Shuffling from the living room and bedroom, our lives in confinement have finally started to take its toll on our social life. We have sealed our days of isolation with eating, sleeping, and scrolling [repeat!]. Every social aspect of life has taken a backseat. Especially dating. Right? But who says it has to be that way? Who says social distancing should halt the fun of dating altogether? Nobody!
Tips On Dating While Social Distancing
We are social creatures who need relationships and intimacy – physical, emotional, or sexual – to lead a healthy mindful life. This zombie life can only go on a few days until we lose our mind. Because intimacy is a major part of our health that relaxes our minds and saves from crumbling under heightened stress. The COVID-19 outbreak restricts us from going out and is socially active, which is what we humans are basically made for. [Not you, introverts!] However, social distancing doesn’t completely restrict us from dating. Now popes the frequently asked question from people who voice their concerns about dating. “Dating while social distancing? How?”
Relax, it’s not impossible. When we think of a long-distance relationship, all our worries would be solely on lack of physical intimacy. How do you think couples in long-distance relationships successfully work it out by overcoming the trouble of lack of physical intimacy? By understanding and communicating with each other, which social distancing doesn’t restrict us from. All thanks to the virtual world, dating has never been easier! If you are pondering on tips on dating while social distancing, start scrolling!
Date Online – Make Use Of The Virtual World!
Have you watched the movie Five Feet Apart? In the movie, the couple is forced to keep a five feet distance from each other to stay alive and not get infected. The tearjerker movie shows us how important it is to maintain the distance. But the distance doesn’t stop them from getting to know each other and having fun. Likewise, you have a whole digital world at your fingertips without having to put your relationship status on hold.
If you are single, you don’t have to pull at your hair thinking the world has ended for you. 2020 is the year that has already taken the dating world to another level by creating platforms for even the most introverted person to stay comfortable. If you are already in a committed relationship, stop picking your nails because you can make this work better! And if you are stuck on quarantine with your partner, I hope you come out of quarantine with a sane head and not a murder charge on your head.
All jokes apart, dating while social distancing is not as difficult as you picture it. With some effort from both sides, you can make the relationship healthy. To swim and not drown in the midst of all, read some tips on dating while social distancing to keep the relationship afloat.
Play Virtual Games Together
There are countless games you can play online that can help you kill the time you have. Thanks to the constantly changing technology, you can now play games online, together with your partner! You can either partner up and play with them or play against each other. Some games give you the advanced option of talking to each other while playing. There are numerous apps and websites out there to play virtual games together.
One such game is “House Party”, the face to face social network, in which you can video call and play games with your partner. Games include Trivia, Ellen DeGeneres-inspired Heads Up!, Quick Draw!, and Chips and Guac. It is available on Android, iOS, iPad, and macOS. Other time-killing virtual games are “Jackaroo”, a card game and “Yalla Ludo” in which you can play ludo with your partner and talk through the mic simultaneously, and many other games. Incredible, isn’t? How the virtual world makes us feel the presence of our loved ones even when they are not physically present!
Watch Movies and TV Shows Together
Pop a bowl of popcorn or grab a tub of icecream to watch movies or TV shows together with your partner. Plan movie nights and enjoy watching them by screaming at the screen during a scary scene or laugh together at a funny scene. There are chrome extensions such as Netflix Party, Meta stream, and Scener that allow you to watch movies and streaming media online with your partner. There are many quarantine-recommended movies and TV shows(1) you can binge-watch without interruption. You can watch TV together on FaceTime too.
How to set up Netflix Party(2): Go to Netflix’s website. Choose any movie or show you would like to watch and play the video. Click on the red “NP” icon next to the address bar to create your party. Then click “Start Party” to get the party started, and share the party URL to your partner to invite him to the party.
Plan Virtual Dates
Although you can’t physically go on dates, you can plan several virtual dates! Choose a time that will be perfect for both of you and video calls using different apps such as Zoom, Google Hangout, FaceTime, Skype instead of speaking on the phone. You will feel their presence more with video calls. Plan what you will be doing on the date. You can even surprise your partner by ordering his/her favorite food for them before the date(3).
Take as much effort you would take before going on a date. Choose the pretty dress that makes you confident and dress up for the occasion. You can have dinner together while video calling or you can cook dinner together. You can play games, play loud music and dance together, anything that is possible to do over a video call. Try not to scroll down your phone, just like how you would try not to when you are on a real date.
If your dating has just started, decide on a day and time to have a virtual first date. But if you are not comfortable with video calling just yet, talk to your partner about it. You can find other fun activities to do!
Cook Or Bake Favorite Recipes
Put your chef caps on ladies! There are so many easy but yummy recipes you can learn online. Search up different recipes and decide one recipe with a few ingredients that will be easy for both of you. So that you don’t have to worry about not having enough ingredients. There are easily accessible apps with recipes available for both iOS and Android. Or you can try persuading your grandmother to tell you her “magic recipe”. Pick a recipe, keep your phone in a good spot in the kitchen, and try to make it simultaneously. You can learn about each other’s tastes better while cooking together.
