We’ve all been there: a few weeks/months into dating someone and you aren’t quite sure where things stand. You’re ready to be exclusive, and he’s ready to introduce you to one of his friends. You’re ready to delete the apps and he’s ready to take you to dinner before inviting you over. You’re ready to ask “so, where do you see this going?” and he’s (probably) ready to run. But how can you be sure unless you send a risky text?
You simply cannot. So here’s a helpful step-by-step guide of how best to craft the perfect risky text and subsequent emotional spiral.
Date an emotionally unavailable man that has admitted to being “bad at texting”. Know, in your gut, that that means he’s “bad at commitment”, but ignore the bright red flag and continue on your path toward self destruction.
Once you are ready to: take the next step, DTR, or be vulnerable, ask yourself, “has he shown me the same level of interest? Is he reaching out regularly, making plans, talking about the future?” If the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no, then it’s time to send your text.
Draft your text in the Notes app. Skipping this step may result in shameful grammatical errors or, God forbid, a sighting of a long-lasting typing bubble by the intended recipient. Don’t have an iPhone? Weird, but fine—still, draft your message outside of the text chain itself, and send it to at least two friends for review/encouragement. Choose those friends wisely though—they should be enablers, similarly insecure in their dating choices, and in no way the kind of friend that would say “you’re too good for him, don’t reach out”.
Take a deep breath, a shot, an edible, and send your heavily reviewed, perfectly crafted, vulnerable but not too desperate, flirty but not aggressively so, text. Check to see if he’s watched your Instagram stories, and then immediately step away from your phone!
Distract yourself. Go on a run, a date with another guy, get wine drunk—whatever it takes to stop you from checking your phone every five seconds for a reply. You know this will take awhile, you wouldn’t have had to send the text otherwise, so keep yourself busy. But if you haven’t posted anything to your Instagram story since sending the text, now is a good time to do so; you’ll want this data later in case he doesn’t reply. Did he watch your story after the text was received?
Spiral. It’s been at least two hours and half a wine bottle since you sent your text and he hasn’t responded, which means it’s time to lose your shit! There are a few ways you can go about this, sort of a “choose your own adventure” anxiety attack. Personally, I like to do the following:
- Re-read the text a few times, dig into each word and identify where I could have improved the message. This is good data for future risky texts that I will 100% be sending because I will learn nothing from this experience.
- Run through every interaction we’ve ever had, analyze the average time between text messages throughout our short-lived relationship, think about every mistake I’ve ever made, question my self-worth, swear off dating, and then text an ex for attention.
- Check to see if he’s watched my Instagram story (I told you this would be important).
- Decide that he has ghosted, tell myself that I’m better off without him, call the friend that will say “you’re too good for him, you shouldn’t have reached out”, schedule an emergency therapy session, but not before I re-download the dating apps and start looking for his replacement.
- Rinse (out my wine glass) and repeat sub-steps 1 through 3.
Closure. It’s been hours, maybe days, or perhaps he did in fact, ghost. It really doesn’t matter because the outcome is the same: he’s not that into you, he’s not looking for anything serious right now, he doesn’t feel a “spark”, or he… is kind of an asshole. But it’s okay, you’ve completed steps 1-6 and you were prepared for this. In fact, the second you sent this text you knew this would happen—I mean, isn’t that why you endured two-plus weeks of sporadic communication and canceled plans before asking the question in the first place? You were simply delaying the inevitable. Really, step 7 is a relief. It’s a blow to your ego, sure. It means watching your Instagram stories and liking your thirst traps does not equal sincere interest in dating you, unfortunately. It means your chances of getting married before your eggs start dropping like they’re hot are getting smaller, certainly. But it also means you know better now—you’ll watch for the warning signs with the next guy, you won’t waste your time on a man who isn’t pursuing you, and you’ll never have to send a risky text again… right?
It’s 2021, and you’d think as a society we would be over all the texting games (waiting a certain amount of time before texting back, not double texting, etc.), but these so-called strategies still pervade dating culture. As the author of a book literally called Just Send The Text, I’m a big proponent of… you guessed it… sending the text. In the book, “text” is used more as a metaphor for whatever you feel like doing. But there are seven literal texts you absolutely should be sending no matter what:
1. The Shot Shoot
In other words, the initial text you send to shoot your shot with the person you’re into. It can be anything from a bold “hey I like you” to a more subtle “hey what are you up to this weekend?” Even just a “hey” will do, depending on where you’re at with this person. The point of this text is to stop wasting your time living in the what-if. Shoot your shot. See what happens. You owe it to yourself.
