Practising social distancing doesn’t mean you have to put your dating life on hold. If you just started getting to know someone, or never got round to scheduling that first date, there’s still hope.
There are still plenty of ways to strike up a romance with someone — it just requires a little extra creativity. Fortunately, during this era of self-isolation and quarantine, we can easily stay connected through modern technology. Whether it’s a post on social media, a text message, or a video chat, we can keep in touch with the people we care about the most (or hope to further connect with), even if they’re miles away from us.
So, if you and your special someone aren’t already living together, there’s no need to fear. Here are 10 virtual date ideas for you both to enjoy …
01. TAKE A WALK AROUND YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD WHILE TALKING ON THE PHONE
Plug in a pair of earbuds, put your phone in your pocket, and go for a stroll around your neighbourhood while you chat to your date. It’s almost like going for an actual walk with them — unless the earbuds fall out, of course! As you well know, communication is important in any relationship — so if you see something fun along the way, you can narrate it to them. But putting your phone in your pocket is the key to a successful walk as it takes you away from a screen and makes the date feel less mediated. I’ve been doing this with my new beau a lot this last few weeks and it’s something we both look forward to every day.
02. WATCH A MOVIE TOGETHER
Believe it or not, movie nights can still be a thing, even if you’re not in the same room as each other. With so many great streaming services to choose from, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney+, you’re bound to find something you and your date can sit and watch together. So, grab a drink and some snacks, put your feet up, and when you’re both ready count down from 3 and hit the play button so you’re starting it at the same time. My top tip for watching a movie together during lock-down would be to have your phone on loudspeaker so you can talk to each other without having it pressed up against your ear the whole time. This makes it much less of a distraction.
03. PLAY AN ONLINE GAME TOGETHER
You’d be surprised at the number of virtual date games you can play with your partner from the comfort of your own home. If you both have consoles, consider playing a multiplayer game on your Nintendo Switch, Xbox or PlayStation. You can also play games for free on your computer.
My personal favourite is playing mini-games on Facebook Messenger, such as Uno, Scrabble, Draw With Friends and Cooking Mama. They have an abundance of games you can play with your partner. And if you get bored with one, you can just switch to another. It’s really easy. In most games, you don’t both have to be playing at the same time. Instead, you take turns. This is great if you’re in different time zones or are very busy and can only sneak in a turn every once in a while.
04. FOLLOW A RECIPE TOGETHER
Something that’s on our list of things to do this week is cooking together, but separately (obvs). The idea is to pick a recipe from a favourite site together and then try to make it simultaneously. It’s kind of like making them dinner in your own home, except — you’re not. This helps you get to know a little about each other’s tastes and dietary restrictions as well as being lots of fun.
Ideally, you’ll print out the recipe beforehand, or have it on a different screen to the one you’re talking to them on — that way you won’t be constantly switching between screens and pausing them. Cooking and baking are inherently messy and show a lot about how someone handles stress and challenges, so this could most definitely bring you closer together. You could even talk about the restaurants you’d like to go to together once this whole pandemic is over!
05. HAVE A DRINK TOGETHER OVER VIDEO CHAT
Sit down with a drink of your choice (or whatever you currently have in your fridge), put on some relaxing music, and ask your date about their day. Just like meeting up for a drink after work, sipping on a cocktail over video chat can be a relaxing way to get to know each other a bit better. I know it probably feels like there’s not all that much you can talk about at the moment, but I promise that if you really put your mind to it, it can be done.
06. DO A GYM SESSION TOGETHER
Did you know that hundreds of fitness trainers are live streaming their favourite workout classes at the moment to make working up a sweat at home easy? Why not schedule a gym date to take a class together and have a little fun getting active!?
My favourite kind of workouts tend to be dance-based ones that feel like a party. And 305 Fitness brings endorphin-boosting virtual workouts that will make your heart race. So, grab your brightest ’80s neon gym gear, clear a space on the floor, pop that Zoom video line open, and get twerking together! Their classes are available for live stream twice a day and I guarantee you’ll have a blast!
07. SEND CARE PACKAGES AND UNBOX THEM TOGETHER
At the moment, our post offices are still open. So why not make up a little care package of things you think your other half will love and send it to them? And, if you both send each other something at the same time, you could unbox them together over a Skype call so you can see each other’s reaction to whatever’s inside. I’d probably include a little letter inside my box as I love you write (as you guys know) but you could send photos, drawings, chocolates, jewellery, or whatever else you think they might like. Everyone likes receiving a little token of appreciation every now and then, so it’s bound to be a real winner.
08. READ A BOOK TOGETHER
If you enjoy reading, why not choose a book that you think you’ll both enjoy and read it separately? Starting your own book club will spark dialogue and put you on the same page — quite literally. It’s a lot like watching a movie or TV show together, but it involves a lot more investment and commitment on both sides. This is most definitely something everyone can enjoy as there are books on every subject imaginable these days. Just be careful not to accidentally spoil the ending for the other person if you happen to finish it first!
09. ENJOY AN EVENING OF PILLOW TALK
It’s those romantic moments, like cuddling up in bed or gazing up at the moon and stars together that people in long distance-relationships miss the most. So why not get into your pyjamas, set your phone or computer down on the pillow next to you, get comfortable and enjoy some pillow talk with your significant other? You could cuddle up to a pillow if you wanted, to make it feel more like they’re there with you. And, of course, you can let it turn into something sexual; it’s totally up to you!
10. PLAY DINNER-DELIVERY ROULETTE
And last, but certainly not least: if your potential partner already knows plenty about you, and you’d invite them over if you could, why not exchange addresses for a surprise takeaway night that also helps support a local business.
Set a time for delivery, and schedule your favourite dish to land on their doorstep. Watching them unbox and enjoy your favourite food — and you, theirs — is perfect whether you’re a plate-sharer or not.
And there you have it — 10 awesome ideas for your virtual date night. I hope you decide to give one or two of them a try. I guarantee you’ll have lots of fun together and be organising a second date in no time!