I’m an analog hopeless romantic in an online dating world. I openly favor face-to-face instead of Facetime, hashing it out instead of hashtagging, and talking on the phone instead of staring at it, but the rules have changed, so I’m adapting as we all should.
Since getting on the apps last summer, I had sprees of six-date weekends followed by weeks of self-declared social distancing. This is not dissimilar to my pre-digital love life–I was lucky to have loved deeply twice for a combined 11 years, and follow that with a treasure trove of hilarities in sporadic singledom.
In light of recent events, or, now, lack thereof, solitude is no longer a choice, and honestly, this can be the start of an awesome silver lining. Coronavirus Disease 2019, a.k.a. COVID-19, is changing the landscape for love and language. While some are happy to rely on sexting and flirty wordies, others feel restricted they can’t get physical, all in the name of preventing community spread.
Well, I’m no chemist, but I have solutions! Here are my top 10 virtual dates so you can get down digitally with a little help from my analog friends. Have fun, be safe, and get wild, creatively wild. The possibilities are virtually endless. #seewhatididthere
Minimum requirements | text (📝), talk (🔊), video (📹)
- Netflix and Chill 🔊
- Have a watch party of a movie you both love and create your own commentary. When your Youtube channel blows up, you’ll have a story for the grandkids.
- What do you bring to a picnic? 📹
- Discuss the five items that make up your perfect picnic basket, and grocery shop with their list. Then, dine a day in your date’s shoes, one bite at a time. Not only will they think, “I’ll have what they’re having;” they’ll wish they were there with you.
- Safe Fun 📹
- Exchange Instagram stories using the conversational filters; it breaks the ice and may pave the way to deeper understanding. Feel safer knowing it’s not live while confirming you’re not getting catfished. Lucky for you, I have a list of a lot of them. Seriously, like… a lot.
- Sound the Alarm… Clocks 🔊
- Set YOUR alarm clock so you can wake up the other person up, so not only will they be pleasantly stirred from their slumber, but you’ll get to see or hear what your forever feels like. And no, you cannot wake up early to put your face on before they call. Come on, people.
- Talk about TED 🔊
- No, not about Mosbey the Architect. For the intellectual high, select a few TED Talks to watch and see where that leads you. If nothing else, you’ll learn something new about the world and yourselves.
- Video Games 📝
- If you weren’t a gamer before, it wouldn’t hurt to try being one now. It’s cheap, fast, and easy just like how I like my banh mi. If you’re competitive, this will be a true and fun test.
- Storybuilding 📝
- Start a story via text or email by sending one sentence/paragraph at a time, letting the other person take it wherever with their paragraph. Maybe it’ll become the next Harry Potter. Probably not, but who knows?
- Open Bar 📹
- Crack open a beer or pour yourself a whiskey neat and have a drink with one another via video. Share stories behind how you amassed your collection, or the first time you had a certain cocktail, or why you don’t drink. The topics are bottomless like your mimosa.
- Karaoke Time 🔊
- Sure, you can download Smule (no, I’m not sponsored, but can be convinced), or just video one another, pick your go-tos and whale away. My friends reading this should know a Karaoke Hangout is pending.
- Iron Chef 📹
- Can you already tell I like food? Find a recipe you both would like and cook it together. Set a time limit, and have a rubric ready to judge on presentation while you argue adorably over whose tastes better.
- Teach Me Something 📹
- Select a teachable talent, and teach one another something new. It can be tangible like guitar chords, or cultural trivia from your heritage. Accepting help allows us to feel vulnerable, and helping someone feels great. You’ll start feeling close in no time!
- Go Virtual… Literally 🔊
- If you’re lucky enough to each own a set, play a game together. The haptic feedback along with your other senses will do wonders until you can perform your own wonders… literally.