Coffee Date #16: It's Okay if Valentine's Day Sucked
On the day of love in the era of COVID
Welcome to Coffee Date issue #16. I can’t believe how quickly this has gone - it feels like about 5 minutes since I sent the very first edition of the newsletter over 6 months ago!
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It’s Okay if Valentine’s Day Sucked
How was your Valentine’s Day, friends?
If it was amazing, I’m so so happy for you!
If it was mediocre or “meh” or you ignored the whole thing entirely, that’s completely valid.
And if it sucked? Yeah, that’s okay too.
Mr CK and I have never been that big on Valentine’s Day. Some years we do cards and/or a special dinner at home, sometimes we just don’t bother. However, we have our own annual February 15th tradition that we call Sushi & Fisting Day. Obviously we couldn’t go out for sushi this year (and no, delivery/takeout options do not exist in our tiny town), though we did manage to have some good sex a day later.
I’m tremendously lucky to be riding out the pandemic with my primary partner and I don’t take that for granted. Not being able to do our usual traditional thing was just one more in the long list of stuff we haven’t been able to do thanks to COVID. It’s small in the grand scheme of things, but I’m allowing myself to have my feelings about it.
Perhaps you, too, have a Valentine’s or associated tradition that was thwarted by the pandemic this year. If so, it’s okay to be sad about it. I’ve said this before, but the enormity of the pandemic and all the deaths doesn’t mean we can’t be sad about more mundane and everyday things. So if you didn’t get the Valentine’s date you wanted because of *gestures at everything*? You have my full permission to feel all your feelings about that.
Perhaps the pressures of social isolation and being at home all the time means your relationship isn’t doing too well. The stresses of the pandemic, whether you’re homeschooling or working from home or putting your health on the line every day as a keyworker, can easily kill even the most active romantic and/or sexual inclinations. It’s okay if you just can’t. It’s okay if you don’t feel like being lovey-dovey or having a night of kinky sex when neither of you have touched another human being in close to a fucking year.
Perhaps you couldn’t be with your loved one(s) at all. Last week, we passed the year mark since my secondary partner and I last got to see each other (for context, they live an easy 1-hour drive away.) With no end to all of this in sight, we have no idea how much longer it’s going to be. Right now, I would be happy with a guarantee that it will be sometime before the end of 2021, but we don’t even have that.
And it sucks. And it hurts.
Of course, we have Skype and Telegram and phone calls and sexting. Which is something. But is it enough? No. I want more. I want to touch and kiss and have sex that doesn’t take place through a screen. We’ve always been very low-key about Valentine’s Day, but it still brought home just how fucking much I miss them.
If you’re separated from your partner or one of your partners right now, I feel you. I’m right there with you and I’m sorry, because I know how much it sucks. You’re allowed to be sad and hurt and angry, and it’s okay if Valentine’s Day brought all that to the surface.
Perhaps you’re single and haven’t been able to date or have sex in a long time, when you really would have liked to. Perhaps you don’t care much about dating right now, but you’re feeling lonely and isolated and all the romantic stuff is just getting you down. That’s all so, so understandable. I hope you were and are able to show yourself some love and get some support from your friends and family, even if only remotely. You deserve it.
We all have our own struggles right now. Monogamous or polyamorous, nesting or living apart, single or partnered… it’s all tough. We don’t need to compare our struggles or justify our feelings or downplay our pain because others have it worse. All our challenges are unique and they all matter.
So I hope you had a good or at least tolerable Valentine’s Day. But if it sucked, I hear you and I hope you’ll be gentle with yourself. Because it’s understandable and okay.
This week on the blog
I took part in LSB’s Quote Quest for the first time in a while, and wrote about things that are more important than looks in dating and relationships.
Sexy deals of the week
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Reads, watches, listens
Reading… I just finished reading Wow, No Thank You, a collection of essays by Black queer writer Samantha Irby. It’s at times cringeworthily relateable and at times laugh-out-loud funny. This is her third collection and I also loved her second, We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. I haven’t read her debut collection, Meaty, but I’m definitely going to grab a copy.
Watching… I’m pretty much always late to the party on media stuff. I might be the only queer millennial woman on the face of the earth who didn’t watch The L Word in 2004, and I didn’t listen to Hamilton until it had been out for well over a year. In my latest “late to the (watch) party,” Mr CK and I just binge-watched The Queen’s Gambit. It’s a seriously powerful portrayal of addiction, genius and loneliness, power and vulnerability, and the pressures of being in the public eye at a young age. We loved it.
Listening… I’m still working my way through the back-catalogue of the podcast To L and Back. I’m also enjoying music that makes me feel powerful and motivated right now. My current favorite jam is Gavin DeGraw’s She Sets the City on Fire. It makes me want to dance but also take on the world.
Thanks for being here. I love writing to you all every week and hearing your kind and generous feedback helps me to keep doing what I’m doing.