#CheckThisOut: Your date-from-home kit

Jaco Joves

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#CheckThisOut: Your date-from-home kit
Here are some safe and fun ways to celebrate Valentine's day according to people in different kinds of relationships

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Another pandemic Valentine’s (our second, to be exact) is around the corner – and, sadly, so are Omicron cases.

Lovebirds who are planning something grandiose, such as an out-of-town trip or an exquisite dinner, might find this a bummer, but uncertain times call for safer expressions of love. But fret not, you don’t need to go out on a limb (and expose yourself) just to show devotion to your special someone.

For BrandRap editor Marj, she and her hubby have opted to go low-key: “Since February 14 is a work day, we will probably celebrate it over the weekend by ordering our favorite Japanese food and desserts to sweeten the day via foodpanda. We will also be watching some Gordon Ramsay show from our bedroom ‘cinema.’”

Meanwhile, “this year, we might just have a quiet dinner the week before Valentine’s, then just spend the 14th itself indoors, with some wine and takeout, streaming a movie or a series,” said Tristan, Rappler’s brand integration head.

For Carmen*, whose husband is stationed abroad for work, she said: “Now, a simple greeting and ‘I love you’ is enough. Sometimes we just talk about deep stuff and a simple wish for our reunion soon.”

Brenda*, who’s also in a long-distance relationship, joked that Valentine’s Day is a “made-up capitalistic holiday,” and that she and her jowa (boyfriend) are fine with messaging and video calling each other spontaneously and without pressure. She admitted, though, that they’re now “big on gift-giving” since the pandemic started.

You can keep your 14th simple yet still memorable, whether at home or virtually. But if you want to throw in a nice surprise – a gift always works! – our respondents have a few recommendations:

For couples who can be physically together

By Marj

My husband and I love playing games on our Nintendo Switch. We especially like games that test our communication and patience like Mario Party and Overcooked!

One of my favorite things is to ask my husband to bake classic chocolate chip cookies. The chocolate used in his recipe is crucial so we should only be using quality ones like Auro Chocolate.

Monopoly is one of our favorite board games. We play this seriously and never let our relationship get in the way of winning. 🤑

By Tristan

To ease our kitchen prep work!

We’ve been meaning to try out this hobby for a while now. 🎨

We’d like to bring on those cinema feels while streaming!

For LDR couples, by Brenda

I gifted this to my jowa. It’s a smart light bulb that you can turn on and off, dim, and change the color using an app. It’s an easy way to set the mood or turn off the lights after talking or texting in bed without getting up, lol!

High-quality wireless earphones with a mic are super important for calls. Aside from wanting to keep the audio clear and crisp, you’d also want to be able to move around freely without getting caught by the cable. Jowa has a similar model. (I should buy one too!)

I bought one to take personal pics and film videos, but I found myself always using this whenever we have a video call. You gotta have a tripod or else your arms will hurt from holding up your phone all the time during a call.

Just to keep things spicy! It’s a special occasion, after all, so dress up for it. 😉

Is the pandemic getting to both of you?

We’re not immune from feeling overwhelmed, so it’s perfectly fine. All of them agreed that the best way to counter pandemic-related stressors is to be honest, talk it out, and try to spice up every moment.

“When you’re experiencing difficult emotions, try your best to communicate how you want your partner to help you – whether that’s by giving you space or spending time with you. It’s always better to say how you feel than expect your partner to know it,” said Marj.

Brenda referred to the five love languages, and she suggested upping the ante on the others to offset those you can’t readily give: “When you and your special someone are apart, you can’t do Acts of Service and Physical Touch. But there are other ways to show intimacy and care – do more of those.” She referred to Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, and Quality Time.

There’s (almost) nothing that communication can’t solve, and in the name of those we care about, this is just a minor bump in the road.

“If you want the relationship to work and you think that your significant other is worth it, some occasional drama is just a little something you have to get through,” said Carmen.

And according to Tristan, even from the safety of our homes, there are always opportunities to create more memories, “whether that’s competing to solve the Wordle of the day or watching something new together over Facetime.” – Rappler.com

*Real names withheld

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Jaco Joves

Jaco was a senior content producer for Rappler's BrandRap team.