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The Many Languages of Love: Couples on a Pandemic Valentine’s Day

Pandemic Valentine's Day
5 min read

When Shakespeare wrote, “the course of true love never did run smooth” in ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream,’ I wonder if he ever considered the idea of pandemic relationships and even a pandemic Valentine’s Day? The past year has presented to us unprecedented challenges and not only in a socio-political and economic sense. Our personal lives were disrupted and turned upside down with many moving back home, moving in with a new partner, and adjusting to this new sense of normality. We traded cocktail hours for couches and date nights for distance, as we accepted that human connection would inevitably become largely digital.

However, despite these conditions, the past twelve months have shown how love, joy, and relationships can triumph. We saw couples reorganize, re-plan, and design their weddings to not only adhere to Covid-19 guidelines but show off how creative they could be in celebrating love. The rise of the popular social media app, TikTok, gave a platform to many couples who showed us a glimpse into their lives, whether it be through cooking, “this or that” challenges, or just doing fun dance routines.

[Read More: Love and 8 Ways to Celebrate This Valentine’s Day (and Every Day!)]

Those looking for love were also aided by apps like DilMil or Bumble, which made online-dating during a pandemic slightly more fun. No doubt, it has been a difficult year, yet as we approach this pandemic Valentine’s Day, I feel like there is a resounding sentiment of hope — hope for a healthier future, for our personal communities, relationships, and the whole world.

For this year’s pandemic Valentine’s Day, we reached out to our favorite couples who are proving that love in lockdown, despite its unique challenges, is hopeful, fun, and heart-warming. We asked them to share their lockdown experiences, favorite Covid-friendly date night ideas, and how they would describe their relationship as a whole. Prepare to say a lot of awww’s.

Aditya and Amit

Aditya (he/him) is a creative, content creator and works at a risk management company and his partner Amit (he/him) is a dancer, creative director and founder of Aatma Performing Arts based in New Jersey. Both are big foodies, the cutest dog parents, and were featured in countless outlets including Vogue India for breaking the barriers of love by tying the knot at a Hindu temple in 2019.

 

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A post shared by Aditya Madiraju (@mad_adiyoo)

1. What is your Covid-friendly date idea for Valentine’s Day?

Usually, Covid-friendly dates for us start with a long drive and doggy park runs. They end with an online class of either painting or dance! We try to fill our day, so we don’t sit idle and binge-watch Netflix while eating chips on the couch.

2. What is one lesson or something you’ve learned about each other over the past year while in quarantine?

We both have learned a lot! We learned that we both need a break from each other. Once a week, I work in a different part of the house and Amit takes over the living room. We love each other but we definitely need our own space and an occasional change of scenery.

3. What is one way you celebrate your love year-round?

We cook good food and eat it together. We fall asleep while watching TV and start impromptu dance parties in the middle of the day!

4. Describe your relationship in one word or two.

Organized chaos.

Nikita and Sachin

Nikita Gupta (she/her) is a writer, entrepreneur, and creator of the multi-cultural lifestyle blog, Growing Up Guptas. She lives with her husband Sachin and daughter Amaya. Their love story was met with hurdles at the start when her husband was disowned for marrying an African American woman but nine agony-filled months later, Sachin’s dad contacted him and said that they would rather have him in their lives than not.

1. What is your Covid-friendly date idea for Valentine’s Day?

We’ll order take-out from one of our favourite restaurants and watch the new movie, ‘Namaste Wahala’ on Netflix!

2. What is one lesson or something you’ve learned about each other over the past year while in quarantine?

Self-care is super important and having time apart (and together) to enjoy the things we love is essential.

3. What is one way you celebrate your love year-round?

We celebrate our love everyday by showing each other affection and checking in on each other. We love going on vacation as a family each year to celebrate our union and love.

4. Describe your relationship in one word or two.

Destiny.

Saahil and Matthew

 

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A post shared by saahil m. (@saahil.me)

Saahil M. (they/them) are a writer, educator, and editor (and Brown Girl Mag’s Brown boy co-creator). Their partner is Matthew Claiborne (he/him), a producer. The couple is creative, fun-loving, and a must-follow on Instagram!

1. What is your Covid-friendly date idea for Valentine’s Day?

We’re planning to have a cozy Valentine’s Day fondue brunch in a heated igloo on a rooftop overlooking the East River in lower Manhattan!

2. What is one lesson or something you’ve learned about each other over the past year while in quarantine?

This year, we learned the importance of rest.

3. What is one way you celebrate your love year-round?

We celebrate our love year-round by celebrating each other!

4. Describe your relationship in one word or two.

Honest and extra AF.

Ami and Veeral

 

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A post shared by AMI DESAI (@amidesai)

Ami Desai is a blogger, style queen, and incredible mama. She and her husband Veeral Desai have three beautiful children.

1. What is your Covid-friendly date idea for Valentine’s Day?

Outdoor dining was reinstated here in L.A. County, and to get ahead of the weekend craziness, my hubby surprised me with a quick wine date during the week while the kids were at their respective soccer practices. It may not sound romantic but honestly carving out even one hour to just reconnect and take the edge off does wonders! For Valentine’s Day itself, we’ll be celebrating with our little loves probably curled up on the couch with some hot cocoa, lots of candy, and a movie.

2. What is one lesson or something you’ve learned about each other over the past year while in quarantine?

You really get to know someone on a different level when you spend so much time with them, even if you’ve known them for half your life as I’ve known my husband. I’ve gotten used to my better half traveling quite a bit for work so when the pandemic hit it went from playing catch up on the weekends to working, parenting and everything in between in such close quarters. The biggest thing that was solidified in my head about my husband in 2020 is his unwavering work ethic. Whether it’s with work or family he gives 150 percent to everything he does and that has inspired me so much in my own work and role as a mother. Don’t get me wrong, being together 24/7 definitely has its moments, but I’m grateful for what he’s shown me this past year.

3. What is one way you celebrate your love year-round?

I’ve learned over the years that it’s not about material things. Presents are nice and trust me, I love a good surprise! But if you really want to celebrate someone you love, show up when they need you the most. Be there to listen, even when you don’t have advice to give. Just being there as a sounding board is priceless.

4. Describe your relationship in one word or two.

Best friends.

As we find ourselves figuring out our “new” social lives, it is important to remember that love can never be lost, although our internet connection frequently seems like it is. It’s easy to assume Cupid got Covid this year, and Valentine’s day is cancelled, but I hope you dedicate this pandemic Valentine’s Day to your loved ones –galentines, pets, best friends, significant others, and family – and to self-care, which is one of the best forms of love.

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