Valentine’s Day in Recovery
Valentine’s Day is a day when many people show their significant other they love and appreciate them. Chocolates, flowers, and romantic dinners with wine or champagne are often part of the celebration. But if you or your loved one is in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction, especially if newly sober, you may be concerned about how to celebrate this year.
At its heart, a celebration of love is about spending quality time together and enjoying one another’s company, on February 14th or any other day. But if you want to make Valentine’s Day stand out, we offer seven fun and romantic sober date ideas to enjoy with your significant other.
Spoil Yourselves in a Suite
If one or both of you are in recovery, chances are that you’ve been kept busy by the work required to maintain sobriety. Use Valentine’s Day as a chance to get away from routine and reconnect with each other. Depending on your preference and budget, book a room or a cozy suite at a nearby hotel for just the two of you. Cancel all your appointments, send the kids to their grandparents or other favorite relatives for the night, and just enjoy being together. Order your favorite breakfast from room service and enjoy it in bed.
Plan a Romantic Overnight Get-Away at a Quaint B&B
If a hotel is too impersonal for you, spend a romantic night at a bed & breakfast. B&Bs range in price but are usually comparable to nice hotel rooms and include a delicious home-cooked breakfast. The owners of a B&B usually offer a personal touch, going out of their way to ensure your comfort during your stay. You can arrange ahead of time with the owner that alcohol will not be offered in the room or at breakfast.
Make Dinner Together & Spend a Romantic Evening at Home
Part of addiction recovery for many people is learning how to enjoy healthy foods. Cooking together is a great way to experiment with recipes you will both enjoy, and celebrating Valentine’s Day at home means you don’t have to worry about alcohol being present. Prepare a meal you both enjoy, cook each other’s favorite foods, or try out a new recipe together. End your meal with a delicious, decadent dessert.
Here are a few other ways to enjoy the evening at home:
- Make a Valentine’s Day mocktail and enjoy it in a bubble bath for two.
- Slow dance to your favorite song.
- Make a music playlist of all the songs that have meaning to your relationship. Include songs that speak to your recovery process.
- Have a game night with games like Twister, The Jenga Love Game, or strip poker.
Book a Couple’s Massage
Many spas offer Valentine’s Day couple’s massage specials. Massage is healing to the body and soothing to the spirit–and romantic if you’re getting one with your significant other. Typically, a couple’s massage means that you and your partner will be on two massage tables set up next to each other, each with your own massage therapist. Generally, the room will have flowers, candles, and soft relaxing music.
If you are not comfortable with a full-body or hot stone massage, you can opt for a relaxing foot massage instead. When you book a couple’s massage, make sure to let them know that you want an alcohol-free experience since some spas include wine in their packages.
Spending time enjoying nature is a romantic way to spend Valentine’s Day with your loved one, and any form of exercise is helpful for addiction recovery. While February is cold in Indiana, you can still enjoy a vigorous hike or any of a variety of winter activities: snow-shoeing, cross country skiing, sledding, ice skating, and more. The fun part of getting cold together is coming back home and warming each other up again.
Do Something You Both Enjoy
We’ve offered a variety of traditionally romantic ideas for your celebration of Valentine’s Day, but you can also throw away tradition and create your own meaningful day. If playing video games together or watching horror movies are things you both love, schedule some time to indulge yourselves. Don’t let the cultural definitions of love and romance get in your way if they don’t fit your personal experience together.
Renew Your Commitment to Your Relationship
Finally, consider using Valentine’s Day as a motivation for change. Being in a relationship can be difficult, especially if addiction or addiction recovery is part of the picture. Take some time on February 14th to talk about where you are, where you’ve come from, and where you want to go. Set some relationship goals and follow up with a concrete plan. For example, you might decide to prioritize a date night every week. You might think of a project you can both collaborate on. Showing your long-term commitment to each other is a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Do You Need Help?
If you or a loved one struggles with a drug or alcohol addiction, help is available. You are not alone. At Anabranch Recovery Center located in Terre Haute, Indiana, professionals will help you regain your sobriety using a personalized, evidence-based approach. Take the first step on your road to recovery; call Anabranch today.
About the Author:
Terry Hurley is a retired educational professional and freelance writer with more than fifty years of experience. A former reading specialist and learning center director, Terry loved her years working with children in the educational field. She has written extensively for print and online publications specializing in education and health issues. For the last six years, her writing focus has been on addiction and mental health issues.