Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Five Fun Long Distance Lockdown Date Ideas


“If the two halves of a couple are currently in separate households, ideally they should stay in those  households… for quite a significant period going forwards, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether one wishes to be permanently resident in another household.” This was Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, answer to a question on whether couples who lived apart could socialise under new restrictions. My heart sank when I heard her answer, not for us, but for the couples who are just starting out, who might still be showing their best side only, not daring to fart in front of the other and now their very new, shiny relationship is about to hit a mountain size road bump, completely out of their control.

 A Guest Post by Jade

We have been dating for three years, two years of that have been long distance and this has been the biggest challenge of our relationship. We met at university and life was easier when James lived downstairs and I lived on the top floor of our student accommodation. The below is a list of five ‘date’ ideas, to get you started in your new-found long-distance relationship or to try out if you’ve been doing it this way for as long as us. 

Online quizzes 

Quizzes are no longer solely a part of the pub scene; they have grown into a popular way to pass the time across the world. Zoom family quizzes and online classroom quizzes have become the ‘new normal’. On the surface it sounds almost too obvious, however, after three years together we realised we still have a lot to learn about each other after completing the ‘101 questions to ask on a first date’ by Metro News (which is honestly the first quiz that came up after a quick Google Search). 

 We thought there could be nothing new to discover about each other on there, however, when I asked him ‘What’s the best advice you were ever given?’ I was surprised to hear him repeat something I had told him early on and when he asked me ‘What’s the best present you ever got?’ he looked taken aback when I held up a small heart-shaped stone he had given me near the start of our relationship. 

 It had been refreshing for us to reflect on the good, the bad and the ugly of three years together. Also, some of the stories told during the quiz, we had never actually shared before, so we did end up learning from each other in a whole new way. 

Virtual Tours 

 The hardest part about any long-distance relationship, for us, is the sudden lack of shared experience between visits. The little moments like sharing a packet of Maltesers while waiting for the train home or laughing at a supposedly ‘trendy’ t-shirt in the shop window have just become non-existent for us.   

 That is why Virtual Tours have been an amazing way to reconnect over life’s silly little moments. We can’t just take the bus into town and visit M-Shed, but that doesn’t mean we can’t visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (virtually of course). Through this virtual tour and the magic of Skype’s screen sharing function, we could both be stood in the same room, at the same time discussing how majestically posed the dinosaur skeletons are. 

 I loved the camera’s zooming ability, which allowed us to read the signs and see the smaller details within the fossils- just like if we were really stood in the museum. It felt amazing to be able to claim back control of our dating life in this way and it was a cost-free way to visit this museum in America.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Virtual Tour  

Online movie/ Games night 

 Most people seem to be playing entire movies and either sharing the screen or hitting play at the same time and laughing almost in-sync at the funny moments. We prefer to send each other links of small comedy sketches and in return gain a simple pleasure that has been greatly missed these past months: Seeing each other laugh. 

 Watching my partner break out into an uncontrollable laugh during this bleak time and knowing I can still make him smile has been amazing. We often send each other funny images or videos over social media because, since I know he checks them in the morning- It’s a nice little way to make him smile even when I’m not there.

 We started to play an online game called Nidhogg when he lived downstairs and I lived upstairs. It was a simple duelling match, which got very competitive, very quickly but is something we like to occasionally let off steam with, although I’m not much of a gamer – challenging him to a sword fight has been a great way to take out my frustration on current circumstances. 

Project Show and Tell 

 I think most people have tried to frame second lock-down as being an ‘opportunity’ for something, whether it’s trying out the Kon Marie method or completing a few Art Sets that have sat gathering dust in the wardrobe since Christmas. I have shown my partner my cross-stitching penguin and he has shown me the games he has been developing while at University. 

 For me, cross-stitching gave me something to focus on and made me feel grateful for the time I now had to complete it. Showing my partner gave us a precious new thing to share and comment on, instead of opening skype and asking the same old ‘how was your weekend?’, ‘what’s the weather like there?’ etc. 

Planning the dates of tomorrow… today

 We are both really bad at planning… anything. It could be what we are having for dinner or where we are going next. We really struggle to plan anything but having this time has meant we can create a list of places we want to go, share pictures, and laugh at TripAdvisor reviews. We are choosing to take the time to really get excited for where we are going, not just to plan what we will do. 



 None of these will be anywhere near as good as seeing them in real life, but they will help to make the coming days easier. Nobody would volunteer to move 90% of their relationship to online experiences and phone calls but it’s what a lot of businesses and family members have had to do, so we must keep with the times too. It will be difficult but it will be worth it, don’t give up on dating because the government are making you choose between locking down together or apart- with a bit of creativity you can find the middle ground and get a bit of normality and control back in your lives too. 

Photo by Sheng Li on Unsplash
Photo by Maik Jonietz on Unsplash
Pinterest Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

1 comment

  1. A wonderful post some great ideas works well for parents who may struggle to get a babysitter but want to do something special x


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