2. The How Dare You
You really, really, really pissed with them about something? Maybe they stood you up. Maybe they took 72 hours to respond to your last text. Maybe you saw on Venmo that they paid their ex for “this weekend.” Whatever the case, if you feel like telling them off, tell them off. Just remember as you do so that this text is more for you than it is for them. It’s a little reminder to yourself of what you’re absolutely not willing to put up with. If they’re into you, they’ll figure out a way to work things out. If not, you can move on knowing they showed their true colors.
3. The Check-In
Not sure if you guys are still on for tonight? Spare yourself the internal “do I even bother getting ready and looking like a dressed-up idiot alone in my apartment if they bail” debate and… just ask them if you’re still on for tonight. You deserve to know what your plans are. Period.
4. The Invite
I don’t care what this invite is. Maybe you really want them to come to your best friend’s ~socially distant~ birthday at the park next weekend. Maybe you want them to come over to binge Bling Empire on the couch with you. Maybe you want them to come with you to come to try that new restaurant down the block. Whatever the case, if you want them to be doing something with you, ask them. If they can come, great. You got your wish. If they can’t, you get to go on with your plans free from wondering how much better they could have been if only you had asked them to tag along.
5. The Inside Joke
See something that reminds you of that hilarious thing you guys were talking about on your date? First of all, thank whatever God you believe in because a natural conversation segue has just fallen into your lap. Don’t let the gift go to waste in the name of playing it cool. (Besides, was it even really that cool of you to have seen something that reminded you of them, but kept it to yourself because you think that will somehow make them like you more??)
6. The Pulse Check
Kind of feeling like things have been off between you guys recently? Instead of sending screenshots of every interaction you’ve had over the past however many weeks/months/years to your best friends for forensics, why don’t you try asking them what’s going on? This does not need to be a big, dramatic thing. A simple “hey everything good with you?” will do. Maybe they’ve been busy with work! Maybe their mom is sick! Maybe their ex just got back into town and is wreaking havoc on their life! Maybe they’re… just not that into you (sorry). Whatever the case, they are the only ones who can tell you what’s going through their head.
7. The Feeling Bomb
Let me start by saying this is not just your casual, run-of-the-mill text. This is one you send because you quite literally feel like you might burst if you don’t say something. Maybe you miss your ex and it’s consuming all of your thoughts. Maybe you think you’re starting to fall in love (or strong like) with the person you’re casually seeing. Maybe you’re starting to get super over the person you’re seeing. Whatever the case, your feelings have become so big that they no longer can exist solely inside of you. They need air. You will know when you’ve hit this point. Trust me. And when you’ve hit it, SAY SOMETHING. Bursting is never the right option.
Images: Tim Mossholder / Unsplash; Giphy (3)
Presented by Orbit
It can be tough to tell whether someone you encounter on a dating app is going to be cool or just a pile of red flags dressed in human clothing. While trying to find a good person online can often feel like one big game of Russian roulette (just with slightly lower stakes), there are actually some telltale signs that someone isn’t in it for the right reasons. As a certified expert in identifying red flags (okay, I identify the red flags because I end up unwittingly dating them, and I declared myself an expert), I’m here to break down some dating app red flags that you shouldn’t ignore.
He Only Has Shirtless Pictures
If you got it, flaunt it for sure, but if he’s only flaunting it, that should send up some flags. As a general rule, I don’t trust people with abs, because they think they’re better than me. But all joking aside, someone who’s leading with how “hot” their body is is probably only interested in your body. I know dating apps are by definition a face-first operation, but there’s a line between being upfront about what you look like and communicating that you don’t really care about what’s going on upstairs.
Their Bio Contains Only Emojis
It’s 2020, and anyone can message first on a dating app (well, most dating apps). So that means that we all need to make sure we are bringing our best in our profiles. And you know what’s not bringing your best? Having a blank profile, or a profile that’s just emojis. What information does that communicate about you? Yeah, we all like the “100” emoji; is there anything more to your personality? No? OK then. This is a red flag because if someone wants to genuinely get to know you, they will give you something to work with in their profile.
