Suffolk, UK

Dating in the Age of COVID: Socially Distanced Date Ideas That Won't Drag #AD

Lockdown has been pretty tough on romantic relationships, whether you’re immersed in the dating game or committed to a significant other. My fiancé and I found ourselves separated for three months during the height of the pandemic: I was at home on the farm in Suffolk while he was with his family over 300 miles away. We really missed our usual date nights and like many couples, we turned to virtual dating to spend quality time together. Although I missed my fiancé a great deal while we were apart, by getting creative with our socially distanced dates, we still got to make some great memories together. Today's post is dedicated my top three favourite virtual dating activities! 

Why date virtually?

Online dating is pretty ubiquitous these days - studies predict that by the year 2035, more people will meet their partner online than offline. This is hardly surprising given that sites such as are specifically designed to help connect you with your perfect match. Why put yourself through the horror of speed dating or an uncomfortable blind date when you can find other singles from your settee?! As well as getting that first introduction to a potential partner online, there are many positives to making your first date virtual too. 

lockdown dating virtual date ideas zoom

Virtual dating is way less expensive than the traditional dinner and a movie. Plus, by choosing an activity to participate in whilst on a video call, you avoid the awkwardness of trying to make conversation in a restaurant too. Virtual dates can really help you take the pressure off and feel less nervous - you can even sit at your computer in your pyjama bottoms during your date if you want to! For the established couple separated due to lockdown, the advantages of virtual dating are obvious - seeing my fiancé face to face on a video call was the best possible substitute for having him in the room. Here's how we kept our virtual dates fresh during our time apart:

Cooking Together

Whether you want to try out a new recipe together or just laugh at your significant other when they slop tomato sauce down their front, cooking together virtually is a really fun (and different!) date idea. All you need to do is choose a meal you’d both like to try, prop up your phone or computer in your kitchen, and each follow the recipe at the same time. If you'd like to add in a competitive edge, you could also set yourselves a cooking challenge! Whose soufflé will rise the best? There's only one way to find out! My fiancé enjoyed this so much that he also had a Come Dine With Me style cooking competition with his family during lockdown - his culinary skills have definitely improved! Perhaps you'll find a Gordon Ramsey of your own on a Hampshire dating site!

Tour a Museum

Did you know that on their very first date, Barack Obama took his wife Michelle to an art museum? If it's good enough for one of America's finest presidential couples, it's certainly good enough for me! A museum date might not seem feasible during lockdown but many cultural institutions are offering virtual tours of their galleries. For example, we visited the Prado Museum in Madrid via a YouTube video. All you need to do to follow in our footsteps is invite your beau to join you on Zoom, share your screen and enjoy the art together! This date is great fun if you already enjoy museum-going with an established significant other, but it's equally good if you're just getting to know someone. Hearing how they perceive art can give you an interesting insight into their perspective on life more generally. If your virtual museum date goes well, it naturally leads into a conversation about making travel plans to visit your museum of choice in real life once it's safe to do so!

Virtual Game Night

Like clapping for the NHS on Thursday nights and staring goggle-eyed at the TV while Tiger King unfolds, Zoom quizzes have become a staple of the UK lockdown. A quiz is something you could do with your date, but I find that these tend to work best when there are more than two people involved. Happily, there are plenty of other games that are ideal for dates. I especially loved playing Pictionary with my fiancé! You could use cards from a Pictionary set that you have at home for this, but we found that an online random word generator works just as well. We'd then use Zoom's built-in whiteboard function to attempt to create our drawings. The results are often hilarious - especially if your partner is as useless at drawing as mine! - and it's a brilliant ice breaker if you're just getting to know one another.

Have you been on any virtual dates during lockdown? Share what you've been up to in the comments!