5 Digital Date Ideas When Social Distancing

A smartphone against a pink background with red hearts coming out of it.

At the time of this writing, most of us have been in quarantine since at least mid-March—and no one is quite sure when things will return to normal. The COVID-19 lockdown has been hard for everyone. The United States is suffering from mass unemployment. People are dealing with the challenges of working from home (while their kids get used to distance learning). And most commonly, people everywhere are learning just how difficult it is to be away from their loved ones.

If you don’t live with your significant other, this time of quarantine could mean a time of separation. That is never fun; humans are social creatures, and losing the chance to connect with the people we care about can be emotionally damaging. But luckily, today’s technology does give us some way to be with our partners while we’re stuck at home. Here are a few ideas you can use to have a romantic date in the digital realm.

1. Host Your Own Cooking Show

A young woman baking in front of a laptop.

Cooking for your partner is a classic romantic gesture—but right now, it can be pretty tough to set up the perfect home-cooked spread. If you can’t win your partner over through their stomach directly, consider teaching them how to make your favorite recipe via video chat! Set up your phone or laptop in the kitchen and act like you’re one of those chefs in the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. Not only will you both make some great memories, but you’ll get a tasty meal out of the arrangement.

2. Visit a Museum Together

Right now, visiting an actual museum is strictly off-limits. Firstly, that would not be proper social distancing, and secondly, most museums are closed! However, many museums and galleries are offering digital tours of their artwork during this time. Hop onto a Zoom call (or snuggle on the couch, if you already live together) and tour the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, or the Smithsonian. It’s a fun way to explore the world and learn something new…all without getting off the couch.

3. Get Physical

A young woman doing an at-home workout in front of her laptop.

…Not in that kind of way (unless you want to; don’t let me interrupt). Right now, tons of gyms and personal trainers are offering free workout classes via online platforms. Put on your cutest athleisure, move the furniture out of the living room, and start working up a sweat! Join a class together (many instructors are teaching via Zoom) or call each other afterward. The exercise will boost your endorphins—which is much needed right now—and break up your routine so you’ll have something new to talk about.

4. Host a Game Night

Not every date has to be a one-on-one activity. You can have a great time with your partner and your friends by hosting an online game night. Use video conferencing to host a rousing trivia session, play online board games with your buddies, or team up to play your favorite video game. This is a fun way to pass the time, connect with your friends, and get to know your partner a little bit better.

5. Netflix and Chill

A young woman watching a movie on her laptop with headphones and popcorn.

Right now, many of us feel like we’ve exhausted all our Netflix options. But you know what’s more fun than binging on your own? Watching something great (or terrible, your choice) with someone you love. You can use browser extensions like Netflix Party to sync up your viewing experience (it even lets you send chat messages to one another), so you and your sweetheart are always watching the same moment at the same time. No spoilers, no missed episodes—just a good ol’ movie night with your boo!

We all know that this quarantine experience is incredibly challenging. However, we can use this experience to take stock of just how important our social connections are—and make sure we’re cultivating great relationships with the people we love.

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