COVID-19 has not been great for single people. Now you have to decide if you want a second date with someone without ever having whiffed their pheromones. Worse yet, most of us are probably virtually dating from the same chair we use for work meetings.
But while we’re the first to admit that the term “virtual dating” sounds like a plot point from a dystopian sci-fi novel, there are ways to make the experience more intimate and fun.
First a note: The ideas below won’t guarantee that awkwardness or weird silences won’t happen. It’s more important than ever not to let lulls in conversation be a barometer for how the date is going, even though they might feel like an eternity virtually.
We genuinely hope one of these activities is fun enough to make up for the lack of an end-of-date kiss!
Just because you didn’t wake up together (*tear*) doesn’t mean you can’t both enjoy drinking mimosas before noon. We think cooking is one of the better video activities because you can do it while being somewhat stationary — and because if things get awkward, you can just do some dishes and pretend not to notice.
So, make a plan for what you’re going to cook (it’s fun to both try the same recipe), take a trip to the grocery store (don’t forget to pick up a bottle of bubbles!), and commence your morning of virtually cooking, eating, and sipping together.
Nothing takes the pressure off dating like a good old-fashioned game night. Games are handy because they create a shared focus so you don’t have to rack your brain for conversation topics (this is what dates are like for everyone else, right??).
Also, it’s an easy way to reveal your boo’s secret competitive streak (or your own).
There are two types of people in this world: those who think learning a TikTok dance is the best idea in the world and those who think it’s the worst.
TikTok’s ability to bring people together from all over the world is making it the greatest pastime we never knew we needed right now. And you and your date can get in on the action — and get a little silly — while you learn one of these creative, catchy dances.
Many yoga studios and fitness apps have come online in recent months, and sharing the experience with someone definitely makes it more fun. It may not be quite the same as doing Downward-Facing Dog in person, but the power of technology can still allow you to virtually hit the showers together afterward, if you’re so inclined.
If you’re looking for one to do, check out our review of six popular streaming workouts.
Fortunately, we don’t have to forgo the classic date option of live music during self-isolation. While you won’t wake up with a stamp on your wrist or have a drink spilled on you by a stranger, you can definitely still put on your favorite concert outfit and dance your heart out.
For a list of live music shows you can join virtually, check out this article from Billboard.com. (They’re updating it weekly.)
There’s something super sweet and romantic in listening to the sound of someone’s voice, especially if that person is reading to you. Reading together is a great virtual date because it can inspire thoughtful conversation for many future dates to come.
This couple has been doing it all through self-isolation, and we think it’s a beautiful way to pass the time.
Since we definitely shouldn’t be traveling these days, skip TSA altogether and scratch that travel itch with a “fakecation.” Many destinations around the world are inviting idle travelers to virtually roam their beaches, meander their historic alleyways, pop into their landmarks, and more.
This is also a safe option if it’s a tad too soon in the relationship for a real vacation.
To help you virtually jet-set, we put together a guide all about how to take a fakecation. Check it out here!
You don’t have to be particularly artistic to enjoy the soothing, meditative quality of coloring in an adult coloring book. You and your boo can chat while you draw or color and show off your results at the end.
On the list of positive things to come out of COVID-19, virtual museum tours are right up there with learning how to make sourdough. Because now you don’t need to physically travel anywhere to appreciate some of the world’s most important collections — without a crowd of people blocking your view!
Yes, we mean sex. People are horny, y’all! We don’t see any reason you can’t make a mutual masturbation sesh the reason for a virtual hangout.
Try looking into couples sex toys that are app-controlled — perfect for long distance. (Tip: We love the We-Vibe Sync.) After all, absence makes the lust grow stronger, right?
And if you want to pretend like it’s real life and put on a movie you’ll only watch 10 minutes of, use Netflix Party to stream a movie together.
If you’re both the adventurous type — or you’re just super bored — order a surprise meal for each other. Just make sure to communicate any food allergies and any flavors or spices you despise.
Warning: Not for picky eaters.
Sure, we may not be enjoying our dream dates right at this moment, but we’re optimistic about the days ahead. By pinning all the fun things you’re looking forward to, you can build anticipation for the future. And once self-isolation lifts, you’ll have a go-to list of fantastic date ideas.
With MasterClass, more than 80 of the world’s fantastic minds (think Anna Wintour, Bobbi Brown, Malcolm Gladwell, Neil deGrasse Tyson) let you in on the secrets behind their success through online educational seminars. This is a great way to learn what interests the other person.
All classes are available for just $15 a month, so you can do as many as you wish.
Plenty of people welcomed the “sweatpants 7 days a week” revolution and never went back. But if you and your boo happen to be part of the club that fantasizes about red lipstick and crisp button-downs, by all means, bbs, get your glam on.
To really make a night of it, light some candles, splurge on a bottle of the good stuff, and put on some smooth music. You may not be able to hit the town, but you can still indulge your luxe side.
…or at least try. In 2015, the New York Times ran a story about a 1997 study from psychologist Arthur Aron that explored whether intimacy can be fast-tracked between two people if they ask each other a series of increasingly probing questions.
Writer Elly Belle created her own set of questions in this vein that are aimed at being more inclusive and queer-friendly.
If you’re newly dating, make this an opportunity to learn about each other’s lives. Show each other photos of the places you’ve lived, the pets you’ve loved, the trips you’ve taken.
You’ve probably already stalked each other’s social media, so look for photos hiding out in the back of your iCloud storage. Better yet, if you have real photo albums, bust ’em out. They exist for this very reason.
Find something neither of you has ever done before, and sign up to do a virtual class together. It could be literally anything: painting cocktail making, or learning a language. The opportunities are endless, and it’ll give you something to practice together long after self-isolation is over.
That trip to wine country is definitely postponed (for now), but you can still sip and savor some great wines “together.”
The Sonoma County Vintners’ website has a list of virtual wine tasting experiences that you and your date can sign up for together. You can choose from a variety of price points, whether you’re still learning the difference between red and white or you’re sporting a Master Somm pin.
Visiting a comedy club is a dating rite of passage. But even if we can’t (and shouldn’t) cram together in a dimly lit club these days, we can still bring the laughs to us.
Many of New York’s top comedians are putting on virtual stand-up shows throughout June. You can also search in your area to see which of your favorite local comedians are streaming their sets.
Google Maps’ high level of detail allows you to virtually get into the streets of most destinations around the world. That means you can show your date around your college campus, take them through your favorite hiking trail, or even show them the house you grew up in. Who knows, you may learn that you’ve been to the same places!
As with dating in 2019 B.C. (Before Corona), your mindset is key to having a good time. Just because you’re alone in your room doesn’t make it any less of a real date. Dress up in something that makes you feel confident. Wash your hair. Put on a little makeup, if that’s your thing. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel like, well, you.
Meagan Drillinger is a freelance travel writer who lives a life in two worlds: One is in New York City. The other is out of a suitcase. For her, there is no greater gift than the ability to inspire others to get on a plane and go. Visit her blog or Instagram.