The best ideas for pandemic dating online

Two cartoon people talking over video chat
11:02am, Fri 22 Jan 2021
CBAD8A00-D2B9-4E0E-ADDF-D0366C357A34 Created with sketchtool. E9A4AA46-7DC3-48B8-9CE2-D75274FB8967 Created with sketchtool. 65CCAE04-4748-4D0F-8696-A91D8EB3E7DC Created with sketchtool.

Navigating the world of dating is tricky enough without adding a global pandemic into the mix.

However, Covid-related restrictions don’t have to put your love life on hold. You can still swipe through apps to your heart’s content, and go on virtual dates to get to know someone a bit better.

If the idea of dating over FaceTime strikes fear into your heart, why not plan activities to do together? It will help break the ice, give you something to talk about if conversation lulls, or help you reconnect when you’re far apart.

Online dates have their perks – if things aren’t going quite to plan, you can easily log off and you don’t even have to catch the bus home.

The hashtag #PandemicDating has gone viral on Twitter, with people giving their best suggestions for virtual meet-ups suitable for new daters or long-distance relationships…

Order food at the same time

To make your Zoom dinner date feel more exciting and mysterious, why not order in food for each other? You can surprise the other person with a meal you think they’d like, organising for it to arrive on your doorsteps simultaneously.

If it’s a relatively new relationship, it’s worthwhile telling your date important info – like if you’re vegan or you really hate mushrooms…

Pick out music to play

If you’ve connected over music, why not use an evening to play each other your favourite songs? It’s a great way to get to know someone, and you can pretend you’re on Desert Island Discs when talking about each track.

Bake together

For a more active date, pick a recipe to follow along together. You can gather all the ingredients for your favourite cake, cookie or slice beforehand, and bake it at the same time over Zoom.

Don’t worry if you’re not much of a baker – if things go wrong you can laugh at it together. Plus, by the end of this date you’ll be rewarded with something sweet to eat.

Organise a mini book club

With a bit more time on our hands, many of us are falling back in love with reading. If this sounds like you, why not share it with your date? Pick a book to read – we recommend choosing something with a happy ending, this pandemic is hard enough as it is – and discuss your thoughts either when you’ve finished or at the end of each chapter.

One of the cheesier ideas on Twitter takes this a step further, and suggests reading out loud to each other. Who knows – you might enjoy the sound of your date’s voice more than Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter.

Watch a film together

Going to the movies is a classic date, and you can still recreate this at home when cinemas are closed. The Google Chrome extension Netflix Party allows you to stream TV shows and films at the same time – complete with a chatroom and video and voice apps in the background.

If that all seems a bit high tech, it works just as well to press play on a movie at the same time, messaging each other as it goes on.

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