have fun and connect more deeply with your partner.
If you’re looking for ways to strengthen your relationship or just a new idea, we’ve got some unique (and simple!) Valentine’s Day suggestions for the Talkspace community from our partners at Lasting, the nation’s #1 couples therapy app.
1. Plan an at-home picnic
If you’re eating at home this Valentine’s Day, switch up your normal dinner routine. Cook up (or order in!) your favorite dish and make a picnic on the porch, balcony, or living room floor. If you prefer your dining table, break out the fine china to make it extra special.
Then, use this moment to discuss some new connection rituals you’d like to implement in your relationship. It could be simple things like drinking your morning coffee together, sitting down for lunch without your devices, walking around the neighborhood after work, or cocktails on the porch when the kids (or pets!) are asleep. When you form habits of connection during small, intimate moments, you create a foundation for consistency and trust for the long haul.
2. Add questions to a fun activity
This could be as simple as a puzzle or game! These activities free you up to connect through conversation while also alleviating some of the pressure by focusing your attention on a shared activity.
While you play (or eat or craft!), ask some open-ended questions using a question book or a quick internet search. These can be lighthearted, like, “What’s the best dream you’ve ever had?” but don’t forget about the deep stuff, too. Be vulnerable. Maybe, “If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?”
Then ask your partner what they need most from you right now and then answer that question for yourself.
“Asking directly and honestly for what you need opens the door for your partner to meet your needs and for you both to feel more connected,” says Liz Colizza, lead couples therapist and the Director of Research & Programs at Lasting.
“If you need to, address these strange times directly. The COVID era has been hard on everyone. Identify the losses that have happened during this time. Name them out loud with your partner, because this helps you know how to support each other. Then, spend time examining what it would look like to show up for each other in big ways this season.”Liz Colizza, LPC, NCC
Being explicit about what you’ve both suffered or lost during this turbulent time can actually help alleviate some ambient anxiety and facilitate deeper connection.
3. Try couple’s therapy or attend a relationship workshop
Improving your relationship doesn’t have to be drudgery — you may learn about your partner in ways you never imagined. Talkspace couples therapy lets you rediscover the strengths of your relationship — and make it more meaningful than ever.
If you’re looking for more of an event, Lasting offers live and on-demand virtual workshops for couples that are hosted by licensed therapists. These experts will guide you through exercises to enhance your connection and communication. Workshop topics include rebuilding trust, healing conflict, and increasing desire. They even cover topics like how to have great date night conversation — perfect for Valentine’s Day!
The best part? All Lasting workshops are totally free for subscribers. Get started with 30% off and 7 days for free with your partner!
Set aside some time on date night to engage with one another with the help of a therapist and some guided questions. Working with a therapist can benefit any kind of relationship, especially when dating someone with bipolar, anxiety, or another mental health condition.
4. Do something new
What’s an activity you’ve never done before as a couple? Maybe it’s hiking together, playing tennis, or wine tasting. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn to waltz (YouTube has a tutorial for everything!).
When you do something new, you learn new things about each other. And you might even gain a new passion together! Win-win.
Let this romantic holiday be the nudge you need to make new memories with your partner.
5. Create new spaces together
Heart set on a date night in? Change up your space by rearranging your furniture. Paint a room, hang new art on your walls, or add some greenery. Redesigning your space can give you a fresh outlook and a fresh environment to help connect in new ways.
And while you’re hanging frames, maybe you could talk about your small successes from this past year. Even in the middle of a second pandemic year, you likely made progress. What are you most proud of?
“Celebrating together increases connection and gratitude,” says Colizza, “So don’t forget to acknowledge the small accomplishments.”
(A champagne toast doesn’t hurt, either!)
6. Connect with your senses
If your sex life has been affected by the stress of the past year, you’re not alone. Increasing intimacy is possible with care and intentionality.
“Many of us get stuck in our heads during sex and disconnect from the pleasure of the moment,” says Colizza, “To experience more connection, it’s important to intentionally tune into our bodies.”
How? Start by thinking about your five senses. What are some non-sexual things that are pleasurable for you? Perhaps it’s chocolate, music, or a soft blanket. Add some freshness to the bedroom by incorporating those elements that most please your senses. When you change the context, it can silence your inhibitions and increase your desire.
Finally, don’t forget that talking about sex is one of the best ways to increase your sexual satisfaction. Be open about what you want from your partner. Ask them about their favorite sexual experience with you and why they felt that way. When you’re vulnerable and open up, it encourages your partner to do the same.
“Also, it’s a myth that only spontaneous sex is good sex,” Colizza adds, “Don’t be afraid to schedule sex, because it can actually increase anticipation and longing.”
Plan ahead and prioritize this important part of your connection this Valentine’s Day!
7. Get creative
Get in touch with your creative side! Make a new cocktail. Take a painting class. Bake dessert together. Sketch each other’s portraits or plan your spring garden. The options are endless.
The key is to have fun with it. While you’re creating together, talk about your favorite relationship memory from this past year. Discuss one positive relationship goal you have for 2022 and share what you appreciate most about your partner. Use the creative time as an opportunity to share openly with each other.
This year, make your Valentine’s plans early and prioritize your emotional connection. Because no matter how you choose to spend the day, you can still ramp up the romance and make fun memories along the way.
Want to try Lasting? The best way to get started is with a free relationship health quiz. Get 30% off and 7 days for free with your partner. Amazingly, 94% of couples who use Lasting report new relationship strengths!