For Valentine’s Day: A Star Trek Guide To Better Dating

Data "in Theory" - Star Trek: TNG

Star Trek has had its fair share of romances, from great (and not-so-great, and occasionally terrifying) one-night stands to long-term relationships, for better or for worse. In honor of Valentine’s Day, we thought we’d comb through our memory banks for the best tips we could come up with to make the holiday special, and ensure your dates go well. Here, in no particular order, are some Star Trek-style tips for a happy, healthy, and successful Valentine’s Day date, wherever it may take you.

Dress for the occasion

Like any good date, you’ll want to be wearing the appropriate attire. Don’t be afraid to get formal! In some cases, especially if you’re going out with someone from a foreign culture, your date might try to make this easier for you by sending over something for you to wear. If you are comfortable with this, by all means, run with it.

Odo - Riker - DS9 - TNG- Star Trek

When the occasion calls for it, wear indigenous apparel

Bring a thoughtful gift

It’s Valentine’s Day, so you’ll need to amp up your gift-giving. You can make an impression with something as simple as flowers—perhaps a nice variety of crystilia, whose fragrance is an evolutionary response to the acrid nature of the atmosphere on Telemarius Four. A tracking crystal–in a nice piece of jewelry, like a necklace–is sentimental as well as practical. To really make an impression, think about something more personal, like a custom Star Trek bobblehead, specifically selected for your date; if your plans are with an android who has never experienced true physical sensation, consider a skin patch. Then blow.

Borg Queen - Star Trek: First Contact

First contact, indeed

Choose a romantic location

Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone to find that perfect romantic getaway. You might want to let your date know what you’ve chosen, though.

Worf and Dax on the beach - Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Not everyone packs the same way for the beach

Make sure your date isn’t fictional

You’d think this would go without saying, but the mind is powerful, and sometimes it’s easy to trick yourself into making not-such-great choices. Whether it’s an ultra-sophisticated hologram created by a binary species, or a scientist who has your highest admiration for developing the Galaxy-class warp drive system but is actually a hologram you ordered up, don’t be fooled by appearances. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Leah Brahms

“Every time you look at this engine, you’re looking at me.”

Make sure your date isn’t YOU

They say that you need to love yourself first before you love someone else, but getting involved with a Chameloid is not the way to test that theory.

Kirk and Kirk - Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

We all make mistakes

Bottom line: keep it real

Even if your date isn’t fictitious, he or she may not be quite what they appear to be, and deception (no matter how attractive) is never a good foundation for a relationship. Try to steer clear of the suspiciously familiar–like picnics you used to have, complete with your favorite horses who couldn’t possibly have traveled across the galaxy–or salt vampires who look like old flames. (You might want to steer clear of old flames in general–right, Dr. Crusher?)

Pike in The Cage, Nancy Crater in The Man Trap - Star Trek

Is that sugar or salt in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?

Always use protection

Voq and L’Rell, did you catch that?

Trip: same note.

L'Rell and her baby and Trip Tucker pregnant - Star Trek

Klingons and aliens and babies, oh my! (Not to mention forearm nipples…)

Be open to new possibilities

Not only do situations change, sometimes people change. You’d think a starship captain and a once-disgraced lieutenant wouldn’t be the best combination, but turn them into lizards and boom! you’ve started a family.

Threshold - Star Trek: Voyager


And be willing to compromise

If your date is tired of your scratchy beard, throw caution to the wind and get rid of it—it could turn out to be fun. And so what if you don’t like the same music? Sometimes you just have to sit through that concert anyway, even if it’s Kasseelian opera. For love.

Riker and Troi, Culber and Stamets

Compromise comes with matching outfits … or no outfits at all.

No kidnapping

It may sound romantic, but forcing someone to go on a date with you by whisking them away without any notice–or permission–never works out the way you’ve planned.

Amanda Rogers, Riker, Lwaxana Troi, Deanna

There ain’t no date like a mandatory date

Keep your wits about you

It could be a few drinks, some spores, or an infection that lowers your inhibitions, but whatever your intoxicant, it’s not what should be making your decisions for you. Make sure you’re not doing anything you wouldn’t do if you were sober.

Crusher and Picard in "The Naked Now" - Star Trek TNG

“Oh God, would I love to show you…”

Don’t rush things

Even if time has no meaning to you, there is still such a thing as moving too fast.

All-powerful doesn’t mean all-desirable

And remember: some relationships are just not meant to be

If your lover keeps a phaser under his pillow, it’s probably time to re-think things.

Cornwell - Star Trek: Discovery

Kinda kills the romance, doesn’t it?

There are obviously a lot more great tips out there, so post them in the comments. (Let the “fully functional” jokes commence.)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Great article, Laurie. Got a couple of real laughs out of that, thanks. “Make Sure Your Date Isn’t Fictional,” “Make Sure Your Date Isn’t YOU.” Ha!

I can’t use contractions, but I’m fully functional in over 140 techniques.
Priorities. Happy Valentine’s Day.


If you’re name is Harry Kim, it might be safer just to avoid dating altogether. Its never going to end well.

LOL: Old flame. Literally.

Set phaser to stun and Viagra to 100 mg.

If Captain Kirk says he loves you….

Worf, when you go to the beach…your uniform is NOT appropriate. Sheesh.

I agree, but if you’re Worf, who’ll say no?

Don’t date co-workers. You may have to send them on a deadly away mission. CORRECTION: You WILL have to send them on a deadly away mission.

Laurie, this was incredible! I laughed the whole time!