Did you know that guidance on how to ‘get it on’ in a COVID-friendly way has been published online? All I can say is thank you to the Terrence Higgins Trust for giving us the answers to the most pressing of questions during these challenging times.
So, since THT have already got you covered in the bedroom department, I thought I would spare you my top tips on ‘taking that trip to pound town’ and instead focus on the romantic side of things rather than the physical (something I’m sure my dad at least will be relieved to read).
Creating romance among all these rules and restrictions isn’t easy, but if you and your partner commit some extra effort and creativity to date nights, quality time together can still feel special. These 15 ideas can all be carried out at home or in the great outdoors. Enjoy!
1. Dinner date
No pot noodles allowed! Choose a recipe you wouldn’t usually cook or prepare a full three course meal a la Come Dine With Me. Light some candles, put on a playlist and serve up your grub on the posh crockery usually reserved for Christmas Day. You don’t have to be a pro in the kitchen for this to be a success – atmosphere and company will make up for subpar culinary skills.
2. A long walk
Being outdoors is great for mental health. The fresh air and all those exercise endorphins can really boost your mood, so leave those mobile phones at home and head to your nearest scenic nature spot. The absence of any distractions makes this a great option for date night, allowing you and your partner to enjoy some uninterrupted and stress-free time together.
3. Film marathon
I know, not the most original of suggestions but there’s plenty of ways to make watching a film feel a bit more exciting.
- Write out different film titles on slips of paper and take it in turns to pick one out of a jar at random.
- Start working your way through a film bucket list.
- Add some fun cinema snacks – make some popcorn, a cheesy nachos platter or a pick ‘n’ mix featuring your favourite chocolate and sweets.
- Turn it into a drinking game – here’s one for the Potterheads out there.
4. Games night
Monopoly, Cluedo, Jenga, Trivial Pursuit… and let’s not forget the hours of fun that can be had with a deck of cards. Who doesn’t love an opportunity to get competitive? As a board game and trivia addict, I am always up for this type of date night, especially when Dobble is involved. If you are a notorious board game thrower like my sister however, you might be better off skipping this idea.
5. Alcohol tasting
Wine tasting is the obvious choice, but you could have a tasting evening with any alcohol you choose. Take the opportunity to sample a fancy range of gins or mix your own cocktails. If you are on a budget, opt for cider or beer tasting and try some of the local brews often found on supermarket shelves.
6. Start a new hobby
Maybe you’ve both always wanted to try yoga or learn a new language or get to grips with the basics of karate. Load up a YouTube ‘how to’ video and give it a go. I won’t lie to you, the chances of you becoming the next Bruce Lee from watching a few online tutorials are non-existent, but the failed attempts are always the funniest and most memorable anyway.
7. Watch the sunset
Glancing at it through your living room window while you keep one eye on The Chase doesn’t count. As with all the suggestions on this list, make a bigger deal of this than you usually would! Lay a picnic blanket out in the garden, wrap up warm and enjoy the view with a chilled glass of wine. Stay there until the moon appears.
Love is in the details. Like when they tell you about that time they helped an elderly woman cross the road or how they cry whenever they hear a certain song on the radio or how they’ve hated Wednesdays ever since they were a child, even though they no longer remember the reason why. Take it in turns to ask each other questions or download an app like Happy Couple to do the question thinking for you. Whether you’re on your third date or your third year of marriage, there’s always more to learn about someone.
9. Go camping
Campsites are still open (for now) so grab your tent and spend a night or two out in nature. If you are a bit of a princess like me, remember to pack pillows and a duvet for extra comfort and warmth. You could also check out my blog on caravan stays for a more comfortable alternative to the classic two-man tent.
10. Go to the beach
Who said beaches were only for sunny weather? If you haven’t witnessed the beach on a cool day with a brisk breeze, you are missing out. Listening to the waves as they lap the shore and breathing in the sea air leaves me feeling calm and relaxed yet invigorated at the same time. It’s an experience I would recommend to anyone.
I know I have suggested this activity in several of my blogs, but I just love watching the night sky. What could be more romantic than admiring the stars while you and your partner contemplate the vastness of space and the very meaning of life itself? Challenge each other to see who can correctly identify the most constellations.
12. Spa night
Time to get the massage oil out! Set the mood with some relaxing music or nature sounds. As well as giving your partner a massage, you could enjoy a bubble bath together and don a couple of face masks, depending on whether or not your partner feels comfortable enough in his own masculinity to pamper his skin. The skin is an organ, guys! No-one is going to think you’re gay for giving your face some extra TLC to keep it looking its best.
13. Cook or bake together
Although cooking for your partner is a nice romantic gesture, the reality is often that one person spends a lot of the evening cooking in the kitchen while the other either stands there awkwardly or relaxes in another room. Cooking together solves this issue, plus there’s something satisfying about working as a team to make something delicious. If you have a sweet tooth, why not try some baking instead? Banana bread is always a crowd pleaser and it’s hard to get wrong.
14. Virtual quiz
With the return of greater ‘rona restrictions comes the resurrection of the infamous virtual quiz. If the last lockdown didn’t put you off online quizzes for life, then this could be a fun way to spend an evening as a couple or competing against friends via Zoom. A quick search on Facebook or Google will give you a variety of virtual weekly quizzes to choose from.
15. Virtual escape room
You can now do escape rooms online. Admittedly they are a pale imitation of the real deal, but it’s definitely an experience worth giving a go. You might discover a new hobby!
There you have it, love birds! My 15 date night ideas for a pandemic. Have you had any memorable date nights since lockdown began in March? Which of the suggestions on my list will you be trying first? Let me know in the comments.