5 Valentine's Day Date Ideas For New Couples Who Aren't Too Lovey-Dovey

by Annie Foskett

Intimacy frightens me in a way that I am not proud to admit. It's admittedly a defense mechanism, but saying "pooh-pooh" to Valentine's Day just like Madeline did to the tiger at the zoo is sort of my thing. I'm great at cynicism, sarcasm, and self-deprecation. Romance, feelings, and compliments are more of a struggle for me. It's still January, but I already have anxiety about V-Day. Thus, I decided to think up some Valentine's Day date ideas for new couples, to assuage your anxiety if you find yourself in the same boat as me.

It's so strange being in a new couple near V-Day, even if you really like each other. I find it best to avoid the high-pressure romantic dinners and just do whatever you and your partner both feel like doing that night. Treating Feb. 14th like any other night is actually pretty hard, however. You might go to your favorite bar only to find it littered with pink and red balloons. Or, you might go for a walk in the park to see no fewer than three proposals and/or giant teddy bears. If you're really looking to keep things low-key with your Valentine, here are my best suggestions for avoiding the day entirely:

1. Go To The Movies

The movies were romantic in middle school, but as adults, sitting in the dark not talking to each other for two hours is probably the least romantic you can get this Valentine's Day. There's no chance for candlelight, feelings talk, or PDA-heavy couples making out at the table across from you. Still, a movie date is a date, albeit a low-key and cheap one. Just don't pick a super romantic movie, you know? Like, maybe skip Call Me By Your Name and maybe Lady Bird, too (it's great, but it's going to make you cry). I would recommend I, Tonya or Paddington 2 instead.

2. Seamless, Baby

If you, too, want to say "pooh-pooh" to Valentine's Day, it's as easy as being anti-dinner date. Don't even bother cooking for each other (too romantic). Order in your favorite takeout, snuggle up with an unromantic HBO show that you've both always meant to finish like The Wire, and pretend it's any other day of the year. Plus, take out doesn't mean that there won't be any eating out this V Day...

3. Go Bowling

I love recommending bowling as a date for any occasion because it's truly low-key, grimy, and the most fun you've had in a minute. Find the dirtiest bowling alley around, slip on semi-sanitized shoes they hand you, and sling balls down a lane competitively with your partner. It's akin to screaming "WE ARE NOT ROMANTIC!" while also saying, "WE ARE DEFINITELY FUN." I promise that my enthusiasm for bowling is genuine, and I think this date is a guaranteed strike.

4. Go To The Grocery Store

If you are truly looking for a low-key Valentine's Day date, why not go do an errand with your partner? After all, chores are not romantic. I'd recommend going grocery shopping somewhere that is usually crowded like Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. There will be no one in sight, you can cruise the aisles while pretending not to like each other, and maybe they'll even give you the leftover heart cookies for free? If you do this, please report back, because I feel like Whole Foods on V-Day could be either a really sad place or a really amazing place.

5. FaceTime Each Other

Want to win at being low-key this Valentine's Day? Here's an idea: you and your partner both stay in your respective beds at your respective homes because it's super cold out there anyways. Then, FaceTime each other, turn on a super non-romantic show like American Vandal simultaneously, and non-celebrate Valentine's Day together!

There you have it, five activities that barely say "I love you" for you and your partner to engage in this day that shall not be named. Let me know how they turn out!

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