They Only Show Group Photos
This isn’t Where’s Waldo, and I’m not interested in playing a game of Guess Who? to figure out your identity. Nothing good can come from someone who is basically enlisting you to be your own personal P.I. before you’ve even spoken to them. Whatever they are clearly hiding—a sub-6-foot height, the fact that they do not own a dog—you definitely don’t want to be a part of it.
You Ask Three Questions And They Only Answer One
There are some allowances to be made when having a rapid-fire texting conversation. You can’t answer everything, and you don’t want to have to send an MLA-formatted three-point outline every time you correspond with them. But if you notice they tend to dodge certain questions, or certain types of questions (like how long have you been single? When was your last relationship?), you should take stock of the topics they seem to be side-stepping, and ask yourself why.
It’s unfortunate, but there are a lot of dirty characters on dating apps. 53% of people lie on their profile, and 52% have received nudes (ew!), according to a survey conducted by Orbit. That’s why Orbit is cleaning up your dating life and partnering with Chris Parnell (from SNL, ever heard of him?) to give dirty daters the come-to-Jesus talk they desperately need. To find out more about how to “Keep It Clean”, check out @OrbitGum on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Images: Tim Mossholder / Unsplash
Maybe you’ve been thinking about it for a while. Maybe you just got out of a stagnant relationship and you’re dying to try something new. Maybe you’re newly out as bi and you want to explore your options. Maybe you’re in an open relationship and want to test the waters on your own through a courtship with a cute couple.
You probably also know the stories. The aggressive unicorn hunters, the couples opening up their relationships for the wrong reasons, the gross boyfriend who just wants to have two women catering to his pleasure. You’re probably not in any way interested in getting caught in the crossfire of these types of threesomes situations. Neither am I—and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to.
The reality is that yes, there are a lot of bad actors among couples looking to invite a third into the bedroom, however, good experiences absolutely exist and, as long as you know what you’re doing and what you’re looking for, aren’t hard to come by. Trust me, I’ve had them!
To help me help you, I spoke with two other threesome connoisseurs and good friends, Instagram personality and actor James Rose and comedian and host of The Manwhore Podcast, Billy Procida, about their experiences being a third. Together, we came up with these tips.
Figure Out What You Want First
The first step in finagling your very first ménage à trois is to figure out exactly what kind of setup you’re looking to get into. “I always think it’s great to set up some expectations beforehand and make sure everyone knows what the hope is—if all goes well”, adds Procida. Are you in it simply for sexual intimacy? Or are you looking for emotional intimacy as well? Ideally, do you hope to find a couple with whom you can have an ongoing relationship or just a casual one-time experience? I’m a firm believer in being as upfront as possible about what you want (I’m a Sagittarius) especially when it comes to relationships, as it will save you time and energy.
This may change as you journey further into the experience, and that’s okay, but take your temperature now and see what you’re actually comfortable with and excited about.
Determine Your Boundaries And Practice Enforcing Them
Boundary-setting can be intimidating when you have to do it with just one person, so it may seem daunting to prepare for it with a couple, but it doesn’t have to be. Making sure you know exactly what your boundaries are—your hard limits and your soft limits from positions to where you’re comfortable meeting up—just as much as your desires will help you in your experience.
Once you know what they are, practice saying them out loud. Getting comfortable with the words coming out of your mouth can help infinitely when the time comes. You can also practice setting boundaries over text, a perfectly valid way to set your boundaries ahead of time!
If you’re going to hop on the apps, you can mention some of your hard limits in your bio to save yourself the trouble, however, you can’t trust 100 percent that your matches will read them, so you may want to reference your bio and ask if they’ve had a chance to read it. In some apps like Feeld, an app marketed to folks looking for threesomes and other non-monogamous situations, there are sections for desires and boundaries that you can fill out.
Look For Red Flags And Green Flags
Some of the couples you’ll want to avoid will be obvious if you know what to look for. There are also a few things that, in our experiences, constitute a good sign. We all agree that we feel more comfortable and have had better experiences with couples who are more established and have more experience. If you’re new to the experience, it’s best to avoid couples who are inexperienced and whose relationship in any way seems fragile. “Look out for the couples that passive-aggressively fight in front of you,” Procida recommends.
