Yes, it's possible to keep dating during a pandemic, even amid self-isolation and social distancing measures. Research shows singles are taking dating more seriously during COVID-19, and dating apps are booming with activity. Once you connect with someone though, how can you spice up your virtual dates to make them actually fun and connective? Here are some quarantine date ideas to get you thinking creatively:
1. Watch a show or movie together.
We're so lucky to live in the age of on-demand streaming, and with so (so) many amazing films and bingeable shows available you and your S.O. should be able to find something you'll agree on. The Google Chrome extension Netflix Party makes streaming together even easier by syncing playback and giving you the option to add an in window chat.
2. Cook together.
Dial up your favorite video chat and hit the kitchen. This one gets interesting, since you have to make it work with what ingredients you both have available. Thankfully, we've been chatting with R.D.'s about all the ways to use your canned foods (like chickpeas). Not going to be able to make the same thing? That's okay: try sending each other your favorite comfort food recipe to share the love.
3. Have a digital game night.
4. Watch an opera, or go to a museum, or visit a National Park together.
As they've been forced to close their doors to actual guests, many of the globes foremost cultural institutions are turning to live streams and video tours. The Metropolitan Opera is offering "Nightly Met Opera Streams" and Google Arts & Culture offers views into the walls (and from the tops) of many famous museums and landmarks (and yes, that includes National Parks)
5. Pick a book to read together (or a podcast to listen to).
Happen to both have a copy of one of this year's best-sellers laying around unread? There's never been a better time to get lost in a story, so why not do it together? If you don't have the same reads available, but do have a library card, you can get access to tons of audiobooks and e-books via programs like Libby. If you're not into reading, you can also swap in a new favorite podcast to both dive into. It'll at least give you something to talk about other than COVID-19.
6. Have your morning coffee together.
When all else fails, go back to the old standby: a coffee date. While we're all trying to maintain our routines, scheduling an A.M. coffee date (via your favorite video platform) gives you a concrete reason to be up and active before your remote work day begins, and can help you start the day on a note other than scrolling your social feeds.
Want some more inspiration? Here are things to do on Zoom calls with friends and how to make dating actually work during COVID. Plus, when it's time: how to make a long-distance relationship work.
Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine, TheTaste.ie, and SUITCASE magazine.