Couples everywhere are facing a common conundrum, thanks to coronavirus: When your favorite restaurant is only accepting takeout orders, your go-to bar is closed for business, and basically every event in your area is canceled, what does that mean for date night? If you’re isolating with your SO, fret not. Even the coronavirus outbreak can’t squash romance, thanks to the countless indoor date ideas you can try.
As an eternal optimist, here’s my take — circumstances like these force you and your boo to get creative. If you were stuck in a rut of eating at the same go-to gastropubs or grabbing drinks at the same speakeasies on a Saturday night, now is a great time to shake things up. Just because you’re hibernating doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, and in fact, you may be surprised at how indoor dates can boost the intimacy in your relationship.
The best indoor dates are the ones that not only allow you to bond in meaningful ways but also potentially learn new things about each other. So, it’s time to think beyond Netflix and chill. Who says you can’t get out of your comfort zone right from the comfort of your own home? These indoor dates will get the sparks flying — and the best part is, you can stay safe because you won’t have to set foot outside.
1. Compete in a cookoff.
Find a recipe that you can both realistically tackle, set up two stations with the same ingredients, set the timer, and start whipping up your own versions of the same tasty dish. Then, sample each of your creations together and compare cooking tips.
2. Engage in a sweat sesh.
Who says you can’t squeeze a workout in just because your local gym is closed? Check out apps like Dailyburn and Fitness Blender, which offer a wide variety of workout videos, from challenging HIIT classes to strength training sessions. Or, you can scour YouTube for free classes.
3. Have a candy tasting.
Satisfying your sweet tooth is a foolproof way to survive isolation. Stock up on different colors of Starbursts, Gummi Bears or Worms, Sour Straws, Hi-Chews, and whatever else you and your SO are craving — and then eat your way through the rainbow together.
4. Take personality tests.
Do you and your partner know your love languages, Myers-Briggs types, and Enneagram types? If not, consider getting to know each other better by taking one of the many online tests that are available (some of which are totally free). After you take the tests and share your results, you can look into podcasts or online resources that will offer additional insight into both of your “types.”
5. Go camping.
Channel your inner kid and build a fort out of blankets, pillows, and furniture (or set up a tent if you have one). Once you’re inside your cozy hideaway (with a batch of s’mores, of course), grab some flashlights and exchange spooky stories.
6. Get handy.
Now’s a great time to dive into that home improvement project you’ve been putting off (provided you can order the necessary supplies) — besides, painting a wall, installing shelving, or upgrading your light fixture can serve as an incredible bonding opportunity. Once you’ve completed the project together, reward yourselves with dinner delivery from your favorite local joint.
7. Make your own beer.
Rather than getting a six-pack of IPAs delivered, shop online for a beer-making kit. Make a day date out of concocting your own suds (which will taste so much better knowing you brewed them), and sip on the fruits of your labor while watching a flick or playing a board game.
8. Plan a future adventure.
Got a case of cabin fever? While taking a romantic getaway may not be realistic RN, you can totally start plotting your next trip so you have something to look forward to down the line. Create a Pinterest board with some inspiration for destinations and activities, and start researching hotels so that when jet-setting becomes feasible again, you can finally take the #baecation of your dreams.
9. Film your own baking show.
You and your SO could be one video away from becoming YouTube sensations. So, whip out your smartphone and film your experience trying out a brand new dessert recipe. At the very least, documenting this date will offer a nice dose of nostalgia down the line.
10. Watch a concert.
Even though live performances are currently canceled, you can still find a recording of your favorite band or solo act and recreate the experience (with the added bonus of no strangers spilling beer on you). Best of all, you can sing along as loud as you want to. Check out NPR’s Tiny Desk series, which features intimate video performances from such artists as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and the Jonas Brothers.
11. Have a couple’s casino night.
Bust out the cards and chips and make a few friendly wagers — and if you don’t want to place bets using real money, consider chores or fun personal favors to cash in on.
12. Plan a DIY paint night.
YouTube is a goldmine of free step-by-step painting classes, and you and your boo will no doubt have a blast working on your individual interpretations of the artwork — even if they don’t come out looking like masterpieces. Order supplies on Amazon, or just use whatever tools you already have at home. You can even swap paintings at the end to hang in your respective abodes.
13. Have an indoor picnic.
No bug spray required for this romantic indoor date — all you need is a towel or blanket, a basket or bin with nosh and libations, and perhaps a game or two to keep you occupied.
14. Plot out a scavenger hunt for each other.
Using sticky notes, write out clever clues that lead your partner to different locations around your home until they hunt down their thoughtful prize.
15. Start a two-person book club.
Listening to the same book together can prompt all kinds of inspiring discussions about your relationship, your goals, and your own life experiences. If you have a library card, you can try connecting your account to Hoopla, a digital service that boasts a vast selection of audiobooks.
16. Create your own mindfulness retreat.
There’s hardly a better time than now to focus on being present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Turn your home into a mini retreat for a day, complete with meditation and yoga sessions, mindfulness exercises, healthy eats, and a steady supply of hot tea.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support.
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