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Can’t meet face to face? No problem! No need to put your dating life on pause with these dates you can do from far more than 6 feet apart.


So, you’re stuck at home for a semester, and a wrench has been thrown in your plans. Maybe you were expecting to see your partner at school. Maybe you’re just entering college and wanted to try dating. Maybe you were just excited to go out with friends. But the isolation of online learning doesn’t have to stop you from having fun with someone you care about. Below I’ve listed a few great date ideas that can be done from the comfort of both of your homes. 


movie night 


This first idea might be the most obvious: watch a movie or TV show together. Netflix Party is probably the most well-known service to sync what you’re watching, but there are other options, too: for example, Metastream allows you to watch things together on Hulu, Disney Plus, or any other website you may have. 


My recommendations for date night: On Netflix, The Half of It, Always Be my Maybe, and one of many hilarious comedy specials; on Hulu, I, Tonya and old episodes of SNL; and pretty much any movie on Disney Plus. 


get in the kitchen(s) together


If you’ve been spending a lot of time on TikTok or Instagram recently, you might have seen one of many cooking or baking trends currently circulating throughout the internet. And if you’re anything like me, you’ve saved all of those posts for later. Though you and your partner may not be able to share a kitchen right now, that doesn’t need to stop you! Find and agree on a recipe, hop on video chat, and enjoy the process of making your favorite treats. I highly recommend trying the Hilton Doubletree cookies. If you’re both already prolific bakers, having a virtual competition could be fun as well. 


get to know each other … a little too well 


What’s your partner’s happiest memory? When did they last cry? What’s the best thing about their mom? No matter if you’ve known someone for weeks or years, you can always get to know them more. The New York Times has a famous list of 36 questions that are meant to lead to love, and companies like We’re not Really Strangers and The Skin Deep have produced card games designed to help develop relationships. Go through some of these questions with your partner and enjoy the experience of being vulnerable together. 


(Psst… though the two card games listed above are certainly not free, some of the questions from We’re not Really Strangers can be found in this Quizlet folder: https://quizlet.com/sjwaring42/folders/were-not-really-strangers?x=1xqt&i=13mud4)


go somewhere you’ve always dreamed of going…virtually 


Where would your ideal date be? A museum in Spain? A legendary haunted mansion? Maybe Disneyland? Though of course, all these places are closed, over the last few months dozens of popular in-person attractions have developed ways to visit them online. Museums like The Met, the Guggenheim, and the British Museum all have virtual tours available, and so do other places like the Winchester Mystery House and even a few NASA space centers. And for Disney fans, a combination of Google Earth and ride-through videos can help recreate a little of the magic. 


see your faves “live”


Though almost every popular musician has been forced to cancel or postpone their upcoming tours, many of them have also done virtual performances. Look up some upcoming concert live streams, and if you can’t find any you’re interested in, a lot of past virtual shows have been saved somewhere for rewatching. It’s also a great way to discover new music. KEXP’s Youtube channel has a playlist of performances by artists like Mitski, Frankie Cosmos, and the Mountain Goats, and Global Citizen has a set of videos from their Together At Home series featuring Hozier, Jack Johnson, and other great artists. Interested in something a little different? Check out a virtual drag show! 


bonus: things to make and share 


This isn’t technically a date (though you could make it into one!). One of the best things about a relationship is sharing things you love with the person you care about. With your partner far away, gifts and other romantic gestures may seem a little difficult, but they’re absolutely not impossible! Put together playlists for each other, write and send love letters, or even keep a journal together — a physical one that gets mailed back and forth, or a virtual one (apps like Twig make this possible, as well as shared Google Drives). 


Virtual and long-distance dating may not be ideal, but they don’t have to be miserable. So Smithies, put yourselves out there, have fun, and remember — this isn’t forever. 

Sarah Waring is a first year and potential English major at Smith College! She can usually be found either writing poetry, planning tomorrow’s outfit, or picking up her Starbucks order (grande green tea latte with soy milk).
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