XOXO

Five Social-Distancing Date Ideas

You can still enjoy each other’s company, even from afar

Photo: FG Trade/Getty Images

“Social Distancing” is the way of the world and we are all adjusting to a new “normal,” however temporary we want and hope for it to be. The uncertainty is anxiety-inducing, to say the least, but the longer this lasts, the more we have to alter the ways we approach all aspects of our lives. Face it — there’s a good chance we may never go back to the way things were, so it’s a good idea to begin preparing for the permanence of these changes.

As a love, sex, and relationships columnist, I’m constantly thinking about how I can help people live their best lives and improve their relationships. This pandemic has definitely changed how I approach content, and I’m doing my part to offer assistance to folks as best I can. I admit it’s taken a toll on me, but like so many of you, I’m doing my best to keep moving forward and doing what I love to do.

I have written about what we can learn from people in long-distance relationships and ways to manage the stress of quarantine on your relationship, and I’m thinking about all of the folks who just began dating someone amazing or who are in relationships with people they don’t live with. It’s hard to stay focused on keeping your relationship going forward when we aren’t sure where the world is headed. With that in mind, I wanted to make more specific date idea recommendations for those struggling to come up with something.

Go to a virtual concert

Since so many venues have shut down, it’s impossible for most musicians to perform for crowds and make a living. Many have adapted to the changes and have pivoted to providing virtual concerts via Instagram Live and Facebook Live. These concerts have a more intimate feel and we have been able to bring their live sets into our homes. Artists like Erykah Badu, Kindred The Family Soul, Big Daddy Kane, and Teddy Riley have been streaming concerts on their respective platforms. Some are doing it for free and others are charging, but if you can, please donate something because artists rely on concert revenue to make a living.

Take in a movie

The future of movie theaters looks sketchy and companies like AMC were on the brink of bankruptcy due to Covid-19. While there’s some hope they can recover, going to the movies won’t feel the same for a long time. What’s the point of paying $15–20 for a ticket, $8 for popcorn, and $43 for a candy bar if you can’t sit right next to your date?

If you’re under stay-at-home orders, you can still plan a movie date night and have a good time. One option is using Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension that allows you to simulcast a movie across devices. So instead of trying to perfectly time the “hit play!” action, you can enjoy the movie together in real time. You can also check out new releases that have skipped theaters and are dropping online for about $19.99 each. Pop some popcorn at your respective homes (or if you’re locked in together), turn off the lights, and enjoy the ambiance. Don’t forget to open up FaceTime on your phone or use Google Meet so you can see/ hear each other as you enjoy the movie.

Cook up something in the kitchen

When you’re going shopping for your essential items, get creative and challenge each other to a cook-off. Think of five ingredients (including one obscure one) and challenge each to make a dish using all of those ingredients. This works if you’re staying in separate homes or if you’re quarantined together. If you’re home together, one person can do the shopping for both of you to minimize exposure. If you’re in separate places, “meet” in the kitchen and set up your devices to stream each other. Set a timer for 45 minutes and go! It’s a fun way to keep the blood flowing with a light competitive spirit.

If that’s a bit of a stretch, maybe because neither of you is that good of a cook, you can sign-up for an online cooking class and attend it together. Companies like Airbnb are offering online experiences, and some of the classes are only $14–16 an hour per person.

If you’re committed to building something special or keeping things going with someone you’re invested in, being creative during this time is going to be your saving grace.

Get your bodies moving

If you’re able, working out can be a great mood lifter and a fun time shared together. I’ve gone on gym dates and they’ve been enjoyable and serve as a type of foreplay. The endorphins released during working out can rev up the libido, so making a date to get your bodies moving is a great idea.

There are several dance workout classes on YouTube that you can watch in your respective homes or together to work up a sweat. You can also hop on FaceTime and take walks/ jogs in your respective neighborhoods together. If you’re staying in together, help each other through an active workout and encourage each other to get clean reps in. When you’re done, hop in the shower together and see if the vibes slides into something sexier for a post-workout workout.

Get sexy, virtually

Now is a good time to get creative and enjoy a sexy scavenger hunt. Come up with a list of items and activities that you can find and do at home or online and give them to each other. Setting a time limit, your goal is to capture pictures and videos of each thing on the list. If number four is naked chair dance, you have to record yourself doing a tantalizing chair dance fully naked. If you’re apart, you can end in a mutual masturbation session online, and if you’re in person, cap off the evening with a hot session fueled by the excitement you’ve built up throughout the exercise.

If you’ve been feeling less than sexy or haven’t been motivated to have sex, there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s completely understandable. It’s worth noting, though, that sexual activity can help alleviate the blues, so being intentional about making the effort can help you both feel better and stay intimately connected.

I’ve had some conversations with friends about whether or not it’s even worth dating at this time, especially when you can’t go out anywhere. I feel that and go back and forth on the issue myself, especially as a 40+ single woman. Do I really want to make the effort when we can’t meet up? I’m big on reading body language and vibing with someone’s in-person chemistry, so it’s definitely a struggle. Still, if you’re committed to building something special or keeping things going with someone you’re invested in, being creative during this time is going to be your saving grace. We have no idea how long this is going to last and just because some places have reopened, it doesn’t mean we won’t face a second wave of Covid-19. Stay safe and practice social distancing, but don’t let this pandemic rob you of the things that bring you joy. If your lover is a source of happiness and upliftment, I encourage you to work on being creative and holding it together as best you can.

She/Her | Author, Activist. Philly-based, NYC-bred. #ReclaimingOurSpace #PushTheButton Google me. Twitter/IG: @FeministaJones Contact: bit.ly/ContactFJ

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