I’m sorry to inform you that the short feeling of freedom (or the closest you could get to it) you might have felt during the last few weeks has once again been jeopardised. This Monday, the UK government not only introduced its new three-tier coronavirus lockdown system but it also finished the week off by announcing that London had now been moved to Tier 2, meaning that us Londoners will not be allowed to mix with friends and potential crushes indoors anymore—be that in our own house or in a restaurant or pub.
What many took away from these new measures is that dating is about to get even harder than before. What do we have left, you ask? Well, it’s time to dust off your Zoom skills because we’re about to go full-on virtual dating again. To help you out a bit, here are a few tips on fun activities you could do while on a virtual date.
In normal times, you would probably meet your date in a restaurant or a bar, but just because 2020 definitely isn’t normal doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some tasty food together. Before your virtual date, ask your crush what kind of food they like and make sure you both pick the same recipe. Once you both have everything ready (if one ends up not having the right ingredients, your cooking night will end up too one-sided), connect for your virtual date on your phone or your computer while standing in your kitchen. Now, get cooking, have some wine, and try not making it a competition—pretend you’re both in the same kitchen just cooking some amazing cacio e pepe while sipping a glass of white wine. Bon appétit!
So, you can’t invite your date around your house, which means no bragging about your incredibly tall plant or your quirky collection of pastel furniture. What if you still could? Just turn this virtual date into a show-and-tell evening, take your date around your flat (virtually) and let them do the same. This could go both ways but uncertainty is what makes dates fun!
If, like me, you usually prefer meeting first dates in pubs instead of restaurants, just because it feels like less pressure and also because alcohol helps you relax in general, then a virtual cocktail night is the one for you. If you don’t drink, make mocktails! Find a fancy cocktail recipe online and see who can duplicate it the best—it’s a winning situation here, because who knows what the end results will taste like apart from you?
An obvious but classic one, the good old Netflix and chill. Pick a movie or a TV show you’d both like to watch, use Netflix’s ‘Netflix Party’ plug-in and press play. Easy peasy!
As you will have guessed by now, it wouldn’t be safe for you and your date to sleep together, at least not in real-life—if you’re considering a Zoom sex session instead, then I like your style. Whether you do have a bit of online fun beforehand or not, having a pillow talk moment on a virtual date could be a fun way to get to know each other. Get comfortable, set your phone or computer beside you and get talking. Dim your room’s light for an extra touch.
You could either paint something for your date while they do the same or have a craft contest using only recycled materials from your flat. The aim is to have fun, not to get too competitive. If one of you two has skills in a specific artistic area, then why not teach the other one? Think Ghost’s pottery scene but make it 2020 updated.
While this might not be everyone’s first choice for a virtual date, think back to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and how much fun we all had on Houseparty. I know we’ve all ditched it now that we’ve ended up in the same ‘room’ as our ex twice, but just give it another shot. You don’t really have much choice anyway.
Virtual dates don’t always have to be planned ahead of time or full of exciting activities—sometimes, a simple Zoom call where you can chat and enjoy a drink with your date is the best option. Enjoy the fact that you managed to date people, even during a pandemic. Well done you!