Drinks, food and Facetime: Inside a Lancaster student’s virtual Valentine’s

I’ve always thought chaos and romance was a winning combination

Now, Valentine’s Day isn’t my favourite holiday by any means, but that being said, I do think it’s cute. It’s a great excuse to get dressed up, have a few drinks and a slightly more expensive date night, and maybe a gift or two. But, of course, Covid-19 has gone and put a spanner in the works and now my beautiful, romantic, candlelit evening is all up in the air.

Regardless, I am determined, even if my boyfriend and I have to spend the whole evening in front of our screens, struggling with wifi and squinting at the awful blue light until our eyes get watery and tired, I will have a cute Valentines date!

My boyfriend, Matt, and I have been long distance for a year and a half now, so we’re kind of used to the whole distance dates thing anyway; but last year we went to Manchester for the day so it’s safe to say that we’ve definitely been knocked down a peg or two. At first we weren’t even going to do anything, but like I said, I’m determined, so together we planned the best COVID-safe Valentines Day date ever. Here’s how it went.


After getting out of bed and getting ready for the day, Matt and I hopped on an early morning FaceTime call to exchange gifts. Originally we weren’t going to get each other anything, maybe just a card, but giving is my love language and who doesn’t like a shiny new thing every once in a while?

We kept them small, very strict budget, and nothing special really, just something to put a smile on each other’s face in these hard times and say ‘I love you’. We decided to mail the gifts to each other, and luckily they were delivered on time. I think it’s always nice when you get to open gifts in person, I get all excited about their reaction, so FaceTime was the next best thing.


If there’s one thing that long distance and a global pandemic has taught us, it’s that independence within your relationship is key! So, after our small gift exchange and morning chat, we split up for the day and did our own thing. Matt probably went in the gym or maybe he watched TV, I’m not too sure, but I went out on a mission.

I took myself to Tesco Express to get myself one of those Krispy Kreme Valentine’s donuts. Just because I have a man, doesn’t mean I can’t show myself some love too, it’s all about the self-care ladies. I got one for each of my housemates as well because Valentines is as much about your friends as it is about your lover, and arguably, the former is more important (plus, I’ve got to stay on their good sides, or hell will break loose.)

Loads of food and drinks

I’m sure many of us can relate to the struggle of choosing what they want to eat. Should I cook? Should it be takeout? Where should I order from? Should I try a new recipe, or something I know? Matt and I were very torn, we saw lots of date ideas on Pinterest ranging from cooking on the phone together to ordering each other surprise takeaways. As much as we loved that last idea (it would be a true test of love!), we’re both skint, so we decided to cook from home:

Mac & Cheese and a porn star martini – because comfort food deserves to be fancy too.

So, we opted for the ‘cook on the phone’ idea which proved to be a little chaotic. The reception in my kitchen is very poor, housemates kept barging in and ruining our intimacy, the cook times were off and one meal was ready before the other. But that’s why we had alcohol. It was delicious, mac & cheese is my favourite, so overall, that portion of the night was a win for me!


More often than not, Matt lets me pick the movie we watch, and he’s kind enough to go along with all the chick-flicks I insist he has to watch at least once before he dies! Last year, around the same time, we watched To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, which was amazing, obviously, and so this year we just had to watch the third instalment: To All the Boys: Always and Forever.

We both tucked into our beds, got cosy and warm, hopped on a FaceTime call, grabbed the snacks that we provided each other with, and hit play on the timeless tale of Lara-Jean and Peter Kavinsky. Watching these two love birds worry about a potential long distance relationship was funny – if only they knew…

Poor wifi became an issue, the movie had to be paused and replayed several times, but no date is ever really perfect, and the small frustrations just turn into passion which add fire to the relationship! And that’s healthy.

Overall, this wasn’t the Valentine’s we wanted, or that anyone else who celebrated wanted, but it was nice anyway and it’s good to make the most out of a bad situation. That being said, I really hope we don’t have to do this again next year.

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I went on a virtual date with a guy from every college, so you don’t have to

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‘Will I get into my seminar?’: Lancaster students on the disadvantages of online learning