It's an interesting time to be in a romantic relationship: If you've only just started seeing someone, you may be struggling with getting to know them better while not being able to interact face to face, and if you're in a committed relationship and not isolating together, one challenge may be keeping your connection and level of intimacy strong without being able to hang out in person. Regardless, your dates don't have to suck just because they're done over the phone or computer. In fact, with some creative virtual date ideas, you could actually get to know each other in a totally new way — even while social distancing.
As anyone who's ever been in a long distance relationship already knows, it can be tough to not get face time with someone you're romantically interested in — and that frustration can lead to misunderstanding, disappointment, and even the occasional argument. That, combined with the fact that you're both going through a traumatic situation in an uncertain time, can make things even harder. "It is so hard to want to be with your loved one during this traumatic time and to not be able to do so," says Dr. Paulette Sherman, psychologist, relationship coach, and host of, The Love Psychologist podcast. "There are many challenges. Some of them include lack of physical intimacy, lack of that person’s presence when you are afraid or sick, difficulties communicating, and the uncertainty of not knowing when this will end."
That said, you can also make this a time to uniquely connect, and experts like Dr. Sherman believe that with a little imagination you can even make your bond stronger. "You can get creative about new ways to connect and show the person you care," she says. "This could include FaceTiming, letter writing, creative acts like poetry and song writing, sending cards, etc." So want to make your next virtual date a little more interesting than just chatting over a cocktail? Ahead, find some of her suggestions for out-of-the-box ideas that will make the distance a little easier.
Read To Each Other
It's like your own private little book club: Reading to each other and sharing your thoughts about books or a poem will have you connecting on a whole new level, Dr. Sherman believes. Take turns choosing what you're going to read so you can both get a chance to learn more about each other's tastes.
Have A Digital Karaoke Session
You can still be totally playful even if you're both limited to your own homes, and karaoke is a perfect example. Dr. Sherman recommends this activity for your next date if you want to have a carefree, fun time where you get to see a different (sillier) side to your partner. You can also use this as an opportunity to get to know about each other's musical tastes — and perhaps even hidden talents!
Play A Game
Traditional board games may be harder to do over the phone or computer, but you can still incorporate the idea of play and even some lighthearted competition during your virtual dates. Dr. Sherman suggests collaboration on a crossword puzzle — which also forces the two of you to problem solve together — but you can also try card games or video games in which you play against one another.
Watch & Discuss A Movie
Another chance for the two of you to learn more about each other's tastes, watching different movies — and respectfully playing the roles of critics afterward — using tools like Netflix Party will give new couples something interesting to talk about and established ones an excuse to delve deeper into each other's interests.
Try A Little DIY
Use this time to teach each other something new. Make your next video chat a tutorial: Think cooking classes or drawing lessons. Consider the skills each of you have to offer the other — and let them shine. It's always attractive to see the person you're interested doing what they love and are passionate about and this way you can be a part of that.