lady standing in kitchen with laptop trying out virtual date ideas

Now that we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, life as we know it changed. Sheltering in place and social distancing are the new normal, and we’ve quickly grown accustomed to doing everything we’d normally do in person, remotely: going to work, catching up with friends and family, working out, going out for drinks, hosting book club, and more.

One of the biggest adjustments is trying to figure out what dating during coronavirus looks like.

The good news is it’s easier to form close connections to people right now. “You can develop an emotional bond more quickly with others when you go through a painful or adverse experience together,” Roxy Zarrabi, Psy.D., writes on Psychology Today. “Since many people may be more focused on seeking connections from others during this time, this can provide an opportunity to develop an emotional bond first with someone even if you can’t meet in real life yet.”

Dating during the pandemic is different, but it’s still very doable—and it’s easier to come up with virtual date ideas than you might think. With a little creativity, a video chat, and the ability to share your screen, you can still enjoy many of the things you’d normally do on dates during quarantine.

We’ll assume you already have the basics down, like watching a movie together. Whether you’re still in the early stages of getting to know someone or you’re quarantined away from your long-term partner, these virtual date ideas are a fun (and mostly free!) way to connect during coronavirus.

Top 5 Virtual Date Ideas To Really Connect

  1. Cook dinner together.

Preparing a meal with your partner is one of the most thoughtful ways to show them you care—even if you’re not physically together. Video chatting while you prepare and eat dinner together is a great alternative. Identify what makes you excited about cooking with a date, then find a way to do it virtually. 

Choose a dedicated day of the week that you cook, create a shared Pinterest board of recipe ideas, cook your way through a cookbook, or cook your way around the world. You could even challenge each other to a friendly competition, critique each other’s dishes, and award points for a job well done. 

  1. Go see a show.

Well, sort of. Watching a virtual performance together is not the same as seeing live music or theater. But artists have been very generous about sharing their crafts with us while we stay at home. BroadwayHD lets you stream your favorite Broadway shows like Cats, Kinky Boots, and The King and I from the comfort of your couch (and offers a free seven-day trial). 

The Metropolitan Opera is streaming free performances every night, and the Sydney Opera House is sharing content from their archives as well. Finally, you can sing along without getting shushed by fellow audience members. 

  1. Host game night.

Once upon a time, game night meant dusting off a deck of cards and gathering all of the board games you could find. These days, it’s about playing games with friends online. 

Jackbox Party Games is a fan favorite with dozens of games that will have you and your date rolling on the floor with laughter. Houseparty offers Heads Up!, Quick Draw (a Pictionary-style game), and trivia. Or, you can play free versions of popular games like Dominion and Catan

  1. Take a virtual tour.

If you’re feeling artsy, Google Arts & Culture offers virtual tours of museums all over the world, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

If you want to live like a royal for the night, the British Royal Family offers virtual tours of lavish royal homes. Or, if you miss long walks and nature, Google Earth offers a virtual tour of cherry blossoms around the world. Best of all? You don’t have to choose just one; you can take in dozens of iconic sights in one evening. 

  1. Take virtual happy hour to the next level.

By now, you’ve probably participated in many virtual happy hours with friends and dates. Instead of just chatting about the news, the weather, and the pandemic, this is an opportunity to make it extra fun and memorable. 

The New York State Brewers Association hosts informative nightly virtual happy hours with craft brewers from all over the state. Or, get creative and host a wine tasting. Describe your wines to each other and watch videos made by sommeliers to pick up a few tips. You might learn a lot!

It’s easy to get discouraged by the thought of virtual dating. Try to remember that the pandemic won’t last forever, and eventually, things will go back to normal. In the meantime, we hope these virtual date ideas encourage you to put yourself out there and keep connecting. Now, go get camera-ready and prepare to share your screen.

Elizabeth Entenman

Freelance Writer

Elizabeth is a freelance writer, editor, and advertising copywriter in Brooklyn. Right now, she’s probably somewhere Instagramming her dogs.