These are strange times for romance. People are quarantining with matches they just met on Bumble, Zoom happy hours have negated the need to ever wear pants on a date, and the cast of Love Is Blind are probably all thinking, Told ya so. Love in the time of the coronavirus is strange indeed.
But you don’t need a bubble like Jeremy to fall in love even in these weird, weird times—socially distanced love is very much thriving. In an era where we do pretty much everything else virtually, virtual dating has quickly become a new norm. To keep your virtual drinks from getting stale, here are 11 creative virtual dates you can go on while maintaining a safe social distance.
1. Tour the Louvre, in pajamas.
Museums and galleries—always the classiest of date options—are largely closed due to sweeping shelter in place orders. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your culture on with your own private virtual tour of the world’s finest curated collections. It’s like your very own version of a Bachelor date.
A few online exhibits and virtual tours to check out: L.A.’s Getty Museum look at Renaissance food & drink, the Louvre’s decadent Gallerie de’Apollon ceilings, the Smithsonian’s Natural History guided walk-through, and the National Women’s History Museum’s NASA exhibit (because nothing says social distancing quite like outer space).
2. Turn your living room into the main stage.
There are hundreds of artists performing worldwide, from big stages and backyards that you can stream from home. (See John Legend’s performance at the Chrissy-officiated Stuffed Animal Wedding.) For a weekend-long Coachella experience, don your flower crowns and neon for the Stay at Home Festival—a music festival on Instagram Live, April 3–5—or track the greats as they go live with Billboard’s continuously updated list. (For local musicians, Venmo a tip, if you can.)
For a more intimate listening experience, send each other an album to listen to during the workday, and discuss it that night. Or use one of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts as a nightcap. (Lizzo is our fave, duh.)
3. Invite a guest storyteller.
You’ve been swapping stories for a few phone calls—maybe it’s time to turn to the storytelling experts. The Moth, a globally renowned event series and podcast, features live vignettes of real human experiences—you’ll laugh, tear up, and have some new content for your endless phone calls with your virtual lover. You can “buy tickets” by making a gift via the Moth website, and send your date a calendar invite for showtime.
4. Play dinner-delivery roulette.
This potential partner already knows plenty about you, and you’d invite them over if you could. Instead, exchange addresses for a surprise takeout night that also helps support a local business.
Set a time for delivery, and schedule your favorite local dish to land on their doorstep. Watching them unbox and enjoy your favorite food—and you, theirs—is perfect whether you’re a plate-sharer or not.
5. Take a long walk on a virtual beach.
No one is going anywhere for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a virtual trip together (minus the TSA hassle and fights about wake-up times).
Using Google Maps, you can revisit a favorite place you’ve been, your date’s old summer spot, or even give each other a tour of your childhood neighborhoods. You can even feast your eyes on global adventure by snorkeling from a resort in the Great Barrier Reef, visiting China’s terra cotta warriors, hiking through Yellowstone, or exploring the International Space Station.
Want to virtually explore the world during the height of our global shutdown? Check out the *New York Times’*s The Great Empty series, capturing international hot spots in this unusual quietude.
6. Get sweaty.
Hundreds of fitness trainers are livestreaming their favorite workout classes to make working up a sweat at home easy-peasy. Schedule a gym date to take a class together and have a little fun getting active.
For a dance-based workout that feels like a party, 305 Fitness brings endorphin-boosting virtual workouts that will make your heart race. Grab your brightest ’80s neon, clear the floor, pop that Zoom video line open, and get twerking together. Their classes are available for livestream twice a day.
7. Get wild.
Break out your favorite day-trip snacks, and load up a wildlife cam or virtual zoo tour. You can watch a baby bald eagle enjoy breakfast, or party with the polar bears at the San Diego Zoo. Looking to get wilder? Roam the woods with wolves in Minnesota or beat your chest among gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
8. Take a deep breath over meditation and tea.
Couples massages and yoga studios may be off-limits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a relaxing date. Join a guided meditation with MyWellBeing founder Alyssa Petersel on Instagram Live (or check out her team’s library here). For a quick grounding exercise, you can walk through together anytime, Anna Murphy, an executive coach in Chicago, recommends a 5-4-3-2-1 check-in: List five things you see, four that you feel, three that you hear, two that you smell, and one that you taste.
Want to move off the couch? Check out Yoga With Adrienne and see how your date grooves into Downward Dog. Once you’ve hit the zen zone, make a cup of tea and discuss how you’re both feeling.
9. Host trivia night.
Remember Sporcle, the online trivia platform that made a big splash about a decade ago? We’re ready for a comeback. Whether you’re naming candy bars or listing out all the presidents in record time, you’ll learn a lot about your date in the process.
10. Netflix party and chill.
We’ve already binged Tiger King, and so has your date (and if not, they should go do that immediately). Though you can’t quite cuddle, grab your favorite pillows to create cozy tucked-in vibes, pick a movie and set up a Netflix Party. This add-on enables synced video viewing and live chats so you can share each other’s reactions.
11. Get deep
Maybe you’re a big Brene Brown fan, or you’re just running low on ways to get deeper while distanced. The “36 Questions That Lead to Love”, published in 2015, is the best conversational road map to connect with your virtual date. Find out their dream superpower, gaze into their eyes, and start to envision what your future partnership might look like. Romantic, intellectual, and inspiring, this exercise is a must for all couples from fifth date to 50 years together.