Written By: Eleanor Pratt
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every aspect of our lives, but one of the more overlooked issues has been how exactly one is supposed to navigate dating during these so-called “unprecedented times.” Ever-present rules and regulations about face masks and social distancing can make dating feel anywhere from a hassle to completely hopeless. However, while our new reality can be frustrating there are still some fun and innovative things you can do with your significant other.
For those of us who have been stuck inside alone during the pandemic, enjoying the outdoors with your date can be a great way to spend time with each other. Plus, the majority of health experts agree that outdoor social activities carry far less risk than indoor ones as long as some precautions are taken. A socially distant picnic in a nice shady area can be a fun, relaxing date. If you are in the mood for something more athletic, a weekend hike might be the right way to go. For night owls, laying blankets out and stargazing together on a clear night is a great way to wind down after a stressful day. Downloading a stargazing app like Star Walk or Sky View Lite to find out what exactly you are looking at can make the date even more fun.
If you and your significant other are not quite ready to say goodbye to summer yet, a beach date may be the best option. Myrtle Point Park in California, Maryland is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. to both St. Mary’s County and non-county residents, and the park simply asks that visitors practice social distancing while there. About fifteen minutes away from St. Mary’s College of Maryland you can find the beach at Point Lookout State Park. The park is currently open from 7 a.m. to sunset, and the park just asks that visitors respect social distancing guidelines and crowd size restrictions.
If you and your date are more comfortable keeping your interactions virtual, there are still plenty of fun date ideas. The app Netflix Party allows users to sync their movies or tv shows and watch at the same time. Watch Netflix on one screen, and video chat with your date on the other so you can have the full experience of a movie date without any risk. For those who want something more traditional, nothing can beat an old-fashioned dinner date. Order–or make–some food and call your significant other over Zoom or FaceTime while you both eat. It may not be the same as being with them in person, but after a while of chatting and getting to know each other better you will barely notice a difference.
Dating during COVID-19 can seem like it might not be worth all the effort, but being creative with your outdoor or virtual dates can make things fun again. Respect each other’s boundaries and be up front about what each of you are comfortable with in regards to the pandemic. This will help there be no confusion or hurt feelings in the long run, and more time for just enjoying each other’s company.