Living through a historic pandemic is putting a real damper on everyone’s love life. For couples who are self-quarantined together because of the worldwide lockdown, dancing, cooking, and gaming are just a few ways to spend some quality time.
With the outbreak forcing the closures of restaurants, bars, museums, theaters, and other public spaces worldwide, pizza in a parking lot is just one of the many ways in which couples can get some fresh air while social distancing. Scheduling and committing to dates during this new normal is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship.
Whether you’re socially distant or not, you still want to remind yourself why you’re together and recreate some memories as much as possible. That may mean silencing your phone, creating a certain mood, and being intentional and purposeful about making time for romance and reconnection.
Wondering where to start? I’ve come up with a few ideas that can get you started, and please feel free to leave some ideas in the comments section.
A Fancy Dinner In
Although grocery shopping has become a major source of anxiety and stress during the coronavirus outbreak, once home, preparing a meal with your partner can provide a sweet reprieve.
Jenn and Max, a couple living in Oakland, California recently decided to have a shabu-shabu dinner date night at home by dressing up. Max, wore a button-up shirt and Jenn, wore a black dress and did her hair and makeup, false lashes included. Make yourself a dinner, pour a big glass of wine, and set up your table for a romantic night in.
“Dressing up helps make it feel different from every other night you guys are cooking for each other,” Jenn said, adding that her outfit was “a step up from” the T-shirt she had been wearing for the last three days.
Dr. Racine Henry, a marriage and family therapist emphasized the effects of cooking and eating with purpose. “It’s the most universal way of expressing and receiving love,” she said. Couples can also use this time to learn a new skill and experiment with new cuisines while strengthening their bond. As couples play around with flavors and tweak recipes to their liking, there’s an opportunity for creativity and experimentation, and once they sit down to eat together, the food itself becomes a catalyst for deep and meaningful conversation.
Virtual tours are being offered by museums worldwide. No longer restricted to travel time or cost, you and your love can agree on a night at the Louvre in Paris via an hourlong YouTube video. Plus, admission is free and shoes were optional. You can still have the same sentiment and make it an occasion.
From Monopoly, the classic family game night staple, to Heads Up, the mobile game app, both physical and virtual games give partners an opportunity to focus on a designated set of rules, scenarios outside of their current reality or Mini-golf in your backyard that you can create solely with household items.
Ice Breaker Games: You know at summer camp, or your first day on the job training, where they make you do those dumb ice breaker games? Well, they’re actually a great way to pass time. Two Truths and a Lie, Truth or Dare, and the dangerous Never Have I Ever are all quick bonding activities that give you a good idea of someone based both on their answers as well as their questions. Turn it into a drinking game and spice things up.
With a little effort and planning, you can turn your at-home workouts, fitness methods and even learning choreography into an enjoyable indoor date. Kind of like any other date you might go on, we set a time and a plan, and stuck to it. Blocking off time on the calendar is a fun way to stay positive and to have something to look forward to. It serves as encouragement because even if you have to stay at home for another month, you can still look forward to a date like the light at the end of the tunnel.
Mixing it up and trying new things while social distancing will keep us sane. It’s also a scary time, so doing something that made us laugh is great.
Cook-Off: Even if you can barely make scrambled eggs, try a cooking competition. This is a fun way to keep the spark alive with some friendly competition and gives you quality time to bond while you learn something new together.
Draw Each Other: Ever heard of “take a picture; it lasts longer”? Well, how about “draw a picture; it takes longer and will definitely be a conversation piece. Use your favorite picture of your person and do your best.
36 Questions: It’s like the 21 Questions game you played in high school. The New York Times published a list of 36 questions to ask your significant other. Even if you know everything about each other, you may not know each other in this specific way so make sure to give it a try.
Board Game-a-thon: Set up all of the board games you have all over your house/and play them at the same time. A new turn means a new game. You may be killing it in one game but totally losing in another. Just hope that Monopoly is not in the mix. That sh*t takes forever.
Build A Fort: Building a fort was one of our favorite things to do as a child for a reason: it’s so much fun! Construct your own indoor fort to watch a movie, play a game, or make out for a while. Decorate the room with lights, pillows and, blankets, make popcorn and grab some candy to snack on while you watch your favorite show or movie together.
Fashion Show: Designate a runway somewhere in your house, choose outfits for each other, blast some music, and STRUT. YOUR. STUFF. Make sure to pose for pictures at the end of the runway. Then you can post them on social media to show everyone.
Spa Day: Pamper each other. I’m talking face masks, wine, bubble baths, mani/pedis, massages, and happy endings. Whatever makes the two of you feel luxurious and relaxed. Plus, it’s an excuse to get your hands all over each other.
Above all else, stay inside, stay safe, stay connected, and try not to kill each other.