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    Valentine’s in lockdown

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      Couple in bed with masks on

      Updated 1st Feb 2021 - For the most up to date coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance and information, please visit the NHS or government’s dedicated pages. This advice may differ in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland

      Last year on Valentine’s Day you might have been able to enjoy a meal out with that special someone, a visit to the cinema or a night out with your single friends. But this year, if one thing’s for sure, Valentine’s Day is going to look quite different, with most of the country under lockdown and strict COVID-19 restrictions.

      But whatever situation you’re in, whether you’ve been living with your other half through the pandemic, you live apart, you’re house-sharing, or you’re single and not sure what to do on February 14th, we’re here with some tips to make this Valentine’s one to remember!

      Making Valentine’s special when you live with your partner 

      If you’ve been lucky enough to be living with your partner throughout the pandemic, you might be wondering how you can make Valentine’s Day any different from all the other nights in during the past year. If you’re home-schooling, furloughed or worried about loved ones, this can put a lot of strain on a relationship. So, you might also be thinking it would be quite nice to have a break from one another. But maybe mixing up your lockdown routine for 1 day will bring a breath of fresh air. There’s no reason you can’t at least try to make an effort for St Valentine.  

      This year the big day falls on a Sunday, giving you an excuse to make a day of it. Why not indulge in a lazy morning and maybe even breakfast in bed? A long walk or cycle in your local area might be a nice way to while away the afternoon, before cooking your favourite meal in the evening. To make it extra special why not get dressed up for dinner, as if you were heading out to a fancy restaurant?

      If there’s kids around, you’ve got 2 options – get them involved in the fun, making it more of a family day, or save your celebrations to the evening when they’re in bed! Our vote would most likely go to the latter… 

      Don’t forget if you experience erectile dysfunction (ED) or premature ejaculation (PE) and you’re worried about the pressure of Valentine’s night, our ED and PE clinics are here for you. There’s advice, support and information on treatments from our clinicians.  

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      Lockdown Valentine’s when you don’t live with your partner 

      Lots of people have been left in a situation in lockdown where they live in separate households to their partners. So, if you won’t be spending Valentine’s night with them, how else can you mark the day and make it romantic?

      If travelling to see each other face-to-face isn’t an option, sending a gift in the post is a perfect way to brighten up your partner’s day. LloydsPharmacy have a large range of gifts you could send, from fragrance to beauty products, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget to order and send gifts in plenty of time. Valentine’s this year is a Sunday so post and parcels may not be delivered. 

      Of course, if you don’t live too far away from one another, a romantic stroll is the obvious way to be together. Or perhaps a drop-off of flowers or a hamper of their favourite food and drink. A socially-distanced exchange on the doorstep is a nice way to see each other, without breaking any rules. 

      Come night-time, you can share the evening together online. A virtual cook-along, following the same recipe, at the same time means you can sit down to eat the same meal together. This might be the closest you get to a traditional date night, so why not give it a go? 

      If you live with others, make sure you have some privacy to have some time alone with your partner. While you can’t be physically close, there’s no reason why you can’t add some spice to your messages or a video call. If you’ve been with your partner a while, you trust them and you’ve set some boundaries, it’s a safe space to be with one another. Just don’t forget to double check the door’s locked! 

      If you’ve just started dating someone new online, here’s some top tips for keeping virtual dating safe: 

      • Don’t be afraid to Google/social media search for someone you’ve met online to check they’re legitimate 
      • Don’t share too many personal details, including your address and bank details 
      • Use trusted dating platforms 
      • Go slowly - don’t race to big declarations or sending photos until you’ve met them, and you feel you know them properly 
      • Only show your face if they show theirs, to make sure you’re speaking to the person you think you’ve been speaking to 
      • End the call whenever you want – it’s totally okay 
      • Report your match if you think something’s not quite right 
      • Tell your friends about the person/relationship to see if they raise any red flags 
      • Always tell someone if you’re going on a date with someone you’ve met online or matched with on an app  

      Don’t forget, if you want a clean bill of sexual health before (or maybe after) meeting someone non-socially-distanced when restrictions are lifted, our STI testing service is here for you. Our tests are delivered discreetly to your door, and you usually get results within 3 working days of your samples arriving in the lab. 

      Valentine’s when you’re single and locked-down  

      If you’re single and looking for love, COVID-19 has been very much standing in your way for the last year. Lockdowns, local restrictions and closing restaurants and pubs has made it pretty hard for people to get out and meet new people safely. 

      While a night in watching a movie might be the way you feel like spending Valentine’s this year, there’s nothing to stop you from making a night of it too! Round up all your single friends for a night of Zoom games or a quiz, organise a wine tasting night or cocktail making. 

      If there’s one thing we’ve learnt about the pandemic, it’s that lots of people have had to spend a lot of time on their own, whether they like it or not. So, reaching out to people who you know won’t be celebrating on February 14th is a great way to remind them you care.

      References

      https://www.eharmony.co.uk/dating-advice/using-eharmony/10-tips-help-stay-safe-online-dating 
      https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/relationships/a32432003/virtual-date-tips/ 

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