Five virtual date ideas, or five ways to distract yourself from the fact that we’re in ANOTHER lockdown.

Monday, February 01

By Cerys McAdam

December 31st, 2019 marked the first case of coronavirus, and here we are just over a year later in lockdown 3.0 (if you're in England) touch starved, lonely and a bit bored. So, here are 5 date ideas (though not so romantic that you can't do them with your best friend, god knows I’d rather find out what kind of pizza topping I am at 3am with mine than with any guy I’m trying to impress)  with a pro/con list because I am a sucker for a good pro/ con list.

1. Have a Netflix marathon


Two words: Netflix party. Netflix party is a streaming extension that lets you watch TV shows or films at the same time as your friends. You simply share a link with them and then you can pause, play and rewind the show at the same time – there’s even a chat box so you can message your friend about how fit that one guy is without taking your eyes off him.

pros:

the fact that you share the exact same screen – you can pause, play, rewind etc and it does it on your friends screen too avoiding the awkward “press play after the count of three so we’re watching it at the same time” conversations.

cons:

you might not have Netflix! (but there are many other streaming alternatives available if that’s the case: Watch Party, Synch play and Metastream - I haven’t used any of these though so don’t come screaming at me if they aren’t very good).

It is also only available on a laptop, meaning you can’t get it on your phone (iPhone or android).

 

2. Play online games


There are thousands of games available to download at the click of a button. Think of a board game, type it into the app store and bam you can play and connect with pretty much anyone.

pros:

depending on the game, you can do this with someone even if you only have 5 minutes or, if it’s a game where you take turns (e.g., scrabble, Yahtzee) then you can do it throughout the day, as you watch your third Netflix original series of the day for example.

Multiple people can play these games, as well as just the two of you. There are games targeted for several people available to play (our family favourite being psych).

Its free, unless you choose to buy extra dice, extra points or a premium deck of cards then you can do this without a penny leaving your already fragile bank account.

cons:

this may end in an argument; I beat my dad at rummikub once and I heard him yell from 5 doors away before my door was burst open with a glare and a “rematch!” declaration. So, if you’re competitive or just a sore loser, maybe double check your internet connection works before you hit ‘join game’.

​​​​​​2.5 play games on video call


Don’t want to play any virtual board games but still want some friendly (or not-so-friendly) competition? Just video call and play the games you used to sit round and play at 13th birthday parties: charades, Pictionary, 20 questions.

pros:

you can play all these games with two or more people, making a cute game-night date or a fun family reunion.

cons:

see point 2, referencing sore losers and competitiveness.                                                                      

high risk of embarrassment in regards to your (lack of) art or acting skills.

 

3. Say screw it and do BuzzFeed quizzes

Buzzfeed is known, at least to me, as the world of quizzes: ‘The J names you pick will reveal which J-named ex of yours lives rent free in your head’, ‘we know where you’ll be living in 5 years based on the food you order from Bob Evans’, ‘say sexy or nah to these soups and we’ll guess your love language’, ‘everyone’s personality matches a pair of crocs – which ones are you’ and ‘pick your dream chair and we’ll tell you what colour you will be reincarnated as’. Okay, I made that last one up but the rest are true (I got a classic croc for all you wondering, do with that what you will). Regardless, they can be fun and stupid to do.

pros:

it saves you having to think of something else to do, and there are thousands of quizzes. 

cons:

your ego might be a bit hurt when you find out you are a classic croc and “basic. a bit boring. your favourite sauce is ketchup” pops up on your screen.

suggesting you want to know what kind of croc your boyfriend is might scare him off; but who wants a guy who scares easy, anyway?

 

4. Order them food and video chat about nonsense

sometimes it’s nice to dedicate an hour to just speaking to somebody. There’s no pressure to do anything, it’s just you, them and well, food. We live in the oh so wonderful world of take out so why not order their favourite to their house and sit and eat and chat – a little dinner date if you will.

pros:

if you don’t want to talk to them – you could also watch Netflix party (see number one) so there are alternatives in which you still get food.

You get food without cooking.

cons:

You need money for their takeout.

 

5. Have a treasure hunt

Regrettably, this idea is not mine. I saw some people do it on tiktok and it looked fun (and like one hell of a workout, running around your house trying to find something). The idea is that you each come prepared to a video call with a list of 10 (or however many you want) items for you and your partner, or whoever you're playing with, to find. For example: something from abroad, something that has green and blue on it, something that starts with the letter Z. 

pros:

You can play with however many people you like, for however long you like and it seems quite entertaining.

cons:

other people in the house might wonder why you're running around screaming "WHAT BEGINS WITH Z", and running up and down the stairs for an hour.

the other person could cheat and choose items they know are nearby, you could get a third person to come up with a list of items to stop this happening though.

 

Or you know, keep spending your entire wage on cheap clothing stores, how's that going for you?

stay safe.

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