Valentine’s Day can bring up a lot of mixed feelings for people, whether romantically coupled or not. But especially for those wrestling with heartbreak or who are feeling a little lonely, the saccharine displays of coupledom that fill social media, infiltrate all marketing (even if it’s an ad for something like a hardware store??), and take over all of the weekend’s event themes can leave a person longing for companionship.

And not just any companionship, but that kind of partnership that makes you feel seen. Where you’re in sync with each other. You get each other. You feel like you’re exactly where you need to be. You’re overwhelmed sometimes by the beauty of it, the peace you feel, and the gratitude you have for this communion.

Whoa. Wait. Isn’t that how a lot of us feel when we’re on the trail? When we’re staring out at that grand vista? When the cold ocean waters touch our bare legs?

If you’re feeling down or awkward or any number of feelings about Valentine’s Day or not having someone to call your valentine this year, we’re here to remind you that there’s a pretty good looking, emotionally available partner worthy of your romance just outside the door.

Here are seven ways you can make nature your Valentine’s Day date this year and find the sense of belonging and love you seek.

1. Spend quality time with your favorite nature spot.

Is there a trail or park or shoreline where you’ve been a million times, but every time feels special? Is there an outdoor spot you visit when you need to heal? A little section in the woods that always gives you a sense of home?

Visit that spot on February 14. Let it welcome you. Take time to thank it. Allow yourself to feel the sense of belonging that comes from being in a place that knows you and has held you through your many phases of life, just as you are.

2. Have a sensory experience.

Is physical touch your love language? Head on out into nature and let yourself truly sense your environment

If you’re at the beach, for example, listen to the waves push and pull the shore as the cold water numbs your skin at the same time that its salt content gently stings your legs. Run your hands through the gritty sand. Pet some slick sea kelp.

3. Plan a romantic picnic.

Picnics are one of the best things ever. That is simply a fact. Package up some of your favorite snacks and treats and beverages and lay a blanket down in your favorite park. No need to stay home and eat dinner with your latest Netflix binge when you can have a romantic supper gazing into your favorite lake’s eyes.

4. Form an attachment bond with some new plants.

Turn your home into nature by starting a garden in your backyard or a container garden on your front stoop. Add a new plant to your indoor jungle. Give her a name. Learn how she likes to be cared for and then do that. See just how big humans are capable of loving through your own plant-person connection.

You can also check with your local plant shops to see if they have fun workshops scheduled, like terrarium building or propagating snake plants.

5. Go on a walk with your favorite trail.

As you stroll down your favorite trail, visualize holding hands with your surroundings and lovingly gazing into each other’s eyes. Nothing says love quite like a walk in the woods.

6. Listen to her.

If you’re looking to make nature your Valentine’s Day date, it’s important to listen to her. Try to decipher how many different bird calls there are at dawn or dusk. Notice how the wind sounds differently blowing through the poplar trees compared to the maples. Hear how water flows effortlessly down the mountain despite the obstacles it faces along the way that provide its song.

7. Consider giving her a gift.

If gift giving is your love language, there are many ways to put this to use for your nature date. You can give a gift of service by organizing a litter pickup or invasive plant removal in coordination with a local park. You can donate money to causes that support the outdoors and others who like to enjoy nature, but who may face greater barriers to getting outside. Give gifts to nature in a way that creates a greater sense of belonging and healing for all.

Embrace Love This Valentine’s Day With the Best Partner Ever

The bottom-line is that whether you’re coupled or not this Valentine’s Day, nature is pretty much the best date ever. Plus, you two look so cute together in that selfie! 

Use the tips above to make nature your Valentine’s Day date this year, or share your own ideas with us by tagging us on social media (@gossamergear) and using the hashtag #takelessdomore.

February 10, 2022 — Korrin Bishop