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Date Nights with Cystic Fibrosis

What did you do for Valentine's day? I feel like there are three groups of people when it comes to Valentine’s Day. Group one loves Valentine's Day. While group two thinks it is a holiday created by greeting card companies. And group three doesn't care.

Growing up, I usually fell under group three. I always understood the meaning and that it means a lot to some people. But I just never really understood why it was celebrated. Why can you only celebrate love one day a year? And then I met my husband.

Our first date was on Valentine’s Day. No pressure, right? He had realized it was Valentine’s Day, but I was totally clueless! We love to celebrate Valentine's Day, but I imagine it looks different compared to most celebrations.

Living with cystic fibrosis (CF) means that things often must look different. School looks different. Jobs look different. Relationships look different. And holidays look different. Celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone who has CF will probably look different, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Let’s go over some ideas about how to plan a date night while living with CF.

Celebrations with CF

Dates can be a big deal in the movies. The characters are always glamorous, dressed in suits and dresses, and the restaurant is a 5-star Michelin. I don’t know about you, but that is not my reality. That doesn't mean it's bad or good. It simply it what it is.

Celebrating looks different for each person. Everyone has preferences. They also have their own unique abilities. For example, my husband is an amazing baker. He makes the best made-from-scratch cheesecake with mixed berry compote that I have ever had in my life. I hate baking and won’t even try. So, if we want to make a fancy meal, I will often cook the meal and he will bake a delicious dessert. We are respecting our strengths and weaknesses. And it is important to keep that in mind for Valentine’s Day, and other date nights too.

CF friendly date ideas

If you’re trying to think of date night ideas that are compatible with CF, it is important to remember your significant other’s likes, dislikes, abilities, and weaknesses. For example, what might be a romantic stroll for a healthy person would feel like a workout to someone with CF (depending on their disease progression). Let’s go over a few ideas together!

  • A Cozy, Candlelit Night-In. Like I mentioned earlier, Valentine’s is often portrayed in chic, glamorous spaces like restaurants, museums, or city parks. But living with CF means that energy levels change from day to day. And sometimes making big plans can cause a lot of stress which can drain your energy. If you can, opt for a cozy night-in with your significant other but still make it special. Maybe order delivery from your favorite restaurant and eat it by candlelight at the dinner table. Bonus points? You have your sweatpants on so you’re extra comfortable!
  • Themed Movie Night. I’m sure you have heard of movie marathons. But what about themed movie night? For example, my husband and I love the zombie franchise aesthetic. Think Train to Busan, The Walking Dead, or World War Z. A fun Valentine’s Day celebration for us would involve watching as many zombie movies as possible, while cuddled up on the couch, eating Japanese take-away. Another way you could make this fun is by having each of you choose one movie without telling the other one. The other person is surprised but knows what to expect because it is a themed movie night!
  • Game Night. My husband and I started game night date nights when we were dating. We didn’t live in the same city and so we would play video games together on the computer. Typically, it was World of Warcraft because we could go on in-game adventures and it was so much fun! We have been together for just over seven years, and we still do this every now and then. Since we got married, we have added tabletop board games, but the sentiment is still there. It is so fun to play games and goof off together. And it is one way we have celebrated holidays in the past.

Getting creative with CF

Celebrating Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating with the person, or persons, you love the most. It doesn’t have to be reserved for one day a year. But it can be fun to make the day special.

Holidays while living with CF can force us to be creative at times. But instead of seeing it as a burden, think of it to express how you feel. Whether it’s a cozy night-in over Japanese take-away, a movie marathon, or games at the dinner table or online – there is more than one way to celebrate the day of love!

How do you prefer to spend a date night, and how does CF influence the plans?

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