Dating during lockdown is hard, but it’s not impossible. After all, there’s almost no better time to be working on making new connections at a time when we’re all stuck at home dreaming about what we’ll do when the world opens up again. How great would it be if you met the love of your life and could plan your future with them from your respective couches? Even if all you achieve is putting yourself out there and making some new friends, surely that’s worth a try.
Whether you’re single and trying to make connections with strangers, living apart from your partner and trying to keep your connection strong or you’ve been shut inside with them for months at a time and are searching for new ways to entertain yourselves, a few lockdown date ideas are bound to come in handy. And with Valentine’s Day fast approaching, there’s no better time to try something new.
There’s no reason that just because we’re in lockdown you should treat virtual or socially distanced dates as any different from meeting your love interest for an evening in the pub or a dressed-up dinner. The mental process of putting an evening aside for a virtual date is different to casually video calling your best friend while you’re both in pyjamas. To get in some quality time with each other you need to make the other person feel special, so switch off your devices and stay as present as possible.
It’s important to note that intimacy goes far beyond physical touch and affection. One of the speediest ways to build a connection with someone is through lowering your guard, being vulnerable and sharing conversations about subjects that you both value. Eye contact and laughter can be just as powerful a tool as holding hands, and they don’t require touch or even being in the same place.
That said, there’s no way around the fact that spending your nights video calling your beau, as opposed to gazing at them from across a candlelit table, is a bit awkward. The best way to combat that is simply by addressing it. A lot has changed in our lives in the past year, and talking through that upheaval and how it’s affected you with your date will help things to feel less awkward and more romantic.
Here are some ways to date during lockdown and keep the romantic spark alive.
Virtual date ideas
What’s more romantic than seeing if your shared love is written in the stars? We’re betting that it is. Once you’ve set yourself up on a video call, download a star sign app together such as Co-Star or Chani and take a shared look at your birth charts. Remember to drop your parents a text earlier in the day to confirm your birth time, because you’ll need to know when you were born preferably down to the minute to get an accurate reading.
Then read through your charts together, noting similarities and differences, and see if astrology thinks you’re meant to be. This is also a handy way of letting your date know about any little loveable character quirks such as being a neat freak or never remembering to plan anything in advance. Just focus on making yourself sound adorable rather than annoying.
Take an online class
In the non-virtual world, a date might involve taking a pottery class together, learning to salsa or doing a workout. There’s no reason why that can’t translate to working well online. Check out a resource such as Skillshare, or workout classes on YouTube, and choose what takes your fancy before learning a new skill together. Nothing builds bonds like shared experiences, and the class will give you a built-in topic of conversation after you’re done.
Watch a film together
It might be impossible to get to the cinema right now, but you and your love interest can still settle down and watch a film together, or even a TV series if that’s more your style. Check out our guide to enjoying a magical quarantine movie night, using the wizardry of the internet to watch the exact same film on separate screens at the same time. And if one of you wants to pause to go and make more popcorn, the other screen will automatically pause too. What we can’t fix, however, is your date’s propensity to talk through films. That one’s on you.
Socially distanced lockdown date ideas
Valentine’s Day in lockdown might seem like a challenging proposition, but in fact there’s plenty you can do while following all government guidelines.
Head to a park
Parks are the new pubs, and are the ideal spots to work on firing up new romances. As long as you stay two metres or more apart (we recommend each bringing your own blanket to sit on, or finding adjoining park benches), you can chat to your heart’s content. Bring a flask full of tea or something a little stronger, some reusable cups and sip and chat away until the sun goes down.
A bicycle built for two
Cycling is a sport which lends itself well to social distancing. We’re guessing you’re the sporty type, so getting out into the fresh air with your date and cycling along a canal, through the countryside or around your local park is a good way to make sure that you and your match are compatible. If you haven’t got a bike, most cities have a ride sharing scheme so it’s highly likely you’ll be able to track down your own set of wheels.