As a proud corny ass shawty, pisces, and overall romantic, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. I love a grand gesture of love, any reason to make something heart-shaped, and having an entire day where a good percentage of folks I see walking outside are carrying bundles of flowers.
I reallyyyy go hard for Valentine’s Day because I think it’s the perfect day to celebrate our friends. In this messy ass year, I’m giving a STANDING OVATION to all of my homies who held me down. Even in a time when we can’t be physically be a part, my friends and I have found new ways to share love through the interwebs, whether through goofy ass powerpoint parties, facetiming each other as we dance on sunset, sending each-other playlists, or just a lil text that says “Hey, I love you.”
I feel like love is often dominantly discussed in a partnered context, and this Valentine’s Day, I want to celebrate platonic intimacy. I want grand, romantic gestures that gass up my homies for the care, support, and love they hold me with.
Some of the greatest love stories I have are the ones I hold with my friends.
That said, here are 20 different dates to take your friend on, made to do socially distanced. You can adapt them to any do with any of the people in your life, whether your boo(s), fam, or self!
Sending y’all much sweetness. Here’s to continuing to create moments of delight and care with one another.
20 Friend Dates
Make a booklet of however many pages you choose, and fill in the first page. Mail the booklet to your person, and have them fill in the next page, and send it back to you. Send the booklet back and forth to each-other, each time adding a new page until you’ve built an entire booklet. Your book can build into a comic, story, instructional booklet, etc.
Make a collaborative playlist together that’s themed around an activity you can both do: cooking something that reminds you of home, sitting in the sunlight, walking until you find flowers, etc. Agree on a time and date to complete said activity, as you listen to the playlist. Afterward, discuss your journey with the music.
Bring back the make-believe - and in your respective homes, build a pillow fort or the indoor picnic. Once complete, co-watch a favorite childhood movie together.
Get a disposable camera. Take a picture and send it to your person. Have them take a picture, and send it back to you. Send the camera back and forth until the camera is full. Develop your photos, and scan or take photos of them and add them to a shared photo album. Discuss the moments you captured.
Over a video call, quiz each-other on how well you know one another. Take turns asking questions and guessing the answer. Provide hints to each other through words, or drawing/dancing/painting clues.
Rest together. On a video call, make face masks of any kind that work best for your skin (clay, honey and oatmeal...Google has your back on this one). Lounge together, listen to soothing music, drink water, discuss what your rest practices look like, and how you can be there for each other’s rest.
Y’all. Neopets, Club Penguin, and the old Disney games (does the Lilo and Stitch Sandwich Stacker ring a bell?) all still exist online - and I’m freaking out about it. In this date, select one to play together at the same time. Video call as you both play. Share your characters, compare scores.
Sunset serenade. Pick a song that you both love - a song you love so much you both know the lyrics to it. At sunset, video call-each other. Dance with each-other to the song, serenade each-other, get silly, loud, belt out the lyrics.
Set up a 15 minute timer. Make a powerpoint presentation on any subject, clouds, Drake, the best way to prepare toast. Present to each other over Zoom, let hilarity ensue.
Ask each other the questions from the NYTimes piece “The 36 Questions That Lead to Love.” You can do this by sending letters, over a video call over snacks, through voice memos over a month, whatever pace works best for you.
Sip tea, collect art supplies (paints, crayons, markets, etc.) and create art together over a video call. Share your pieces with one another.
Create a Tik-Tok play together that’s themed around a key moment in your friendship, for example: the first time you met.
Find a recipe you’d both love to try. Set up a video call as you both co-cook the recipe, Great British Bakeoff style. Compare results, trade tips, enjoy the treats together while talking about your love languages.
Send one another, or go find, a box of your favorite cereals, or make breakfast together over a video call. Pair the meal by co-watching some of your favorite childhood cartoons.
Can be done in a duo or in a group: Spend a week practicing an activity that’s outside of your comfort zone, or that you’ve always wanted to try. At the end of the week, host a digital talent show, and perform your newly practiced skills.
Send each-other the ingredients to your favorite cozy drinks: hot chocolate, tea, etc. When the ingredients arrive, take turns reading things you love out loud to one another in a phone or video call, poems, song lyrics, book passages, etc.
Make a collaborative playlist dedicated to dreaming. Select a date to listen to the playlist before you go to sleep. Talk about your dreams over breakfast in the morning over a video or phone call.
Interview one another. Talk about your current: dreams, music you love, ways you’re resting, the last shape you saw in the clouds. Save the interview to open in 10 years and watch together.
For a full week, send each-other a picture of the sky at sunset, wherever you are in the world.
Create a “digital bouquet,” of your favorite photos you’ve taken together, the best memes you’ve exchanged, your silliest/loving texts, and have it live on a Google Doc or Slide. Present the bouquet to your friend on a day where they need some extra care.
My mood after writing this list:
Drink a glass of water after reading! Send this email it to a homie you want to go on friend date with. 💌
15% of all monthly support to this newsletter donated to an organization I love and that y’all should love up on too. February’s investment is going to Arm The Girls, a Bay Area mutual aid initiative putting power and safety directly into the hands of black and indigenous queer and trans femmes of color.
Much love y’all. You can find me in these other online portals 🌍💿