These worldwide quarantines have all of us craving a taste of some excitement and intimacy. After months locked at home, we’re all going a little stir crazy. The lockdown has affected people in different ways, whether it’s trapping you within 4 walls with no one but your partner, or being trapped in a home hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your significant other. For couples stuck at home together, days can blend together and you can feel like you’re falling into a rut. For those separated by distance, staying involved in each other's lives can be a daily task. Either way, you may be left with little room for the intimacy and romance that keeps your love strong.
All it takes is just a tad more effort to get that fun adventurous spirit back into your relationship. At least once a week, or whenever your respective schedules allow, try and squeeze in a good date night. What kind of date night can we have at home, you’re probably wondering. Well, with the help of technology and a little bit of imagination, you’ll find your indoor dates or virtual dates to be as fulfilling as any jam-packed evening roaming about the city. Here are 6 tips you should definitely keep in mind for your next date.
If you and your partner happen to have similar tastes in movies, this is probably already a regular feature in your life. However, preferences can vary and the content you enjoy may usually be solo missions. Either way, it’s always good to switch things up a little bit. Pick a show that both of you can agree on and watch an episode every night or once a week, depending on what your routines permit. You can also select movies to watch together with some popcorn and some candies, for a real movie theater experience. To keep things fair (and avoid unnecessary conflicts), it helps to alternate who selects the movie, with you picking one the first day and your partner picking one the next.
For those who are struggling with the distance, fear not! There are options for you as well. Let’s not forget that the purpose of a date with your partner is to simply soak in an experience together. A fun virtual movie date is only an app or two away. For those who have Netflix, downloading the chrome extension “Netflix Party” lets you sync your movie so you never have to miss a beat, and gives you a chat option so you can keep the running commentary going. Video/Audio calls can also be great during a movie or show watching sessions. Much like Netflix Party, a cursory internet search will reveal other similar extensions and apps for sharing and synchronizing your viewing experience, whether your platform of choice is Amazon Prime, Hulu, or even YouTube.
In the working world, Happy Hours are an important part of fostering relationships. Now, of course, Zoom-call Happy Hours have become all the rage. Colleagues get together (through video conferencing and from the safety of their homes), have a drink (or two), and talk about the trials and tribulations of the past and coming work weeks. Believe it or not, this is one page out of the corporate book that romance can really benefit from. Set a time at the end of the day (or week) to sit down with your partner, give each other a smile of relief and share a drink and stories about the day/week that you’ve had.
Nothing solidifies a bond quite like laughing victoriously at your respective survivals of yet another stressful week. This is especially applicable when you and your partner are staying apart. It can be difficult feeling like you’re missing out on major chunks of your partner's life, or like they are missing out on yours. A one-hour video call and a few glasses of whatever winds you down at the end of the day can release any and all built-up tension that either the distance or life itself has been allowing to accumulate within you. Give yourself a chance to make a toast to yourselves, your health, and your love.
While dates at restaurants and movie theaters are certainly missed during these quarantine days, there are far greater experiences that are being pushed (seemingly) further and further away, beyond our reach. The experiences I’m talking about are the planned vacations, sitting on the deck of a cruise ship or a white sandy beach looking out at the blue waters, or standing atop a mountain, or even gazing at centuries-old artwork. Having to cancel your plans or put on hold dreams of traveling to distant destinations can put a real damper on what is already a rather dreary situation.
A few destinations are slowly preparing to reopen their borders. However, travel still remains extremely risky, and the options would still remain modest. With the internet at your fingertips, the choices are limitless. Pick a place or even a series of places with your partner, from Buckingham Palace to the streets of Venice, take their hand and venture into the world virtually. Whether your preference is hiking destinations, beaches or museums, there are virtual tours available for nearly any place you’ve dreamed of, and many that you haven’t as yet.
Transport yourself back in time to the days when you used to make believe that your bedroom was a mansion and that a cardboard box was a rocketship. Using that old-school childish imagination, along with your full-grown culinary know-how, you can transform your kitchen into a five-star restaurant in the same way. Make a plan for one evening, and make sure you stick to eat. Decide with your partner beforehand an exciting new meal that you can both prepare together and eat together (maybe with a glass of wine).
Select a recipe that is relatively simple but makes use of ingredients you don’t normally use. That being said, it should be a dish that you and your partner will both enjoy eating. Put on some music and light some candles, while your partner chops some veggies, and you pull out all necessary kitchenware. If you’re staying away from your partner, you can always make the dish in your respective homes while on a video call. Turn the process of dinner making into a fun adventure where you and your partner play chef and sous-chef as well as the customers! This is a great way to get in the habit of undertaking small tasks at home together and sharing in the responsibility and the fun.
This may sound like a big hassle in the middle of quarantine, but it’s actually as easy as watching movies nowadays. Even if you don’t have your favorite games on hand, the world wide web provides us with a plethora of games that can be played virtually, displaying the board, cards, and other parts of the game when necessary. Board games let you and your partner get lost in a fantasy world of someone else’s design, but in which you both are the main characters. You can push each other, challenge each other, and maybe even let out a little bit of that competitive spirit.
If you eventually find yourselves starting to get bored with those board games, the virtual versions of many popular games like Monopoly, Uno, Catan, and Clue are easily available online. There are apps you can download on your phone for chess, scrabble and word games. You can keep a standing game constantly being played with your partner in any free moments, which you can then culminate in one big finale game night. With virtual games, you can also invite friends and family to join you from the safety of their homes.
(By Azoui abdelhamid, Wikimedia Commons)
Say you’ve become an expert in organizing date nights. You and your partner have scoured the internet and advice columns and have tried all the different lockdown-dates you could find. Your movie-bucket list is almost complete, you’ve finished three full games of LIFE, and now you both find yourselves needing yet another change of pace. This is a very common feeling and the best thing to do is to share your romantic spark with another couple, preferably with close friends. There are numerous video platforms that can be used for you and your partner to connect with your couple friends across the distances.
You can organize your game nights and movie nights for parties of four, enjoy a few good laughs over a few news stories that you and your partner were probably craving to hear. It’s only natural to run out of stories after so many weeks in confinement. Emotions can run high, and either you or your significant other (if not both) are bound to need a little external company to add a little flavor to the mix. This also gives you, as a couple, a chance to interact with each other's friends and see each other in a different comfortable atmosphere. After all, we are our truest selves with our friends!