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Sex + Relationships

How to make a ‘lockdown date’ feel more like a real date

Living in lockdown with your partner feels like a strange mix between spending all of your time together, while simultaneously getting zero quality time together. A lot of us are desperate for a bit more excitement but feel there is no point in arranging a date together if it will feel the same as every other day. Despite these complications, it is still important to try and find time to do something special together when you can, for your mental health and the health of your relationship. While its certainly not perfect, here are some little things you can do to make a ‘lockdown date’ a little more special.

1. Put your phones aside 

I am definitely not the type of person to complain about technology, and I don’t believe phones are secretly ruining all of our relationships. Having said that, I have noticed throughout lockdown that my phone (and specifically social media) has played a big part in eating away my quality time with my partner. We’ll look forward to spending an evening together, and then next thing I know its midnight and I’ve spent 90% of the evening glued to my Tiktok fyp. If you’re arranging a lockdown date, it might be a good idea to keep your phones elsewhere, to ensure your attention is really focused on each other.

2. Do at least one thing together

Time spent with your partner while doing your own thing is great, but it might not make you feel as though you are connecting to each other. My partner and I spend a lot of time sat next to each other playing our own video games, and that is an ideal way to spend most evenings. For a date night, choose an activity for the evening that brings you two together, like cooking or baking, or playing a multiplayer game together.

woman being hugged while cooking
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

3. Choose an outfit specially

Lockdown has generally seen me reaching for the same comfy clothes everyday, and neither me nor my partner have a problem with that. It is, however, getting a little dull, as I normally love choosing outfits that I feel excited to wear. To make a date feel more like a ‘different’ occasion and not just the continuation of your everyday routine, try choosing an outfit specially. This could be a fancy dress/suit etc for an at home dinner date, or it could just be your normal ‘going to uni’ casual instead of your ‘daytime pyjamas’ casual. It doesn’t really matter how you look, as long as it helps to differentiate this as a special occasion and make you feel good. 

4. Do something you usually wouldn’t

Another way to differentiate this date from all the other time you are spending with each other is to do something you usually don’t do, something you can get excited for. If you’ve been cooking most of the time, order your favourite food. If takeaway isn’t your thing, try cooking a fancy 4 course meal together, or hop on the Tiktok rock, paper, scissors trend! You could even get each other a small gift, like flowers or chocolate.

5. Try to change your scenery (as much as possible)

This is a tricky one, but there are definitely a few things you can try. If you always eat in your bedroom, sit together and eat at the dining table. If that isn’t an option, you could try a picnic outside now the weather is warming up a bit. Even something as simple as opening the curtains or using some nice lighting can help to feel like this isn’t the same room you’ve been cooped up in for months. The biggest tip I have for this is to make sure your space is tidy, put everything away, tidy it up,wipe the surfaces and light a scented candle to make the room feel new. 

I’m a Global Governance masters student at Exeter Uni ! I studied history until last year, and spend most of my listening to true crime! I'm the current Sex and Relationships editor for our chapter!
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