Even during the best of times, dating can be hard. And finding things to do that are fun and unique—whether you’re just starting to see someone or already in a relationship—takes a little effort.
But this year, the fact that we’re social distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that we don’t have access to many of our usual activities, has added a whole new layer to planning.
Still, if you’re dating or in a relationship, and date night is something that matters to you, try not to let the time slip away. Even if you do modified activities this year—to social distance away from other people—planning special time to spend together can bring a chance to connect. And while fancy dinner or a party scene may not be on the menu, there are lots of other options.
Now, true, a bigger date night (like going to a local hotel) can take some planning. But even small efforts can make a difference. Even if you can’t go out to a fancy restaurant, having a set activity to do at home can build connection. And help things stay fun and spontaneous.
Even if you do modified activities this year, planning time to spend together can bring a chance to connect.
So, in light of these facts, I’ve been writing about dating options for Men’s Health. My latest story focuses on 26 social-distance-friendly dates for Valentine’s Day, but I can confirm that these ideas can be adapted for any day.
✔️For instance, we may not be booking spa experiences like before, but that doesn’t mean we can’t pamper each other. So try having a spa day at home where you do massages or even skincare steps…together.
✔️Or take an online fitness class. Eventbrite, where I also contribute as a writer, has lots of options if you search—and many of them are free or low-cost. Plus this kind of date lets you interact with other people if you’d like, just from a distance.
✔️Another option? Play games—and not the emotional kind. Whether you’re channeling The Queen’s Gambit and take up chess, or you play cards, you can connect by learning more about how your date strategizes…and even how they handle conflict. Bonus: If you play a portable game like cards, or a communication game like Truth, you can play outdoors at a park or a beach (if one is close to you), and add an afternoon or evening stroll to your activities for the day.
✔️One more? Build something together. This one takes a bit of preparation: You’ll need to buy or order a model or a puzzle from Amazon or a similar source in advance to build together at home. If building things isn’t your date’s cup of tea, you may also decide to build a meal by cooking together or having a friendly cooking contest at home, using ingredients in your kitchen to come up with something unexpectedly great. And hey, if your concoction is erm, less than great, you can always laugh about your bonding experience while you log onto Uber Eats.
So check out my story and feel free to try out a date idea that you think you both will appreciate. Longer-term couples may feel more willing to try certain things, but there are options for everyone at every stage of dating. So enjoy the days you have together. 💕