Cooking and baking can be both relaxing and fun but innately messy, all the while testing your patience. You can watch how your partner works under stress that a simple recipe brings, which takes not much effort. Sharing that intimacy will strengthen your relationship too.
Take Online Classes Together
Another fun thing to do is to find a common online class you can both join. Discuss things you both want to learn about and decide on one topic which you can join virtual classes for(4). This will give you something new to talk about and it will be something you both have in common! There are many topics available online. You can learn new skills, new languages, business classes, etc. Join virtual clubs or watch virtual events to spend some time together and have a discussion after.
You must have heard more often how to quarantine should be used to build new hobbies and productive habits. With the COIVD-19 outbreak, our health is a priority we should focus on. So why not build a workout hobby with your partner? You can video call and workout together and motivate each other to do more pushups and situps! You can find an online trainer or use the same workout apps or YouTube tutorials. Getting regular exercise routine will help you stay fit both physically and mentally(5).
Take A Walk Around The Neighborhood On Call
While social distancing, it’s important you stay 6 feet away from everyone outside. But having a stroll down your neighborhood is still on the table. Call your partner and go for a walk to the park near you, the fewer the people, the better. Put your phone away and use a pair of earbuds to talk to your partner. It will almost feel like you are walking beside them. It’s important that you take some time off the screen (6) to feel closer to your partner. Narrate your surroundings and the weather and how you feel. You will get some fresh air too.
Make Time For Each Other
It is easy to get distracted and lose track of time when you are living through isolated days. So, plan a specific time convenient to both of you to a phone call or video call each other [don’t forget to charge your device]. Put on some relaxing music and talk to each other about your day, your post-quarantine plans and what you both intend to do together [places to travel to, restaurants to try, concerts to go, etc], read to each other. Have some drinks and talk, just like how you would do when your partner is with you physically.
However, it is important to know that not everyone is on the phone 24/7 just because it’s quarantine. It is not either of your faults if you forget about the planned time because one of you must have got busy with something important, or slept through the time. Be patient and don’t get mad if your partner has a valid reason for missing the planned time. Talk it out and plan another time.
Flirt Through Texts
The best and easy way to romanticize your relationship? Flirting shamelessly!
Let your fingers move along the keypad with a few emojis to lure your partner into you. Relax and have some fun to heat the conversations. Even if you are texting a stranger from an online dating app, flirting is the single most effective way to build the chemistry. There are many apps you can meet and date people of your like and choice such as Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, OkCupid.
All of these apps have gained more downloads and an increase in daily conversations now. The odds of you finding the right partner in other isolated strangers is high right now. However, keep in mind that if you go to these apps when you are already in a negative space [lonely and bored], it might not be healthy for you.
Write Love Letters
Do you want to give your partner a hearty surprise? Write love letters to them. With texts and emails replacing the good old letters, get a little fancy and write long letters expressing your love for them. Take your inner Wordsworth out and be a romantic lover. You can write anything you want in there; write about your day, shared dreams and memories you are fond of, what you love about them, how much they mean to you.
Or you can write a short letter with a poem if you are not good with words. It’s not about the length of the letter, it is about the thought and effort of the action that will be dear to them. Imagine the surprised look on their face when there is an unexpected letter delivered to them by a mailman? And the way their fingers will be tingling with anticipation while tearing it open. Any unprompted gift is a sweet gesture.
Communicate With Each Other
Communication is the key to any successful relationship. It was always important, but now it has become essential. Talk about anything and everything because you have enough time to vent. You don’t have to talk only about coronavirus. There are a million things for you to start conversations on.
The quarantine will give enough time to communicate more to connect deeply on an emotional level and get to know each other. Build friendship, trust, and emotional dependency, reconnect with your distant partner, share values, and learn what they enjoy. You can also share memes through social media to laugh together.
Take Time For Yourself
Just because you are social distancing doesn’t mean that you need to communicate constantly. It might get exhausting after a few days. Yes, you are supposed to be interconnected, but there is no pressure to be with each other the whole time. Give space for each other and talk about boundaries for they must know. Do your things alone.
These tips on dating while social distancing could be your best decision on quarantine. Especially for introverts who are relieved for not having to leave the house and be socially active to lead a healthy relationship. The virtual world has only made things easier for them. Perhaps extroverts can learn one or two from introverts who are fluent in virtual dating.
- SoulFactors. @soul.factors. Best Netflix Series You Can Watch During Quarantine. [Online] Available at: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-G3uibJY2-/
- netflixparty.com. A new way to watch Netflix together. [Online] Available at: https://www.netflixparty.com/
- Nesweek. (2020). Dating Experts Advise How Couples Can Keep The Spark Going During Coronavirus Social Distancing And Home Isolation. [Online] Available at: https://www.newsweek.com/coronavirus-social-distancing-relationships-1494618
- Businessinsider.in. 6 places to take free and affordable classes online, on everything from programming to photography. [Online] Available at: https://www.businessinsider.in/careers/news/6-places-to-take-free-and-affordable-classes-online
- State of Victoria. (2020). Physical activity – it’s important. [Online] Available at:https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/physical-activity-its-important
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. (n.d). Tips to Reduce Screen Time. [Online] Available at:https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/reduce-screen-time/tips-to-reduce-screen-time.htm