How do you overcome the separation of a long-distance relationship?
With all of the life-altering changes we’ve had to take on following the pandemic, one of the biggest we face is having to deal with being physically distanced from loved ones. This is yet another challenge in maintaining a healthy relationship.
Whether it be the rise of online dating, work opportunities taking us to new locations, or the need to quarantine, more of us are finding ourselves being separated from our partners for periods of time. Keeping your relationship healthy is tough enough when you are able to be together much of the time, but being apart for lengths of time adds additional strain.
The good news is that you can take some easy steps to keep things strong in a long-distance relationship!
Here are 7 virtual date night ideas to keep your relationship thriving:
#1: Get to Know Each Other Deeper with a Question and Answer Session
It doesn’t matter if it’s your first date or your hundredth, getting to know your partner better is the foundation of a strong relationship. Likes/dislikes, life goals, dogs or cats — the more you know about your partner, the better equipped you are to know what they need to be happy.
Ultimately, the key to a long and healthy relationship is communication. Asking questions and actively listening helps us not only learn more about our partners but also helps them feel validated and valued by us!
These feelings can be especially vital in long-distance settings where the ability to share a loving touch or embrace is absent. So set up a virtual date night and make a game of getting to know each other better!
Play Twenty Questions, Two Truths and a Lie, or Never Have I Ever. All of these offer opportunities to learn more about each other, no matter how long you’ve been together. If you struggle to come up with questions or want to make things more spontaneous, Team Building’s website has a random question generator you can use!
#2: Play Online Games Together
There’s nothing wrong with a little cooperation — or even a bit of friendly competition if that’s your style. There are so many ways to take game night into the virtual space, and all of them give you an opportunity for a fun date night!
Want to work together to solve a puzzle? Jigsaw Explorer has a bunch of online jigsaw puzzles that you can help piece together with their multiplayer mode. You can also take on the challenge of playing an escape room virtually to test your investigative skills.
If you want to compete for some bragging rights, you can play online Jeopardy! to see who’s best at putting their answers in the form of a question. You could also fire up any of the Jackbox Games for trivia with a funny twist in You Don’t Know Jack or put your art skills to the test with Drawful.
If you both have gaming consoles, board and card games such as Trivial Pursuit, Monopoly, Uno, and more are available on Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo storefronts and offer in-game chat options, too. You can go even further and play games like Fortnite or Destiny if you’d like!
If you and your date like to leave it all out on the floor, you can dance it out with a game like Just Dance or have a virtual dance party by trying out the latest viral dance craze from TikTok. Or if dancing isn’t your thing, go to YouTube, search for a lyric video of a favorite song, and do virtual karaoke.
#3: Have a Romantic Dinner Together
You may be thinking, How do we have dinner together if we’re in a long-distance relationship? There are a couple of great and simple ways to make this happen, even if you’re miles apart!
Remember a little bit ago when we were talking about playing Twenty Questions? Well, we hope you asked each other about some of your favorite foods and that you took notes.
A great way to dine together virtually is to order each other meals and have them delivered at the same time via DoorDash or UberEats, then dine together while on FaceTime or Zoom. (This is obviously a tip for those couples that have been together long enough to know each other’s addresses, of course.)
You can also make the date even better by getting dressed up as if you were joining each other in person for a night out, and maybe even light a romantic candle or two and fire up a love songs playlist from Pandora or Spotify to complete the ambiance.
If having dinner delivered isn’t an option, you can step it up a notch and cook a meal together.
There are a lot of online cooking courses available that can walk you both through preparing your date night meals. And if you already know your way around the kitchen, you can find a recipe online and cook that together, instead. You can even take videos and pictures of your preparations and upload them to a shared online folder to keep those memories together!
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#4: Send a Care Package
A great and easy way to keep your significant other feeling loved while being separated is by sending them a good old-fashioned care package.
Receiving a box full of some of your favorite goodies brings a smile to the face of the recipient and makes them feel cared for. It shows that you were paying attention when they mentioned what some of their favorite things are and that you thought enough to ensure they had them.
Pick up some of your partner’s favorite candies or snacks and a box of microwave popcorn (you’ll see why in a bit!), a little stuffed animal or your favorite t-shirt or hoodie that they always seem to wind up wearing whenever you’re together can help them feel closer to you, and above all, a hand-written note or card on top where you tell them how much you miss and care for them.
You can also turn the care package opening into an event by hopping on a video call before they dig into the contents so you can see their reaction.
#5: Go to the Movies Virtually
Being separated shouldn’t prevent you from having a movie night. With all the options available for streaming services, having a movie night is easy, and the snacks are cheaper, too!
The Teleparty browser extension lets you sync up your movie or show of choice from Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, and more. When you both play a movie through the extension, you don’t have to worry about hitting “play” at the same time or buffer/lag ruining the experience because it handles syncing the video for you.
Take some time to prepare ahead of time, though. Have a plan for what you want to watch. You don’t want to squander away precious time together by scrolling through menus and trying to pick out something you both agree on. Surprise them by watching their favorite rom-com or share a movie that holds special meaning for you.
Remember that care package you sent your partner? Here’s where it really pays off.
Put some of that popcorn in the microwave, grab that candy, and settle in to watch the show together. If you watch one of their favorites, ask them what they like about it after the show’s over. If you shared one of yours, let them know what makes it hold a special place in your heart.
#6: Visit a Museum Online
With the challenges presented by the pandemic, many museums shifted into the online realm and created virtual tour experiences to enable people to continue visiting and experiencing what they had to offer.
If you’re both art lovers, the Louvre’s extensive online tours offer 360° panoramic views of their exhibition halls to offer a truly immersive experience. Even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offers virtual tours if that’s more to your interest.
You can even enhance your online museum date by mixing in a scavenger hunt to add some fun! Family Trip Guides has a free universal scavenger hunt for any museum that can be used for virtual tours, too.
#7: Show and Tell with Digital House Hunting
It’s fun to look at houses and think about what you’d do in designing a room or get ideas for what type of space you might want to live in in the future — it’s also another avenue to have a virtual date night.
Take a walk around your neighborhood — or a nearby one, for that matter — while on FaceTime with your partner. Check out and talk about houses you each like the look of or that might be on the market. Then, go to Zillow or Realtor and look up those houses (or any others, really!) and give each other presentations as though you were selling that home.
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Always Keep the Fire Stoked
No matter the distance between you and your partner, there are many ways to bridge the gap and have a fun, romantic date night. Whether it be a game night, watching a movie, or a nice dinner, you can still do virtually what you’d do on a night out together in person.
Beyond these simple ideas for virtual date nights, it’s important to focus on why you’re doing it: to keep your relationship connection strong. With that in mind, be present in your time together, eliminating distractions and engaging your partner in activities and discussions while actively listening to each other.
And make sure you compliment them if they dress up for an online dinner since that’s a significant effort to make, even if you might be eating in your living room. Remember that any time you get together is quality time.
Here’s to finding greatness in your long-distance relationship and continuing to grow your connection!
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