No one could have predicted how COVID-19 would transform life as we know it and impact each of us in so many far-reaching ways. But, that’s not to say there’s nothing worth celebrating anymore. And, when things like anniversaries, graduations, promotions, and birthdays come up with your romantic partner, it’s important to commemorate those wins with special dates—even in quarantine. Doing so safely in 2020, though, requires some serious creativity.
Whether you’re in a new partnership or a long-term relationship, “it’s a lot harder to date while staying safe, but not impossible,” says intimacy coach and sex educator Alex Williams of Sexology Bae. And it’s super important to commit to doing so. Below, Williams offers 10 of the best quarantine date ideas for couples to safely celebrate milestones amid this new normal.
10 of the best quarantine date ideas for safely celebrating milestones.
1. Dinner and a movie
If this sounds like a basic way to celebrate, think a little harder. Even if restaurants are open where you live, Williams says finding the ingredients for a recipe that you and your partner will love and cooking it together can allow for a more intimate experience. Picking a meaningful movie—and explaining that meaning to your partner—to watch afterward might be the perfect cherry on top of this do-it-yourself date night.
2. Acts of service
While all the love languages are valuable, leaning into acts of service—that is, completing any number of tasks with your partner in mind—is a great way to help your partner feel special. Acts of service can include running a warm bath after you know your partner’s had a long day, making their favorite breakfast so they don’t have to dedicate the emotional labor to meal-prepping, or even just doing the laundry if they always do that chore. (Although, just a tip: If it’s a special occasion you’re celebrating, doing the laundry alone might land as a paltry way to commemorate it.) You might even create love “coupons” full of tasks you’ll complete that your partner can “cash in” whenever they want.
3. DIY paint-and-sip
Forget the public paint-and-sip events and take the D.I.Y. route. Not only will you save cash, but you can create an even more intimate setting in the comfort of your own living room. Just order a few paintbrushes, paint tubes, and canvases from your local craft store; your fave bottle of wine; a print or painting you’ll re-create; and you’ve got a thoughtful, creative, special-occasion-worthy date night covered. If you’d prefer the guided experience, plenty of painting classes are available to take digitally.
4. Make a treat together
Following a recipe and baking a dessert you’ve never made together could provide for the quality time you and your partner need at home. It requires collaboration, communication, and also provides a fun atmosphere for talking about their day, work, life, and dreams for the post-pandemic future.
Need an idea for what to bake together? Try this recipe for peanut butter bonbons. They’re as fun to make as their name is to say.
5. A picnic in the park
Wearing a mask, packing a picnic lunch, and heading to a scenic spot outdoors with a loved one could be a great way to get out for a couple of hours and enjoy time together while in a way that feels special, different, and still adheres to social distancing recommendations. If you and your partner live separately, this is a great option for making memories while being safe.
6. At-home DIY photoshoots
Settle on a theme, or go casual, and make memories that’ll last forever—even if they turn out super silly-looking and those memories are ones that make you laugh. All you need is a smartphone, a tripod, and a backdrop—maybe to an exotic location you planned to visit on vacation—to flex your novice photographer skills. And, pro tip: A glass of wine to loosen any shy nerves never hurt anyone before a photoshoot, either.
7. Hire a personal chef
If you’re not the absolute best in the kitchen, but you still want to celebrate a milestone with a romantic dinner, one of the best quarantine date ideas for you to consider is hiring a personal chef who can help to curate your meals in your kitchen. This creates an intimate, private experience that’s perfect for celebrating a birthday or an anniversary. Many personal chefs collaborate with clients to create dishes and desserts that’ll set the tone for perfect date night.
8. If you have to have a video date, dress the part
If you’re limited to Zoom dates for celebrating special occasions—whether because you’re in a long-distance relationship, a new relationship, or otherwise—making the event feel special might feel like an extra tall order. So, do what you can to make the video date feel like a real-deal special event. Dress up, wear perfume (even if only you can smell it), turn on music (make sure just one of you does this), set mood lighting, and maybe even send flowers to arrive around the time the date starts. Pull out all the stops, just as you would in person.
9. Homemade wine flight
Make a dinner-at-home date more special by incorporating a DIY wine flight. Grab a variety of wines and set up your own little samples on a tray for you and your partner to try. You can even create your own scoring sheets.
10. Living-room dancing class
Convenience along with social distancing has made virtual classes of all kinds more accessible this year, and this can make for one of the best quarantine date ideas. You and your partner can pick from a number of partnered dances—salsa, ballroom, tango, anything really. The intimate choreography and structure will allow you both to work together and make memories in the process.
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