Socially distanced dates : Level 5 edition

How to make the most of your love life in the middle of a national lockdown

The time has come where the unthinkable, yet inevitable, has happened once again. With the country once more in a 6 week lockdown, it’s time to get creative with keeping romance alive. Whether it’s a first date or you live together and don’t want to spend six weeks just binging Netflix and baking banana bread, here are a couple of ideas to keep things exciting in the midst of all of this chaos. It’s time to take advantage of any and all opportunities for flirting and fun with socially distanced dates: national lockdown edition.

For when you don’t live together

Bob Ross Paint and Zoom

Choose your favourite Bob Ross video, share your screen on zoom, grab those crusty childhood watercolours and get to work on recreating a beautiful, calming landscape so different from the current political one. Not only is Bob Ross weirdly seductive, but it’s a great opportunity to try something fun with your date that you probably wouldn’t have time to do if it weren’t for this lockdown. Get cosy, pour a cup of tea, or wine if Paint and Sip takes your fancy, and get pensive over your masterpieces. It doesn’t matter if you’re no Van Gogh remember: mistakes are just happy accidents.

Distanced Dinner

Order their favourite food to their house and get them to do likewise. You can always call or facetime to share the meal together and there’ll be no arguments over what to get! It’ll be like an old timey dinner date but in your pyjamas and considerably cheaper and comfier. This would definitely work long distance too. This is a nice little treat for when things get overwhelming and you can’t see each other in person. 

Virtual Games

This idea takes “you got games on your phone?” to a whole new level. Choose your favourite video call platform and get to work planning a games night. You could definitely do this as a double or triple date to really get the party going. Personal favourites include Photo Roulette, an app that randomly takes a photo from a camera roll of a team member and everyone has to guess whose it is; not for the faint hearted. See also powerpoint parties, sporcle quizzes and Psych, another app that basically lets everyone roast each other and then pick the funniest answer. You’d be heartily surprised by the fun you can have on Facetime and the amount of games that you can play together as a couple or a group.

For when you live together 

The TikTok Walmart Challenge

With limited retailers open, you could do this one online or during your weekly grocery shop. This is a game of categories in which you could do all or just a couple to let your partner know that you’re thinking of them in this challenging time. The smaller and more thoughtful the gifts the better; you could give them all at once or space them out over a number of days to give you and your partner something to look forward to. Each person goes to the same shop and buys their partner 

  • Their favourite snack 
  • Their favourite drink 
  • Something in their favourite colour 
  • Something that reminds them of the other one 
  • Something they want them to try 
  • Something they need

Al Fresco Dining…In the park 

Surprise each other by cooking your favourite dinners, pop them in a flask and head out on a walk. It’ll be cold, but once the rain holds off, just wrap up warm and enjoy the change of scenery. It’s important to mix up your environment, avoid boredom as best as you can and explore the area around you, within 5km obviously. There aren’t many better feelings than cosying up on a park bench with some warm food prepared by your significant other. If you don’t fancy cooking a full blown meal, throw some coffee in a travel cup or grab a coffee from a local Irish coffee shop for the same impact. 

It’s important to mix up your environment, avoid boredom as best as you can and explore the area around you, within 5km obviously.” 

Themed days

This one may be just because I’m a sucker for gimmicks, but I love a themed dress up day. Decide Christmas is next Saturday and do the whole shebang, decorate a little bit and make a big roast dinner in your Christmas jumpers. Or you could have a full on pyjama day, build a fort in your living room and watch all of the romcoms your heart desires. Or get out the suits and ballgowns and buy a ridiculously expensive bottle of champagne that you drink in stiletto heels on your couch. Be silly and don’t take it too seriously, there’s nothing better to do so you may as well have a bit of fun and mix it up with your partner.

This too shall pass; for how long, we are unsure. One thing you can be sure of is how important it is to still make the time to have fun and enjoy your love life to the very best of your ability. This is a challenging time for any relationship, whether you live together or are unintentionally doing long distance yet again. All we can do is enjoy every day and every moment we have to be a bit silly. Try something new with your partner because what would you be doing anyway?

Kerry O'Sullivan

Kerry O'Sullivan is the sex and relationships editor of Trinity News 2020/21 and is a senior fresh student of middle eastern and european languages and cultures.