15 Date Ideas In The Age Of Social Distancing

How couples can stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic, whether they're quarantining together or apart.

Date night might look different during social distancing, but that doesn’t mean it has to fall by the wayside entirely.

Gone are the days of going to a concert, seeing a movie in theaters or sharing a bottle of wine at your favorite restaurant. But with a little creativity, you can have fun together, whether you’re physically together or connecting from afar.

In need of some quarantine date night inspiration? We asked a couples therapist, dating coaches and a matchmaker to share their best ideas.

If you don’t live together:

If you don't live with your partner, make use of video chat and other virtual options.
PeopleImages via Getty Images
If you don't live with your partner, make use of video chat and other virtual options.

1. Take a virtual museum tour.

“With the power of some amazing connecting apps, such as Zoom, you can share your screen and share the experience of visiting the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Sistine Chapel all while in the comfort of your own homes. Art has an incredible way of provoking questions and sparking conversations that might not happen otherwise.” — Meg Rector, dating and relationship coach at One Fish Dating

2. Video-conference while leafing through old photo albums.

“Screen-share while you look back through old photos online or even physical albums. This can be a chance to show each other your embarrassing hairstyles from middle school or your adorable baby photos. Anything that shows your significant other more about your unique history is great for closeness and connection.” — Samantha Rodman, psychologist and couples therapist

3. Answer the “36 Questions That Lead to Love”

“Now is a great time to really get to know your partner on a deeper level. We suggest getting comfortable, perhaps with a glass of wine, and asking each other questions from The New York Times’ “Questions That Lead to Love” or read a chapter from John Gottman’s “Eight Dates: Essential Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.” By answering these questions, you will form a deeper emotional connection and feel even close to each other than you did before.” — Talia Goldstein, founder of matchmaking company Three Day Rule

4. A virtual TV or movie watch party and trivia night.

“Brainstorm a movie or TV show that you both are obsessed with, choose a time to watch it together and come prepped with some trivia questions to quiz each other on! Winner gets to choose the movie next time.” — Lily Womble, dating coach and the founder of Date Brazen

5. Host a Lego competition.

“Order a few sets of Legos and be in your own version of the TV show ‘Lego Masters.’ Give yourself a time frame to create a masterpiece and then show it off to your partner. This quarantine has allowed all of us to find creative ways to fill our time. Plus, it brings out childlike enjoyment, which we could all use right now.” — Goldstein

6. Play board games online.

“Play Scrabble, chess or card games against each other. You can be on the phone or FaceTime while you play online. It’s fun to challenge and even ‘trash talk’ each other. A fun level of competition can be invigorating for your relationship.” — Rodman

7. Take an online class.

“Yale is offering its most popular class for free online, “Science of Wellbeing.” Spend time after each seminar chatting about what you learned, what surprised you, what you can do to better implement those skills. What’s hotter than a study buddy?” — Goldstein

8. Cook the same meal from different kitchens.

“Or bake something that requires a recipe for you both to follow. Or better yet, see what you can whip up with what you have on hand! Put your creative culinary skills to the test. #ChoppedHomeEdition. Fire up Zoom and spend the evening separately together in your kitchens creating something delicious.” — Rector

9. Start a book club.

“Download the same book and read a little of it every day. Discuss at night. Good ideas are: each of your favorite books from earlier in your lives, a new book on a topic you’re both interested in or the book version of a movie you’ve watched together. Intellectual conversation can keep your relationship interesting, especially when it feels like Groundhog Day every day.” — Rodman

If you live together:

Put on some good tunes and have a dance party at home.
Stígur Már Karlsson/Heimsmyndir via Getty Images
Put on some good tunes and have a dance party at home.

1. Have a dance party in the living room.

“Create a collaborative playlist in Spotify with nostalgic songs from your most joyful moments, and play one or two per day to dance together.” — Womble

2. Host a virtual double date with another couple.

“Virtual double dates can be really fun, especially if you spice it up with a game. Plan a date with your favorite couple and play your own version of “The Newlywed Game.” — Womble

3. Get creative with some arts and crafts.

“Use any crafts supplies you have at home and find some instructional videos on YouTube. At the very least, you can learn to sketch together. Learning a new skill of any kind together is a bonding experience, and novelty — as well as the off-balance feeling when you try something you’re not already good at — can make you feel some of the spark you felt in your earliest dating days.” — Rodman

4. Take an online dance lesson.

“Move the coffee table, create a dance floor and pull up a dance tutorial video on TV. There are ones you can pay for, such as “Show Her Off,” that take you through step by step, but there are plenty of free tutorials on YouTube with a variety of different dance options. There’s nothing like putting on some good tunes and dancing off some of the quarantine jitters and cabin fever.” — Rector

5. Play the card games you loved as kids.

“Break out a deck of cards and teach each other games you learned as a kid. Remember Old Maid, Go Fish, Spit and War? These are fun and can spark conversations about who taught you each game and memories from your families of origin, sleep-away camp or other formative situations.” — Rodman

6. Take a workout class together.

“Get the blood flowing and endorphins running. We love BoxUnion for great boxing workouts, or Peloton digital classes. Sweating together is a fun way to maintain some semblance of healthy routine during quarantine, which will highly influence how productive and happy you both are throughout the day.” — Goldstein

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