One thing missing from a lot of long-distance relationships is variety in what you do together. As much as you might enjoy each other’s company, things can get stale really quickly when your date ideas are limited by devices.
Switching up your date ideas allows you to connect in multiple ways, which will help keep things moving forward (an incredibly important factor for any relationship, but especially for your long-distance one).
Keep things on track with these virtual date ideas that will help you grow as a couple.
1. Share a lazy Sunday brunch
Not much comes close to the bliss of waking up with the person you love (unless they stole the sheets in the middle of the night and left you feeling chilly – this is at least something you don’t have to deal with in a LDR 🙂 ) but you can at least recreate some of those lazy weekend vibes virtually.
For the couples who share a timezone, you can make an occasion of it by having a sleepy morning chat, cooking a proper breakfast together (or getting an Uber Eats) and sharing a coffee.
If you don’t share a timezone and your brunch time is their dinner time… well, there’s nothing wrong with evening pancakes.
2. Read to each other
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, sometimes you just want to hear their voice.
Reading aloud to each other is a surprisingly romantic thing to do. You could pick a book you always wanted to read and alternate chapters between you, or read poetry.
3. Visit your favourite nature spot and leave your mark
Do you and your love have a special nature spot, like a park or beach, in the place where you live? Perhaps it’s a spot that was special to you both before you went long-distance, or maybe it’s a place they haven’t seen before and which you can’t wait to show them?
Go there and create some memories by drawing your names in the sand (or a sweet message like ‘wish you were here’) or making some beautiful art, Andy Goldworthy-style, whilst you chat.
(Make sure you don’t do anything that would harm the environment, like carving your names into a tree – use chalk instead!)
4. Do an online escape room
Since the coronavirus lockdown, online escape rooms have been popping up all over the web, and whilst you won’t get the same jump-scares and satisfaction of tearing a room apart that the real-life version brings, you still get the satisfaction of solving a ticking-clock mystery together.
Whilst there are free ones out there, for the best experience you can go for one of the online experiences designed by those who make escape rooms IRL, such as:
The Panic Room Online – lots of different themed online escape rooms, including Sherlock Holmes, CSI and an enchanted forest, all for £15-£20.
Escape Live – 3 different 60 minute games (a little more expensive at £45).
5. Say hi to their friends and family
Why wait until you’re together to get your friends and family to meet your long-distance partner?
If you’re finding it difficult to get everyone together IRL, take the initiative and set up a group video call.
6. Draw each other’s portraits
Even if you’re not especially artsy, you can have fun drawing each other, and it’s a romantic thing to do (as well as a hilarious one, if you’re bad at it).
Afterwards, why not send it to them via snail mail, with a sweet message on the back?
7. A virtual movie night
An oldie but a goodie. If you’re totally stuck, just go for something one of you has seen before, or check reviews on Letterboxd (this is a great app you can use to make watchlists together).
Sync up your streams with the Kast app to avoid the hassle of trying to match your playback perfectly.
8. A ‘foods from your country’ taste test
If you’re living in two different countries, send your love a care package filled with candy (or other foods that will survive the journey) from your home country. Have them do the same. Then try them out together as you video chat.
If you live in the UK, feel free to send them some Marmite and tell them it’s chocolate spread (but then do also send them some chocolate spread to make up for it).*
*That’s not a dig at Marmite, by the way – I’m actually a huge fan 🙂
9. Teach each other a recipe
Each decide on a recipe you want to teach the other and get them to buy the ingredients… but don’t tell them what the recipe is until they’re about to make it!
If you feel less like cooking and more like drinking, you could also teach each other your favourite cocktail recipe – or make one up together and name it after yourselves.
10. Share family photos and tell their stories
Going through old family albums is a sweet way to get to know your partner better. Why not do it digitally?
Plenty of long-forgotten stories will come back to you as you do so, and it can be fun to share these with your partner. Contemplating the huge amount of lives lived and chance decisions that led to the two of you meeting will also give you a new appreciation of each other and of your love.
As well as family photos, you could also share pictures from your earlier years before you met (including that embarrassing yearbook photo).
11. A gym date
Only you will know whether your workout routine will also allow you to chat whilst you do it, but for low-intensity types of exercise, it can be good fun to ‘workout together’.
Just make sure that you don’t chat whilst doing something that requires all your concentration (like lifting heavy weights). Instead, you could do some yoga, jog / exercise bike together or push each other through those last few reps of bodyweight exercises. Or you could take an online fitness class together!
12. Have a romantic dinner and wine tasting
Dinner dates are regarded as the quintessential date night for good reason! Here’s how to make yours perfect.
13. Try to terrify each other
This is an excellent idea for a Halloween date! Do your best to scare your partner as you video chat. Some ideas:
- Tell scary stories
- Practice ‘jump scares’
- Watch horror movies together
14. Plan your dream trip
Planning and goal-setting can really take the sting out of being apart and having milestones to aim for also strengthens your connection as a couple with a future.
Setting small goals, such as taking a holiday together, is enormous fun, but it does require some ‘life admin’ such as booking flights or trains, deciding on a hotel/AirBNB/campsite and so on.
Why not grab some snacks, share your screens and get it all done at once during your Zoom, WhatsApp or Facetime call? You can even set up a Pinterest board of different things you want to do together, or use an app to create a schedule for your trip.
15. A ‘get your life together’ date
This might seem like a bit of an odd one, but I promise you it can actually be quite fun and very productive!
Do the dishes, hoover the carpet, put away your laundry, put that half-finished bookcase together – basically, get your space in order whilst you chat to your partner.
If the dishes have been piling up and you need an excuse to get your act together, this is a great way to hold each other accountable. You might even start to look forward to your cleaning marathons, if you get to chat with your honey at the same time.
(As always, make sure you do this safely. Don’t do anything you wouldn’t normally do whilst talking on the phone!)
16. Watch the sunset or sunrise with a glass of wine
Watching the sun rise or set is such a romantic thing to do, and there’s no need to miss out on this just because you’re in a long-distance relationship.
If you happen to live in timezones where the sunrise and sunset are synced at a certain time of year, don’t miss the opportunity!