Shortly after Cecilia and I took the plunge to make dating each other our full-time jobs, Ceci flew to the other side of the world for graduate school. During the very beginning phase of our relationship, we were thrust into a long-distance situation. Long-distance is already stressful on a relationship, but long-distance on a brand new relationship is pretty daunting. So how did we make it through?
One big positive to being thrown into “long-distance” status is that we really had to work on communication. Communication was our entire relationship for a year. I like to joke that our relationship grew 10 years in that first year.
The other noteworthy positive to our long-distance status is that it forced us to be creative in our dating. We couldn’t just do the usual “long walk on the beach” or “dinner and a movie” dates. We had to think outside of the box.
We wanted to share some of the virtual date ideas that we came up with, in case you find yourself going long-distance for a while.
1. Cook dinner together
Decide on a recipe beforehand so that you can shop for the necessary ingredients. We suggest steak, potatoes, and salad. For a more challenging dish, try out an Indian Butter Chicken recipe with homemade naan bread. Set up your laptops, tablets, or whatever device you may be using and start cooking! The best part is the final judging to see how both recipes compare in taste (you would have to describe the taste to one another) and appearance. Sometimes the finished dishes look wildly different regardless of using the same recipes.
2. Become a mixologist for the night
Similar to the above idea, decide on a cocktail recipe beforehand so that you can both shop for the necessary ingredients. When you are back at home, recreate the recipe and enjoy it with one another. A spin on this idea is for the two “mixologists” to create their own craft cocktail recipes using two theme ingredients. Let’s say the key ingredients are vodka and rosemary sprigs. What kind of crafty cocktail can you each come up with? Rosemary infused vodka martini with a splash of pomegranate? How about champagne spritzer garnished with sugar-frosted rosemary?
3. Order each other fast food
Utilizing companies like GrubHub (in the USA) or Hungry House (if you are in the UK) order each other a nice meal to be delivered to their door. Either pick a theme or just completely surprise each other when it shows up at their door. This is an excellent opportunity to try something new and support a small business.
Related Content: “10 Indoor Adventure dates for you and your Bae on a Rainy Day”
5. Watch a movie together
Thanks to the wonderful world of streaming videos, you can now watch the same version of a movie simultaneously anywhere in the world. Better yet, with video chat on your laptop, you can watch a movie and see your significant other in a separate bubble on the same exact screen. This way you can catch the other snoozing off during Sleepless in Seattle, or you can watch them jump out of their seats during Scream.
There are a million and one ways to set this virtual date up however the method we went with is Skype and Netflix. Step one is to start your video chat and make it split-screen. On the second half of the screen, pull up Netflix. Select your movie and on the count of three, simultaneously press play.
6. Take a yoga class together
Similar to the example above, step one is to start your video chat and make it split-screen. On the second half of the screen, pull up Youtube. Select your yoga video (we suggest Yoga With Adriene), and on the count of three, simultaneously press play. As an alternative, if one of you already knows yoga you can lead the other through a session without the video.
7. Send a date crate
Grab a box and fill it with all sorts of items that you would need for your long-distance date, for example, wine, popcorn, a DVD, a recipe, etc. When it is ready, simply drop it off for delivery. Make sure you buy duplicates so that you have all the supplies too! If you want to delegate the date crate responsibilities to someone else, Crated with Love is a great husband and wife company that creates unique date in a box gifts. Each date box includes activities that help you laugh together, but they are also built on strategies to increase your bond and build a stronger relationship.
8. Play an online game
There are all kinds of websites that let you play multiplayer games online. Yahoo Games has hundreds of games to choose from including old-school favorites like Scrabble and Jeopardy. If you want to go a bit more modern and don’t mind forking over a little bit of cash, you can download Tabletop Simulator on Steam and play board game favorites like Dungeons and Dragons or Code Names.
9. Create lists
Cecilia loves lists! One of our first virtual dates was to create an “Adventure Couple” bucket list using Trello, a collaborative app for organizing projects. We each added different destinations and activities we wanted to experience in our lifetime. Another idea is to create an account with Pinterest to build your lists…and while you’re there you might as well go ahead and follow the Lovicarious Pinterest account. (Shameless plug.) If bucket lists aren’t your thing, maybe consider dates you would like to go on next time you are near each other, things you are grateful for or your favorite quotes.
10. Map out your relationship story
If one or both of you are terrible at remembering details than this is a great idea for you. Use some sort of note-taking software like Evernote or Google Keep to outline your love story. When and where you first met, the first kiss story, the time you meet each other’s families for the first time, etc.
