What To Do On Valentine's Day If You're Basically The Worst At Romance

by Annie Foskett

As someone with a lifelong fear of intimacy, romantic gestures make me incredibly uncomfortable. I remember that as a child one day, I was arriving home from school with my mom as a neighbor walked up to me, shyly holding a bunch of dandelions in his hand. I did everything in my power not to acknowledge the bouquet of weeds, and I am still that a-hole today (I'm also in therapy, don't worry). With February 14th quickly approaching, what are some Valentine's Day date ideas if you're bad at romance like I am?

Being terrible at romance does not mean that you have no ability to feel feelings for your SO. In fact, if you're in a loving relationship despite your distaste for all things romantic, it's very possible that you've found your perfect match in someone like you — someone who who loathes Romeo and Juliet-style romance but loves sarcasm and dark humor. Guess what? That is completely fine and you are absolutely still able to celebrate the most obnoxiously "romantic" day of the year, February 14.

My advice? Just make everything you do on V-Day the exact opposite of whatever Hallmark cards tell you to do. Maybe swap a bouquet of flowers for a bouquet of new Hanky Pankys. Or instead of a romantic dinner, go get tacos from a taco truck because why the eff not? Here are some great date ideas for you and your equally emo bae.

1. Go Bowling

I love bowling. Competition is fun, and you can usually drink beers while partaking in a game. I like competition and I like beers, so I find bowling extremely fun. However, bowling is the least romantic sport around: you have to wear shoes that a million strangers feet have been in, you have to stick your fingers in tiny little dirty holes in a ball, and you pretty much stick your butt in your date's face every time it's your turn... All the more reason this is a perfect non-Valentine-y Valentine's date that I highly recommend!

2. Go To An Archery Range

I live in New York City, and this exists here, so I'm assuming everyone can Google "nearest archery range" and find something? As long as you insist on shooting your bow-and-arrow yourself, zero parts of going to an archery ranger seem romantic to me. It does, however, seem very fun, and faux-violent, and thus a great way to unleash some "eff romance" angst.

3. Go To A Dive Bar

Ideally, this dive bar features either a drink-and-shot special, a live grunge or punk band, or some free food like popcorn or even a personal pizza with each drink you buy. (Yes, this exists in New York, but maybe it does in your city too?) When you're with the person you like the most, why don't you go to a bar people like the least? Just stay away from the red jello shots at the bar — the color is too on-brand for the day.

4. Netflix & Chill

The phrase is dated and so is the idea of sitting on a couch together binge-watching a series while doing the dirty. But hey, it's definitely not a romantic date. There are great new shows on Netflix like Dark, which is the opposite of romantic, and I happen to really like The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon prime. Make sure you Seamless goopy nachos instead of making a charcuterie board, and shamelessly wear your PJs all night to make sure this doesn't get cutesy.

5. Do Your Laundry Together

You think I'm kidding, but I'm not. Do you have a laundromat with a bar nearby? Or inside it? Or even a laundromat with arcade games? Or do you do do your laundry at home, but could put a six-pack in the fridge and break out a board game in the meantime? I like this date because it is both productive and not romantic at all. V-Day falls on a Wednesday this year, so why not get a chore done with your loved one?

There you have it, folks. The least romantic Valentine's Day dates of all time. Maybe think about what you might do on a first or second date with a partner, and then do that. As long as it's not a romantic dinner. Because, like, gross.

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