How You Can Still Date While Socially Distancing

“Do you think I should ask him on a date?” My friend asked. “We’ve been talking for two weeks straight now.”

“YES,” I erupted.

“Whoa. Calm down,” she said.

I’m a hopeless romantic. I love love. I love that my husband and I met because we both happened to swipe right. How that infinitesimal gesture led to two blended families and a baby on the way.

I need to know that romance is still alive and well in the time of COVID-19. So, to all my single friends, whether I’ve met you or not, yes, ask that person on a date. DO IT.

For most of us, a disaster like this one puts things in perspective. Maybe you’re like my friend and you’ve been single for a while and have finally decided to look for something serious. Maybe you’ve been off apps, but now have the bandwidth to try again. You too could have been on them for a while just fooling around and you’re ready to try something different.

Even in this time of self-isolating, dates can and should happen. Dates will just need to look different for a while. This is how they’ll “work” for now.

In-person dates aren’t possible for an indefinite period, so instead, you get to focus on quality conversations and getting to know each other before the physical aspect comes into play. Just think about the anticipation(!).

Since things have changed, you just have to be intentional. If it’s a date, treat it like one. Bathe and dress up, but you can skip the cologne or perfume. Your next “date” might be someone you wish you were quarantined with.

Here are 10 dates you can do while properly socially distancing:

1. Have Dinner Together

Plan a meal that you’ll both cook and eat together. You could figure out what food items you both have in common, or agree on a list of items to buy at the store. You guys can go as fancy or as simple as you like. A date is still a date even if you’re both making boxed macaroni and cheese!

Use Facetime or Zoom, and don’t be afraid to be a little silly. All that matters is that you’re getting to know each other.

Another alternative? Get take-out or delivery from the same restaurant (which you can pay for individually or one of you can buy for the other).

2. Take a Walk

Both of you can take a walk around your respective neighborhoods while chatting on the phone or FaceTiming. Show your date something you like about your neighborhood or spend time exploring together.

3. Watch Something Together

The virtual options are endless. You can watch a movie (Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime), a concert, an opera, or a broadway show both from the comfort of your own couches. Don’t forget to grab your favorite snack food, and “share” it with each other if you can!

4. Host a Beer Tasting

Agree on buying a few different beers from whatever liquor store in your area is open or is offering curbside pick-up. Sip them and discuss your favorites. Include snacks like cheese and crackers and sausages and cured meats if you want to spice things up.

5. Drink and Do Art

Pick a theme and both of you try drawing or painting while getting your drink on. You can also head to YouTube and find a painting tutorial you both can follow. A good start might be drawing or painting each other’s portraits. Share your final products once you’re done, and for added fun, mail them to each other.

6. Take a (Virtual) Trip

While you can’t go to any museums, zoos, and theme parks right now, you can virtually! Check out any of the virtual tours listed here, and explore them with your new match. Remember that Zoom calls have a “share screen” option.

7. Play a Game Together

You can FaceTime or Zoom while playing a card or board game, or you can pick an online, phone, or console game. Try one from this list or this one.

8. Have a Dance Party

Set up your phone or a Zoom call, and trade off who the DJ is. Have an unrefereed dance battle, or, you can bring the club scene home by streaming some New York City nightlife.

9. Host a Mixer

If you feel a little weird going one-on-one with someone new or want to try something new with someone new, why not have a Houseparty? Houseparty lets you have multiple people call into a video call. You can invite your “date” and your friends, and s/he can invite theirs too!

10. Play the Question Game

Answering these 36 questions can supposedly lead to two people falling in love. If your long game is to find a forever someone, why not take some time to play the question game? Even if you just go through one set, you’ll leave the conversation knowing each other a lot better.

Dating right now looks very different than it ever has before, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying to find love if that’s what you want. Be intentional. Give them your undivided attention. Treat it like a date. Most importantly, keep it light and have some fun. We all need a break from this pandemic, and this date can be yours.

Previously published on psiloveyou



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