11. Have a virtual fashion show
Choose a theme for each round, for example, swimwear, workout ready, date night, country, Halloween, tacky wear, sexy wear, etc. Turn on the camera and take turns strutting your stuff. Don’t forget the sassy runway walk.
12. Make crafts for one another
Create a craft with the materials you already have lying around (ie paper, popsicle sticks, jars, bottle caps, etc.). A few simple ideas include bottle cap mosaics, do-it-yourself stamps, and toilet paper roll animals. Another option is to purchase a craft kit online such as this Home Brewing Beer kit, Hand-crafted Soap kit, and Soy Candle Making Kit. You can normally find complete kits to create paintings, iron-on t-shirts, stuffed animals, and more. Work on the craft together over video chat and then send your final product to one another as a present.
13. Play the “Guess where” game
This game is played when you are out and about as opposed to in front of your computer. Send pictures back and forth to each other giving clues as to where you might be. Let the other guess. This game works out well if you are living in an urban university campus as Cecilia did at the time. With everything so close together you can easily walk from one place to another in a few steps.
4. Try your hand at Origami
Origami is the Japanese art of paper-folding. No cutting, gluing, or taping is required making this a minimal setup/clean up type of date. While paper-folding itself sounds simple, it can be very intricate and complicated depending on which design you choose. Speaking from experience, this can be a new bonding experience as you mutually yell out your folding frustrations over the phone. While the end product may look much nicer with real origami paper, feel free to make do with whatever paper you can find including wrapping paper, newspaper, or even printer paper.
14. House hunt
Even if you are nowhere near close to that stage in your relationship, fantasizing about your dream house can be fun. Pick a location anywhere in the world: southern France, the Swiss Alps, Maldives, etc. How about an enchanting cottage in Cordes Sur Ciel? A beachside bungalow in Zanzibar? How about a secluded cabin in the Appalachian or a billion-dollar mansion in Beverly Hills? Most online realtor listings have photos so that you can explore the home as if you were there in person.
15. Send each other hand written letters
If you are in a long-distance relationship with one another, it is likely that you are writing each other letters. Here is a little spin to add some intimacy to the activity. 1.) After writing your letters, hop onto video chat and read your message to one another. Option 2.) Send each other your letters, when they arrive hop onto video chat and read your loved one’s messages allowed to each other. This added bit of intimacy to an everyday gesture can make for a memorable virtual date.
16. Take a virtual class together
There are countless online classes available offered in a number of different topics: “French for Lovers, Phone Photography, Practicing mindfulness, Aquaponics Gardening, CPR and First Aid, etc. Coursera has just under 4,000 online courses, many of which are free, so start searching and take up a new skill together.
17. Have a book club night
Decide on a book to read together, perhaps a romantic novel, a literary classic, or an autobiography of someone you both admire. On your virtual date, discuss your thoughts and reactions. If you need a bit more structure to your literary critique, you can often find discussion guides online to provide some structure to your virtual book club night.
18. Test how well you know each other
Whether you have been together for 6 months or 6 years, it is likely that there are a few facts about your partner that you don’t know. Take a relationship test to measure how well you know one another and then compare answers. The Gottman Institute has a great interactive quiz, but if you are looking to pick and choose your own questions Luvze has a long list of “how well do you know me” type questions.
19. Play Charades or Pictionary
Playing virtual charades or Pictionary is a high energy and interactive way to spend your long-distance date night. Use an online word generator, like the one found on The Game Gal, to feed you words for your game.
20. Enlist the help of a roommate to create a scavenger hunt for each other
This date requires an assistant to help you plot all the clues around the house. Once clues are in place, have your significant other video chat you from their phone as they follow the clues to a final destination.
21. Take a virtual vacation
Guess what. You no longer need a plane ticket to watch baby pandas at the San Diego zoo or wonder at the artwork within the Louvre. Virtual tours and live cameras allow visitors to peek into destinations all over the world without ever having to leave your home.
22. Play Truth or Dare
Truth or Dare was that game you played back in high school when you wanted to flirt with someone. Well, it is still a good flirting tool regardless of how old you are. Thought Catalog has a great list of Truth or Dare questions to get you started. Be warned, while we encourage you to get a little saucy with it, never do anything scandalous on camera that you wouldn’t want accidentally captured online. There are hackers out there who are eager to do bad things with embarrassing content. Don’t make their jobs easy. Practice good online judgment.
While you are here, you may also be interested in “10 Indoor Adventure dates for you and your Bae on a Rainy Day”.
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