I met my husband in college, we had only been dating for a few months when I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2013 and I started following the Autoimmune Protocol soon after. So we never really had a “normal” dating experience. We didn’t go to dinner and a movie or out drinking like the other couples our age. We had to get creative with our date ideas since they couldn’t revolve around food. Over the years I’ve saved these date ideas and pulled them out on Friday nights or special occasions like Valentine’s Day. I’m excited to share with you my hubby and I’s FAVORITE 10+ Valentine’s Date Ideas that don’t involve food (and are safe during a global pandemic!)
Holidays that center around food can be challenge if you’re new to the Autoimmune Protocol, especially Valentine’s Day. This pink and red holiday conjures up images of romantic candle-lit dinners, sparkling champagne, and chocolate covered strawberries. This definitely poses some challenges when you choose not to eat those things. While going out to eat is possible on AIP, It can feel like more of a challenge than it’s worth. Plus, when you make dinner at home EVERY. FREAKING. DAY, there is nothing romantic about a trip to the supermarket and a dirty kitchen.
Babe, don’t worry. St. Valentine never said that in order to show your appreciation for a loved one you have to eat dinner with them. You can celebrate time with your honey, fan the romance flame, and just have fun without worrying about food!
10+ Valentine’s Date Ideas that Don’t Involve Food
- Make a Blanket Fort. Let’s be honest, is there anything more sexy than snuggling with your sweetie under warm blankets, surrounded by pillows, tucked up in your own little universe? Yeah… I didn’t think so. Blanket forts aren’t just for kids anymore folks! There are some seriously creative ways to give this childhood classic a seriously sexy glow-up. Add twinkle lights on the floor inside and turn out all the lights, use fluffy pillows and cozy blankets. Check out this video to get your creative juices flowing!
- Watch a Movie Marathon. Okay I know we’ve probably all spent a lot of time “Netflix & Chilling” this past year, being stuck inside and all, BUT there are still some ways you give this date-night classic a creative and romantic spin. Set up a blanket fort with cozy pillows, blankets, and twinkle lights around the TV to give your movie watching some romantic ambiance. Write each of your top 3 favorite romantic movies on slips of paper and stick them in jar so you will be be surprised by what movies you watch first.
- Have a Game Night. My husband and I LOVE board games. We might have created some “marriage friendly” rules over the years to curb both of our competitive spirits… but we always enjoy learning the strategy of a new game together. It’s a hobby we get to explore and share together that also makes us laugh.
- Go on a Hike. Maybe it’s just me, but being in nature with my partner always makes me feel more connected to them. Plan an extra special early morning hike so the two of you can watch the sunrise together over a beautiful mountain overlook. Pack a cozy blanket and a thermos of some AIP Herbal Coffee and snuggle together while you watch the sun rise. I’m swooning just thinking about it!
- Gaze at the Stars. Invest in a simple telescope, get a book from the library about how to spot constellations, or maybe just lay under some blankets and make out a little under the stars. I mean hey… it IS Valentine’s Day 😉
- Make a Campfire. If you have a fire pit in your back year, crank that baby up! Cozy up with your sweetheart under some blankets around a warm fire and tell each other all the reasons you fell in love with them.
- Watch the Sunrise. Even if you’re not the hiking type you can still totally enjoy the sunrise together. Brew you favorite warm beverages and sit outside together while you watch the sunrise. I honestly can’t think of a more romantic way to start Valentine’s Day.
- Look Through Old Photos. Take time to reminisce with each other. Look at old photos from when you were dating or early on in your marriage, share some of your favorite memories, and just remember why you fell in love with each other in the first place.
- Write Down What You Love about Each Other. Write it down in a journal or on little slips of paper to put in a box and give it to your partner as a gift. I am sure they will love to read them every single day.
- Spend Time in the Bedroom. Okay… this one kind of goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway. Take your time connecting with you partner. Enjoy being with one another in ALL the ways that count.
- Create a Love Scavenger Hunt. Write clues on little slips of paper, each saying one thing you love about your partner that leads to a surprise at the end! Get your creative juices flowing!
- Do Something New Together. Bonding over new experiences is a really fun way to create new memories and connect with your partner. One time I convinced my husband to try tandem kayaking with me. I swear I have never laughed so hard in one afternoon in my life. We got stuck on rocks, went backwards down the river, and we couldn’t lift out arms over our heads the next day but it was a fun and cherished time together.