strings of lights around a window

While you can’t use candles in the dorms, rope lights will also do the trick!

While there are plenty of good date night opportunities around the city of Winona, your res hall can actually be perfect for a romantic rendezvous this Valentine’s Day. Hey now, don’t look so skeptical! It’s true, and here’s how I know.

The first Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I shared came just two months after we started dating. Not ready for an all-out celebration, we opted for a simple evening in my res hall room. He came over around 8pm and we curled up together to watch the sweet romance between Llyod Dobler and Diane Court unfold in the classic romantic comedy Say Anything. Honestly, it was just as fun as any of the more elaborate Valentine’s Day’s we’ve had because we talked and laughed and enjoyed each other’s company.

If you’re also thinking about going the route of a low-key movie night, here are a few tips for creating romance in the res halls:

1. Clean Your Room

It seems obvious, but a clean room is always more inviting than a messy space. Vacuum the floor, take out the trash, spray some air freshener— particularly if you want to make a good impression on a date who has never seen your room before. Even if your date has already seen your messy side, they’ll be sure to notice the extra effort you made to pick up your socks and make your bed.

2. Respectfully Relocate Your Roommate

A big part of romance is being open and emotionally available, but sharing your thoughts and feelings can be awkward if your roommate is sitting just a few feet away. So, make arrangements with your roommate to have the room to yourself for a few hours. Do this ahead of time so as not to make your roommate feel exiled from their own room. You want to wake up on 2/15 with two successful relationships, not a romantic partner at the cost of a roommate.

3. Nix the Overhead Lighting

Because nothing sets the mood better than the harsh glare of overhead lighting, amirite? WRONG. What you want is a softer glow from a few table lamps or maybe some rope lights strung up around the room for an amorous atmosphere. Hey, a cozy dimness might be cliché, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective.

4. Pick the Right Movie

There are probably literally a million romantic movies out there so choosing the right one is important. Don’t test your date’s patience by choosing a movie that gets you feeling lovey-dovey but has them counting down until the credits roll. Also, I’d advise against The Titanic and The Notebook because, while they’re classic love stories, they’re also tearjerkers. And, let’s be honest, no one cries as prettily in real life as people do in the movies.

Of course, these things are not necessary to falling in love—that’s just what happens when two people connect on a deeper level—but they can help make the evening special. This year, my boyfriend and I are planning a Valentine’s night-in very similar to that one our freshman year. And it’s going to be just as sweet this time around too.

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Elizabeth Meinders

Elizabeth was the Blog Manager before she graduated with a BA degree in English & Public Relations in 2015. She is from Marshfield, WI and her interests include crafting, playing board games and snuggling with her cats.

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