Another red flag that Rose points out is if they themselves from the start only feel attraction, sexual or romantic, for only one of the individuals in the couple, it would feel unethical for them to continue pursuing that relationship just for the relationship with the partner they’re attracted to.
Something else to look for if you’re on the apps is a couple with a shared or connected profile, and definitely one that has pictures of both partners.
Keep Communication Open With ALL Partners
Something to avoid is forming an unbalanced relationship with each of the partners in the couple. Unless previously discussed and negotiated, avoid developing a stronger emotional or sexual connection with just one of them. While their relationship issues are their problem, doing so could create feelings of imbalance in the threesome relationship. If you find that one of the partners is attempting to do this, that’s also a red flag. “Couples should find the addition of a third person something that can bring them closer together, not something that they use to work out their relationship issues”, says Rose.
Rose also advises that, if you end up catching feelings (especially stronger feelings for one of the partners) it’s best to be upfront about it with yourself and with the couple. “I will usually journal or talk it out with myself to establish what I’m feeling, what needs to be addressed, and how this will impact my relationship with the couple,” they say.
Feelings don’t have to be a dealbreaker to continue the ongoing relationship, but it does require ongoing communication, boundary-setting, and emotional awareness.
“The cool part about being a third for a couple is that they are welcoming you into an already (ideally!) healthy relationship, and you get to enjoy some of the most pleasurable aspects of it,” says Rose. Partners who have been doing this for a while are comfortable with communication and oftentimes you end up with a lot of their attention placed on you and your pleasure.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want in the moment. It’s not awkward, just remember how ridiculous sex is,” Procida reminds us.
Threesomes won’t—and shouldn’t—look like a porn set, so don’t feel pressured to perform in any particular way. Remember to go with the flow, be present, and remember to communicate what you want!
Images: Omar Lopez / Unsplash
Quarantine has been hard AF. As a single twentysomething who’s been watching an endless Instagram reel of friends and acquaintances getting engaged, it’s been especially hard. (Can I get an “AMEN?”)
A month into quarantine, I met a guy at the dog park where I take my dog. Our dogs got along well with each other, and he seemed nice enough. He wasn’t exactly my physical type, but he was one of the very, very, very few guys with whom I’d gotten the chance to interact in any way since the pandemic started. So after some friendly flirting and playing parents to our dogs, I gave him my number and texted him just a few days later, asking if he wanted to go hiking with me.
We started to hang out once a week, and once a week quickly turned into almost every day. It was easy to fall into this routine because, well, quarantine, and there wasn’t much else to do.
There was a point, though, when our relationship began to feel less like “He’s ~The One!~” and more like “he’s just the one for now.” Three months into dating, right after we’d made it official, we took a little getaway to an Airbnb in a Texas country town for a couple of nights.
A romantic getaway with just us two gave me space to ask myself some valuable questions that made me realize my quarantine boyfriend wasn’t my forever guy. Here are those questions:
Do you text him when you’re bored, or are there personality traits of his that you genuinely like?
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If you have any of the following thoughts before you text him (or anything like these), you’re probably just dating him because you’re bored in quarantine:
I’m bored. What’s he up to?
UGH, I need attention. Lemme hit him up.
I feel lonely, so I’ll hit him up.
If there are things about him that you like, take note of those, either mentally or create a list. I know lists aren’t the most romantic things, but they’re super helpful!
After I dumped my quarantine boyfriend, I made a list of qualities that are important to me in a boyfriend. I keep it handy and I know it’ll help me attract me a guy that’s a better fit for me next time.
What kind of thoughts do you have about him when you’re not together?
While I was dating my dude, I would sometimes tell myself: “I’m just dating him until I can find someone better.” I actually caught myself having this exact thought while doing yoga on the porch of the Airbnb. It was a wake-up call. I know I’m not the only person in the world who’s ever had this thought, either.
The problem is that if you’re having these thoughts about the person you’re dating, it isn’t fair to them—but it isn’t fair to you, either. You’re wasting their time, and you’re wasting your time by spending time with them when you could be opening your heart up to someone else, or just feeding your own soul.
It takes a certain type of self-awareness to be able to figure out whether you’re dating someone out of like, love, or loneliness. So pay close attention to your thoughts. And if you’re feeling anxious, if your mind is racing at 100 miles a minute in quarantine—which is normal—then listen to your gut.
Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Can you see a future with this person? When the head can’t sort things out, it’s time to listen to the heart. Everyone has an intuition—and while some have stronger intuition than others, there are things you can practice to feel closer to yours, like meditating on it.
What do your friends think of him?
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When my friends met my ex-boyfriend, they threw some challenging questions my way. They made good points: that I didn’t seem super excited when I was around him, and that I looked more interested in the hot guys walking past us at the dinner table than the guy I was with.
At first, I resented my friends for giving me such, er, unfiltered advice. (But if they don’t give you the realest advice, are they even your friends?)
After sleeping on their advice, though, I realized I resented it because it was true. And that maybe, just maybe, I had been in denial for months, lying to myself that this guy was, in fact, ~The One~, when my heart had been telling me all along that I was just using him to pass the toughest months of quarantine.
TL;DR: If you have to ask yourself if you should dump your quarantine boyfriend, the answer is probably a resounding yes. And when you do, you’ll feel happier, freer, and able to give yourself the time and space to reflect on the following question: What kind of partner do I really need?
Image: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash; uuppod / Instagram (2)
Now that the world is slowly starting to turn again, it might be safe to resume thinking about the next phases of our lives. Like, if the pandemic put your wedding on pause for a while, you may be starting to look into microweddings or other alternatives. Similarly, if coronavirus f*cked up your plans to move in with your S.O., now that spring has come and gone, it may be time to start thinking about that again (just be warned that working from home with them for months on end might result in a literal crime scene). It’s exciting to be able to take those big steps with your S.O., but before you take the plunge, there are a few things to think about, especially when it comes to cohabitation. We spoke with Leslie Montanile, an N.Y.C-based divorce attorney, to discuss how to successfully move in with your S.O. and the many benefits of living together before saying “I do.”
When you move in with your S.O. before you tie the knot, you get to know all of their daily habits and quirks, which is a huge bonus when preparing for newlywed life, according to Montanile. While you might think that your partner is crushing #adulting prior to moving in together, you may quickly find out that Brad isn’t actually the neat freak you thought he was, but was just shoving his dirty laundry in the closet before you came over. However, says Montanile, “the good news is that you can find a middle ground by blending your differences so that both of you are comfortable in your new arrangement, making adjustments before taking that trip down the aisle.” Just like you learned in kindergarten, sometimes you have to compromise.
Although moving in together can bring couples closer, don’t expect it to be all sunshine and rainbows from the moment you move in. Most couples will likely argue during the adjustment phase, especially when it comes to personal space and living habits. Since friction is totally natural when you and your partner have differences about, like, the A.C. temperature, Montanile suggests finding “a solution to your differences that are creating friction in the first place.” This can actually be super healthy for your relationship, Montanile says, since “You can be secure knowing that arguments during the adjustment period do not mean you are not compatible—in fact, it means you care enough about your partner to express your frustration or discontent at the moment and are not afraid to show how you are feeling.” Eventually, your lifestyles will meld together, and you can get back to your mushy couple stuff (gag).
Come As You Are
Initially, giving up your personal space and private time can make you especially pissy towards your partner—being hypercritical, starting fights about what you should order for dinner, sh*t like that—or it can even make you question the entire decision to move in together. Before you commit to living together, Montanile advises sitting down “to discuss what is important to you to keep as part of your new life together. Whether it is a weekly date with your friends, yoga, cooking class, golfing on the weekend, etc., these are the activities that made you and your partner happy before moving in together and should not suddenly cease.” After all, no one wants to be that girl whose only personality trait is being Josh’s girlfriend. Since you fell in love with your partner as a unique individual, “maintaining some of that individuality keeps your romance alive,” Montanile explains.
Making Money Moves
Talking about money can be awkward, but it’s necessary to discuss when moving in with your S.O. When you began dating, you might have followed a set spending pattern, like taking turns paying for dates or having the partner with the higher salary treating the other, but there are even more financial factors to consider when combining households. Montanile advises couples to “discuss their budgets and spending habits before moving in with each other so that there are no surprises.” While it’s not the sexiest conversation, “Deciding how you will handle the newly joint expenses upfront will take the stress off the relationship right from the start to concentrate on the fun new adventure of living with the one you love.” For example, you could both agree on a bill-splitting app to use or create a shared spreadsheet to track expenses, then you can move on to the fun stuff, like attempting to put your IKEA bookshelf together.
Happily Ever After
While you may want to jump straight into wedding planning the minute you’ve posted your “He put a ring on it!” Instagram, there are literally so many perks to living together first. After all, remarks Montanile, “it is a big deal to move in with someone no matter how much you love them and want to be with them.” Basically, it’s like getting to know each other all over again, except in an up-close way and in your shared space, instead of over Tinder. So, it’s not uncommon for your S.O. to act a little differently after move-in day, Montanile says. “Perhaps you find that your partner is quieter than usual—realize that when you are with someone all the time, you will learn that they are not always ‘on’ as if you were dating. Everyone has downtime or up time that you do not see when you are not living together.” You shouldn’t worry too much, though, because your partner is prob just adjusting to not having their own space anymore, which can cause them to behave a little differently until they become comfortable in your new, combined abode. At the end of the day, all of the ~struggles~ of moving in together are so worth it, since they’re all part of creating a grown-up, happy, and lifelong relationship.
For more insight on love and law, visit Leslie Montanile’s website.
Images: Cottonbro / Pexels; Giphy (2)
First comes Love Is Blind, then comes marriage, then comes yet another f*cking reality dating show. It’s 2020, and most of us can relate to being isolated and isolated and sex-starved, but imagine this: you’re champagne-wasted on a free beach resort vaca surrounded by super hot people…the catch is, you’re literally not allowed to hook up with anyone unless you want to lose money. Harry Jowsey, the Australian hunk from Netflix’s reality dating show Too Hot To Handle, has experienced this ~traumatic~ experience firsthand. On the most recent episode of the Let Me Finish podcast, Taylor Jackson and Abby Lloyd sat down with Harry to discuss his recent breakup, sex, and breakup sex.
Harry and his THTH costar Francesca Farago, a Canadian model and Instagram personality, left the show together, broke up, then got engaged during the reunion special. But, in true influencer fashion, Francesca announced their second split via a YouTube video entitled “Our Break Up.” According to Harry, he was totally blindsided by the video, since he and Francesca had actually filmed a joint video explaining their breakup. “Everything was going to be civil, but she posted her video and it kinda just had a whole bunch of fabricated stories to attack me,” he said. “And I was like, I’ve got receipts and everything.” (Screenshots, screenshots, screenshots, people.)
The dramatic breakup has, understandably, been pretty tough on Harry’s mental health. In addition to anxiety attacks and a loss of appetite, he’s been getting attacked by commenters on his Instagram and TikTok accounts. “I don’t know what happened with me and Francesca because we had a great relationship, the breakup wasn’t bad, we just didn’t see eye-to-eye on a whole bunch of stuff,” he said. “Then that video got posted and then she just kept sending this tirade of hate toward me and my friends and my family, and I was like, ‘I don’t know who she’s talking to or who’s in her corner, because this isn’t the girl that I know.” As if the heart-wrenching breakup weren’t bad enough, Harry now has to call in his lawyers. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s affecting my brand…so I’m like okay, everything you’re saying is a lie, so…” We’re here for this passive aggression.
Francesca rebounded quickly, while Harry—who really is too hot to handle IRL, Abby confirms—has been easing back into the dating game. Just this weekend, he took a girl to dinner then to a party with a bunch of Gen Z TikTok stars (seems like a pretty sh*tty date idea, but that’s just me). Turns out, his date had ~history~ with one of the other guys there and ended up leaving with him, so Harry ended the night, declaring, ”Okay, I’m calling an Uber, I’m going home.” I mean, we’ve all been there. On the bright side, this means that Harry is single….He reports that he’s into tattoos, girls that text first, and post-breakup sex, so slide on into those DMs, ladies.
For more on Harry’s love and sex life, listen to the full interview on the latest episode of the Let Me Finish podcast.
Images: harryjowsey / Instagram
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