33 Creative Date Night Ideas For Connecting At A Distance

Photo: Jens Lindner/unsplash
33 Creative Date Night Ideas For Connecting At A Distance

Is the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic messing with your dating and love life?

Several clients I’ve spoken to recently are afraid of being "corona-zoned" during the shelter-in-place order.

If you haven't heard that expression before, it means the person they’re interested in exchanges flirtatious banter to occupy their time and attention during the isolation, but doesn't have an interest in pursuing a real relationship once the pandemic ends.

How can this be prevented? How can they know there’s real interest or that the relationship could last when "real" life resumes?

RELATED: 4 Tips To Plan The Perfect Romantic Dinner Date At Home

Generally speaking, dating is how you’d determine that. It's a great way to find out more about your potential partner's personality and whether or not you’re compatible.

Dating can be a great way to spend time together doing things that are fun and interactive, revealing more of who that person is, which is useful in determining whether you really like them and want to spend more time with them.

The good news is that during this COVID-19 quarantine, you can still go on dates! With appropriate social distancing, of course.

You’re not supposed to leave your house, but that’s okay! You don’t have to be physically present to have a date night. Just ask anyone who has kindled love over long distances.

The first step to planning date night is to take things from written words to voice or video. The sound of a person’s voice brings you closer than just reading a text, as does seeing the person.

Yes, seeing a screen image is not the same as being able to hold their hand, but it’s certainly more of an investment than merely chatting.

Now, with that in mind, here are 33 creative at-home date night ideas, whether you're dating during COVID-19 or over long distance.

1. Make a meal together.

You both make the same meal from your own homes, but you coordinate what you’re going to make and eat it together.

Make it a race if you’re competitive, and see who can finish it faster or have a better presentation.

2. Play a game.

Look at any board games you both may have. If you have one in common, you can both set it up and play it syncing up your boards as you go.

If you just have a deck of cards, play poker or some other game drawing from your own decks. Heighten the stakes by betting. (For more intimate couples, make it strip poker!)

3. Shop the closet.

Try on outfits for each other and decide whether to keep it in your rotation or drop it — perhaps, even donate it!

If you’re a mall-goer, this could be a fun alternative while everything is closed.

4. Take them to a "concert."

Stream music from your favorite artist for your partner, and tell them why you like it or which are your favorite songs.

If they’re already familiar, have them sing along!

5. Wine tasting.

Each of you can buy a few bottles of wine, but make sure they’re the same as your partner's. You can even purchase the same cheeses if you want and have a fun wine-tasting night.

You can also do this with beer or mixed beverages, too.

Discuss what you like and don’t.

6. Movie night.

Make some popcorn, grab a blanket, and curl up on your own respective couches to watch the same movie. Together.

Yes, there may be lulls in the conversation because... Shhh… We’re watching a movie!

7. Favorite restaurant swap.

If your favorite restaurant is offering take-out or delivery, you can still get the real deal — have your partner pick up your favorite dishes, too.

If not, tell your partner your favorite foods and look up their menu online to see what your partner would order if you were to really be there.

8. Creative expression.

Get a canvas or piece of paper and ask your partner to give you instructions on how you should create a masterpiece. They can tell you the colors to use, what or how to paint, etc.

Alternatively, both of you try creating your own replica of a famous piece of art and compare.

9. Interrogation.

Make a list of 10 questions (each) of things you’d want to know about each other and then ask them. Be prepared to answer the same questions in return as well as theirs.

You can make them fun and creative or seriously deep.

10. Write a story.

You write one sentence and your partner adds the next, continuing to take turns.

See if you can create a comprehensive plot or develop characters enough to make it interesting.

11. Bowling.

Get creative to see what kinds of items you can use to topple over.

Perhaps all those rolls of toilet paper you hoarded?

12. Go to a museum, virtually.

Many art galleries have online collections or virtual tours you can take.

Visit one together online and let each other know the pieces you like or dislike.

13. Surprise delivery.

Order some random object, gadget, or gizmo from an online store to have delivered to your partner.

Have them come up with some creative use for it in their everyday life.

14. Adopt a virtual pet.

Get a virtual pet or play a pet game and see if you can keep your animal alive.

What pet will you choose?

15. Tradition swap.

Go through the calendar with each other and share important dates or holidays that you and your family celebrate.

Share how you celebrate and what traditions you intend to keep in your future family.

16. Create a holiday.

Come up with something you could celebrate that isn’t already on the books and put it on the calendar.

Then, find creative ways to commemorate it.

17. Start a book club.

Choose a book to read or listen to and set a date to discuss.

What did you like about it? Did you know how the story would unfold?

18. Dance together.

Play some music and get your groove on.

Alternatively, do a dance for your partner using Zoom, FaceTime, or another video app and see how well they can replicate it.

19. Learn together.

Take an online course — music lessons, cake decorating, financial planning, etc.

Whatever it is, learn something new together!

20. Stargaze.

Open up your windows, go for a night stroll, or simply download a stargazer app to see what constellations you’re under.

You can stream views of outer space together if you want.

RELATED: 7 Extra-Important Tips For Surviving A Long-Distance Relationship

21. Yoga.

Stream your favorite yoga classes or teach your partner your favorite asanas yourself.

22. House hunt.

Look online at houses for sale in your area — in a dream locale or perhaps some that are within your budget.

Choose one that you think would be perfect and share it with your partner.

23. Grow something.

Plant some seeds if you have some on hand or can pick some up from a store.

See what you can grow and how big it gets in the time you’re kept apart.

24. Watch the sunset.

Wherever you can view it from your home or on a quick stroll, see it together.

If you’re early birds, perhaps the sunrise suits you better.

25. Take a road trip.

Not a real one! But from where you’re located, figure out a day's drive and make a note of where that location is. Your partner chooses where to go next and see what locations you’ll hit on the way.

If many miles separate you, figure out what you’d see on the way if you could drive to meet up.

26. Home science experiments.

Recreate science experiments in your home. Remember the mentos and soda explosions?

Look up interesting ones and do them together but apart. Whose rocket launches further? What home volcano erupts longer?

27. Create a bucket list.

Share 20 things you’d each want to do in your lifetimes.

Do any of them overlap? Perhaps once you can meet up in person, you can do them together.

Alternatively, come up with a couple's bucket list for you to accomplish as a pair.

28. Magic show.

Try to learn a magic trick (each) to share with each other… or several.

29. Picture time.

Take a random photo, send it to your partner, and have them create a storyline about what is happening or has happened prior to the shot.

30. Go on a scavenger hunt.

Come up with an item, color, or phrase for something, and have your partner find something in their house that matches.

For example: Something blue, something fast, something you can use to open something, something you keep hidden, etc.

31. Imagine dating differently.

Pick a person or a time from history — perhaps even a fictional character — and try to decide together what dating would be like then.

What would one wear, where would you go, and what you would do?

If possible, research to find out if you’re right.

32. Introduce them to your parents.

If you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level, include your parents on a conference call.

Ask each parent to tell your significant other a story (or many) about you. They can even pull out old pictures if they have them handy.

33. Mind games.

Some good ones to play (as opposed to the ones you shouldn’t) are things like, "Never have I ever…", two truths and a lie, and "If you were stranded on a desert island and could only have three items, what would they be?"

Now that you have these creative date night ideas, you can ensure that the potential relationship you started before going into isolation can still thrive long after quarantine ends.

RELATED: 4 Apps That'll Make You Forget You're In A Long-Distance Relationship

Amy Sargent is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist for over 10 years. For more information on her services, visit her website.