Quarantine placed a hold on candlelit dinners and late-night theatre dates, but the romance doesn’t have to be put on pause. Those of us in long-distance relationships know that despite the physical separation, setting aside specific times for our significant others for virtual date nights help keep the spark alive.
But when lengthy phone and video calls just aren’t cutting it anymore, don’t give up on the spice. You can still tap into every love language and allow yourself to get to know your partner in a way that you might not have imagined. As a bonus, most virtual dates will keep your wallet happier than that swanky sushi restaurant down the street with their set menu and themed cocktails.
Read on for some virtual date night inspirations that won’t break the bank!
Netflix (& Chill’d)
Timing your “press play” together no longer has to start your movie night. Hit your at-home theatre with the Netflix Party extension that syncs your Netflix accounts, so you can watch at the same time without continually pausing to keep up with your significant other. This extension is totally free and can be found for Chrome or Mac. If you want to watch your SO’s reaction to the movie, check out Scener, a hybrid between FaceTime and Netflix Party, but with any streaming service.
To make it more of a movie night, check out Ben & Jerry’s new Netflix and Chill’d flavor, which is packed with pretzels, peanut butter, and brownie bites— all the best theatre snacks!
If you’re a Spotify Premium subscriber, you have to try Spotify Sessions, released in May. With this feature, you can connect 2-5 listeners to the same music, playlist, or podcast. You have control of the session, too, so if you skip a song, it’ll skip for everyone connected.
Using Spotify’s collaborative feature, make a joint playlist with your partner. Then, set aside a time to go for a walk-around your respective neighborhoods and listen to your playlist together. If you’re feeling screen-drained, this is the perfect way to recharge and spend some quality quiet time with your lover.
Virtual Game Night
One blessing of quarantine is the plethora of virtual games that have become available across almost all platforms. While virtual game night may have been 8ball on iMessage before, there are now dozens of classic games available for couples to play together. Scrabble, Boggle, Yahtzee, UNO, Scattergories, and Monopoly, to name a few, can all be found on the App Store. Find their “play with friends” features and have a night of friendly (or heated) competition with your boo. If you’re eager for a double date, invite some friends and make it a couples’ night.
We’re Not Really Strangers
As the ultimate game of getting-to-know-you questions, We’re Not Really Strangers takes understanding your partner to a new level. This game has three types of questions: Perception, Connection, and Reflection. Play one level at a time or all at once. Just be prepared to smile, cry, laugh, and connect.
Pro-tip: If you finish the game and are eager for more, We’re Not Really Strangers releases expansion packs regularly. Some are free PDF versions and others are actual cards, like this Honest Dating Expansion Pack.
Sharing a meal is one of the most important aspects of any relationship, so don’t give up on it because of the distance. Take your romance online, find a recipe, and cook it over FaceTime or Zoom. (Check out some easy fall recipes here.) If you start at the same time, you should be able to eat together— save any mistakes. Pair this with a movie or game night, and you have the perfect lowkey date.