Whether you recently started seeing someone new or you’ve been in a long-distance relationship for what feels like forever, this past year of lockdowns, social distancing and mask-wearing has made pandemic dating kind of a challenge. Right?
That said, just because you’re physically apart from your number one doesn’t mean that you can’t be emotionally close.
In fact, these 15 virtual date ideas held over FaceTime, WhatsApp or Zoom can add some much-needed romance to your week and keep your relationship alive until all of this is over.
1. Grab Coffee Together
First things first, having a coffee date is an oldie but a goodie for couples of all ages. It’s also great if you’re short on time but you still want to catch up with your other half (wherever they may be…).
And if you don’t like coffee, you could always swap it for tea or a good old hot chocolate with whipped cream and marshmallows. (Yum!)
2. Have a Picnic Together in Your Garden
Is the weather decent? If so, get some fresh air while reconnecting with your partner by having a makeshift picnic in both of your gardens.
Dig out your old picnic basket and blanket, grab your favourite snacks and bask in the sunshine while having a natter on video-call. (Bliss!)
Oh, and spoiler alert: the picnic basket doubles up as the perfect place to rest your phone or tablet.
3. Have a Virtual Cinema Date
We don’t know about you but we’re massive fans of Netflix and chill. If you’re fancying a cosy night in with your other half, recreate a cinema date complete with fluffy blankets, drinks and snacks.
Just remember to start playing the movie of choice at the same time as them for the full experience. (And try not to argue over what you’re watching!)
4. Cook Together
Who says virtual date ideas have to be complicated? For a simple way to reconnect with your one, cook a nice meal (and then eat it) simultaneously over video-call.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you could even make something you’ve both never made before. It could go horribly wrong, but you’d have fun trying!
5. Bake Together
Cooking and baking virtually with your other half go hand-in-hand. After all, you can’t fully enjoy a meal without dessert, can you?
Decide what you want to make ahead of time so you can grab the ingredients from your next supermarket shop, find a recipe and simply follow along. (And don’t forget — you’re never too old to lick the mixing bowl!)
6. Pretend You’re At a Bar
If you’re usually the types to party your Friday and Saturday nights away, you could both create your very own bar at home.
How, you ask? Well:
- Turn down the lights
- Crank some music
- Grab your go-to beverage
(Bonus points if you have a disco ball or some kind of flashing lights!)
However, be warned. If things get really lairy, you might end up dancing on tables and irritating your housemates and/or neighbours. Oops.
7. Participate in a Cocktail-Making Class
Speaking of alcoholic drinks, one of the most fun virtual date ideas is cocktail-making (especially if you’ve never done it before).
All you have to do is find a class on YouTube, buy the ingredients in advance and follow along. The best part? Everything you make you get to drink yourself. (Wahoo!)
8. Have a Spa Day
Has your long-distance situation got you feeling stressed? Not to worry — take a bit of time out of your busy days to create your very own spa with your partner.
Play some relaxing music, light candles and put on face masks. In fact, you could even read a magazine and just “be” together without talking. This way, you’re still getting to spend quality time as a couple even though you’re apart.
And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a proper pampering?
9. Create a Couple’s Book Club
Speaking of reading together, a super cute virtual date idea is a book club.
This is where you choose a book that you can both put some time aside to read every week, whether this is one chapter or three chapters. Then you have a weekly video call to discuss what you’ve read.
Sure, it sounds straightforward, but sometimes you can really connect with your other half over a good story. And it’s something different that can stimulate your mind and provide an all-important distraction in these difficult times.
10. Have a Gym Date
If you guys are massively into health and fitness and usually work out together when you’re physically together, who says you have to stop doing this?
One of the most unique virtual date ideas is an exercise class. Whether you’re both lovers of HIIT or Zumba, find a YouTube workout you both will enjoy and get your blood pumping!
Not only will you get to spend time with your partner, but you’ll also get your daily dose of endorphins to boost your mood. Win-win.
11. Have a Game Night
You might be totally over Zoom quizzes — they were so lockdown #1, right? Having said that, having a game night with your long-distance love is a chance for you to have some fun together even though you’re apart.
And it doesn’t have to be a quiz. You could play video games together. Or you could even go old-school and both grab your favourite board game and follow along with each other. (No cheating though!)
12. Have an Arts and Crafts Night
Likewise, having a night where you create something as a couple can help you to bond (and make you both feel like you’ve achieved something together even though your relationship is at a standpoint).
Want some ideas? Draw each other over video-call. Paint the same picture. Learn a new skill like knitting or sewing.
Either way, being creative can feel incredibly fulfilling if you haven’t achieved much else on a particular day. Picasso, who?
13. Go on a Museum Tour
If you were both fans of museum dates pre-pandemic, we have some great news for you…
You can find various virtual tours of museums around the world. For instance:
- YouTube has one of the famous works from the Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain
- YouTube also has a walking tour of the Louvre in Paris, France
- Google Arts and Culture offers virtual tours from other famous museums
Synchronise or screen-share one of the above with your partner for a virtual date idea that’s original and unforgettable.
14. Solve a Virtual Escape Room
Want to test your partner’s problem-solving skills? Try a virtual escape room (where you’re trying to follow clues to get out in a limited amount of time based on a fictional story).
For example, the Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, Pennsylvania, has created a Harry Potter-themed room. Then there’s The Escape Game, which offers more challenging virtual escape rooms. (But keep in mind these will cost you!)
15. Go Camping in Your Garden
Lastly, this is one of those virtual date ideas that are weather-dependent. Obviously, if it’s freezing cold or pouring it down with rain, it’s not going to work.
However, if the weather is warm enough and dry enough, you could have an overnight sleepover together in your back garden. Dig out your old camping gear, pitch a tent, toast some marshmallows and do a bit of stargazing or storytelling.
Alternatively, you could pitch up a tent in your front living room if you like the idea but don’t want to risk the weather.
Either way, it’s important to spend some one-on-one time with your other half that isn’t just talking on video-call constantly. It soon becomes mundane!
Virtual Date Ideas: There’s Something For Every Couple!
It’s hard being unable to meet up with your partner in such challenging times. That said, these virtual date ideas allow you to mix up your routine and help your relationship to survive and thrive while you’re away from each other.
In fact, if you implement one frequently, you might just find that your relationship is the strongest it’s ever been (even though you’re apart!).
Just remember to charge your device before you start your video call. Trust us — it will avoid frustration, tears and heartache later down the line.
Katie Davies is the Yorkshire-based freelance writer who founded Trendy Tourist. Since 2017, she has written for over 100 companies on a range of subjects, from fashion to marketing. When she’s not producing content, you can find her shopping, exploring a new place or sitting somewhere having a cup of builder’s tea.