Living through a historic pandemic is a real damper on everyone’s love life. Whether you matched with a potential prospect right before lockdown and now can’t see them for the foreseeable future, you have someone kinda special but you’re still figuring it out, or a significant other who is significantly far away from you, creating a connection has simultaneously never been harder and easier. If there was ever a “good” time for our society to go through a crisis like this, at least in 2020 we have video calling, social media, and other technologies that can keep us in touch with the cuties in our lives.
We’re all figuring out how to date during this pandemic as we go, and sure, scheduling a FaceTime chat is great, but is it enough to keep some semblance of romance alive? I spoke with Maria Sullivan, Dating.com’s Vice President and Dating Expert, to get her recommendations on quarantine date ideas for all types of relationships, whether you’re sparking a virtual flame or trying to keep one going. She said, “a meaningful spark is, more often than not, developed over time, and removing the possibility of getting together in real life can also remove any of the typical pressures and insecurities that come along with it.” Sounds promising! But what can we actually do? Here are some quarantine date ideas for couples at every stage.
For The “Not Really A Couple” Couple
Dinner Date: Get to know each other the old-fashioned way, but in a new-fashioned way. Make yourself a dinner, pour a fat glass of wine, and set up your date on FaceTime on the other side of the table. Even if you haven’t met in person yet, Sullivan says, “now is as good of a time as ever to see if their voice and personality resonates with you before making solidified in-person plans”. You’ll be able to figure out if you truly like talking to this person, and if you don’t, there’s no awkward kisses at the end. TG.
Camp-Style Ice Breaker Games: You know at summer camp, or anywhere really, where they made you do those dumb ice breaker games? Well, they’re actually a great way to get to know someone. Who would have thought? Two Truths and a Lie, Truth or Dare, and the dangerous Never Have I Ever are all quick bonding activities that give you a good idea of someone based both on their answers as well as their questions. Turn it into a drinking game since I know you were going to anyway.
Game Night: Invite your maybe-mate to a virtual game night with your friends on Zoom so they can “meet” (read: be judged by) your friends. It takes the pressure off of you, and after they hang up, you’re already on a multi-way call with all of your friends so you can gossip. Sullivan also adds, “show your situation-ship you noticed them among the crowd by taking this more personal and calling them next.”
For The “Official But Still Fresh” Couple
Netflix Party: Start a new show together and watch it simultaneously. Use an extension like Netflix Party to watch the same Netflix show and video chat at the same time. Make some popcorn, eat the whole bag yourself, and don’t even think twice about it. This show is YOUR show now. Just for the two of you. No one else has even heard of Tiger King.
Virtual Cook-Off: Even if you can barely make scrambled eggs, try a virtual cooking competition. Sullivan states, “this is a fun way to keep the spark alive with some friendly competition and gives you quality time to chat while you learn something new together.” Plus, you’re really the only one who is going to actually eat it, so maybe just focus on presentation?
Draw Each Other: You’re still in the phase where you can’t stop staring at each other’s face, so why not draw it? Ever heard of “take a picture; it lasts longer”? Well how about “draw a picture; it takes longer and always comes out kind of weird”? Use your favorite picture of your person and do your best. FaceTime each other and do a live reveal to see what they really think of how you did.
For The “Calloused Yet Codependent” Couple
Wine Tasting: If you are lucky enough to live in an area where they are delivering alcohol, send each other wine that you think the other person would like. This also works for food. Sullivan states, “by remembering their favorite foods, you are showing your partner how much you care and bringing you two closer even if, for right now, you are farther apart than you’d like to be.” Just make sure you actually know what they like, because this could go from a date to a disaster in one wrong move.
Photo Review: Pick out your favorite pictures of the two of you and take turns sending them and talking about why they’re your favorite. Sullivan suggests, “share some of your favorite throwback photos with your significant other, or reminisce about the early days of your relationship.” This will spark conversations about your favorite times together, and suddenly you’ll be too busy talking about happy times that you forget that you haven’t showered in six days.
36 Questions: It’s like the 21 Questions game you played in high school, except the first question isn’t “are you a virgin?”. The New York Times published a list of 36 questions to ask your significant other. Even if you know everything about each other, you may not know each other in this specific way.
For The “Two Peas In A Quarantined Pod” Couple
Board Game Decathlon: Set up all of the board games you have all over your house/apartment and play them at the same time. A new turn means a new game. You may be killing it in one game but totally losing in another. Just hope that Monopoly is not in the mix. That sh*t takes forever.
Build A Fort: Building a fort was one of our favorite things to do as a child for a reason: it’s so fun! Construct your own Castle of Comfort in which to watch a movie, play a game, or make out in for a while. Sullivan suggests, “decorate the room with lights, pillows and blankets, make popcorn and grab some candy to snack on while you watch your favorite romantic show or movie together.”
Fashion Show: Designate a runway somewhere in your apartment/house, choose outfits for each other, blast some music, and STRUT. YOUR. STUFF. Make sure to pose for pictures at the end of the runway. Then you can post them on social media to show everyone how fun you are and how boredom isn’t driving you into a pit of despair.
Spa Day: Pamper each other. I’m talking face masks, champagne, bubble baths, mani/pedis, massages, happy endings. Whatever makes the two of you feel luxurious and silky smooth. Plus, it’s an excuse to get your hands all over each other. *wink*
Above all else, stay inside, stay connected, and try not to kill each other.
Images: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash