2020 started off strong. My vision board consisted of traveling, career goals, building an app, and hopefully finding someone who I liked long enough to keep around. Things were starting off on a good note, and then of course our world found itself in a crazy pandemic. Thanks corona for putting my 2020 on hold. Making new goals and plans for myself was key to not only stay productive but to stay sane. Where did dating fall in all of this? I didn’t want it to be nonexistent, therefore, I had to think outside of the box and get a little creative. Whether you are single, dating and apart, or living together, here are a few tips to keeping your dating and love life alive during lockdown.
Pour a Drink and Happy Hour, Virtually
Popular dating apps like Bumble quickly began advertising virtual dating at the start of COVID-19. Obviously, this was a strange concept at first. Do I really want to do a video chat with someone I’ve never met? I would meet a stranger at a bar for a drink, right? Why would a virtual happy hour need to be any different? If anything it would be a much quicker way out if the date started going South! I decided to give it a go and answered his call curled up on my couch, in my yoga pants, an oversized sweatshirt, hardly any makeup, and my nerdy glasses, and guess what? It went great! To be quite honest it was nice to not have to think about the usual first date pressures like whether or not to split the check (which by the way this is 2020 so you should always offer to pay or buy his second round if he buys the first), or whether or not you will kiss at the end or share an awkward hug. I also didn’t feel so self-conscious about how I looked or what I was wearing. Remember, if he doesn’t like you at your worst, then he doesn’t deserve you at your best!
Get Hot & Sweaty
Encourage each other to stay in shape and workout together! Find an online virtual class, Youtube video, or discuss a few sets to do. If you are competitive, you can even turn this into a bit of a competition and see who completes the workout with the fastest time or sync your Fitbits and see who burned the most calories.
Plan a Fancy Date Night
Even if you live with your significant other, just because you are stuck in the house doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a fun date night! Pick a night out of the week and mark it on your calendar, This night is reserved for a hot date. On this night, get dressed up and do something that you love to do together, or maybe something you haven’t done before. This could be making a nice dinner and watching a movie, having a romantic picnic in your backyard, turning your phones off for an hour and playing a game, ordering your favorite takeout and eating it by candlelight, asking each other questions about one another that you don’t know the answers to, pitching a tent and camping out in your backyard, or sitting by your fireplace and maybe even roasting some marshmallows. Planning a date night might be just the thing you need to keep that spark going strong, especially during a pandemic when living in close quarters can make you crazy!
Virtual Movie Night
There are several apps out there that sync your screens together so that you can simultaneously watch a movie. Netflix party is a popular option right now. Another way to have a fun movie night would be to each watch the other person’s favorite movie at the same time. While watching you can communicate via chat or text about your favorite parts. Movies can be super personal, and a lot of times you can learn quite a bit about someone by just watching their favorite film or TV show. Personally, I am a die-hard fan of The Office, and knowing someone’s humor is a big deal to me. When I meet someone who doesn’t like The Office (I am immediately disappointed…just kidding), I ask what their favorite comedic television show is. Believe it or not, this tells me a lot about who that person is. Get to know the person you are dating by showing interest in something they love.
Create a Bucket List Together
If you are married or are in it for the long haul, a good way to use the extra time during COVID would be to sit down and create a bucket list of things you want to do together. This could be a list of vacations or travel ideas that you want to do over the next couple of years, or maybe adventures you want to take. Once you have some ideas you might even research them and put together an idea map or board. Say one dream is to backpack across Europe for a month; Find time to look up specific spots you really want to see, mountains you want to hike, places you want to eat at, or historical structures you want to see. 2020 might be a bust, but plan the trip so that you are ready to pull the trigger as soon as you can.
Send your Scents
What is better than having that person with you? Having their smell! Come on, you know it is great when that special someone leaves their sweater in your car and it is full of their cologne. Why not remind them of what you smell like, and send a little care package spritzed with your scent.
Plan a Virtual Dinner Date
Get dressed up, cook or order take out, set your table for one, get your iPad, and video chat through a fancy dinner. One way to make it more interesting would be to exchange recipes. You make their favorite dish and they can make yours, or maybe you make the same thing. Pour a glass of wine, put on your best get-up, comb your hair, and have a fancy date!
Read a Book Together
Are you both the intellectual type? Rather than watching TV, find a book that you can agree on and read it together. You can read a couple chapters peer week and pick a night for a Zoom call to chat about your thoughts.
Music is the Window to the Soul
Want to get to know someone on a deeper level? Make each other a playlist. Think back ten to twenty years when you made a mixed CD or tape for a crush, Apply that same concept. Spend a week carefully curating the perfect roadmap to your soul via lyrics and share it with each other. You can also make a shared playlist on many music platforms like Spotify where you can slowly add music to a growing list overtime.
Be Better Together
Staying productive and keeping busy and sane during lockdown is difficult. Why not find something new to do or learn together? Download Duolingo on your phone and learn French, sign up for an online class, listen to an educational Podcast, or turn on the Food Network and learn how to bake something crazy.
Go to a Concert
Well not really, but one good thing about this shelter…all these talented stars are streaming live concerts from their homes. Find an artisit you like, see when they are streaming, airplay that shit to your big screen, cut the lights, and turn your living room into a venue. Enjoy a live concert together, virtually.
Take a Couples Quiz
Have some fun while getting to know a bit more about the other person by taking a couples or love language quiz. Together or apart, this quiz will help you to better understand your partner and how they respond to acts of love and affection.
Date Six Feet Apart
Make sure to stay six feet apart, but if virtual communication just isn’t cutting the cake, think of a cute social distancing date idea. Meet up at a park or trail to walk your dogs, find a cute place to have a picnic, or maybe even lie on a rooftop and stargaze. There are many options when you are willing to think outside of the box.
Whether you are newly dating, or you have been dating for some time, a great way to make a grand gesture and keep the flame burning during social distancing is to send a care package. A good friend of mine received a call from her fiance who told her to check her front door. When she did she found a basket full of some of her favorite things and a thoughtful note. You could also send over a date pack. Maybe you’ve talked about getting together to watch a certain movie, or to cook your favorite meal? Why not have that movie and meal delivered to their front door? Who doesn’t love surprises?
Send “Open When” Letters
This one has always been a classic favorite of mine and is usually great for those in long-distance relationships, but seems to apply nicely for 2020 as well. Write a number of letters for different things, seal them in individual envelopes, and write “open when” on the front. you can write “Open When you Think of Me”, “Open When you Aren’t Feeling Well”, Open on Your Birthday”, “Open When You’ve Had a Bad Day”, and so on. Talk about romantic. If this doesn’t have them smiling like an idiot I’m not sure what will.
No matter what your relationship status is this year, dating and spending time together can still happen and can even be exciting. Think a little bigger, be a tad openminded, and have fun! xxx