While celebrating Valentine’s Day isn’t compulsory, if you are used to celebrating, spending the day away from your loved one can be extremely difficult.
However, there are things you can do to make the day special even if you’re not physically together. From restaurant-ready meal kits to postable gifts, there are plenty of ways to mark Valentine’s from a distance, including having a virtual date night.
Not only is doing an activity together a great way to make things more fun (essential at a time when life is rarely exciting), it’s also a brilliant way to help you feel more connected with the person you’re dating – no matter what stage in the relationship you’re at.
So without further ado, here’s a list of virtual date ideas to give you some inspiration for your next Zoom session.
1. Recite to each other
Our favourite books, poems and quotes say a lot about us, so reciting out loud to one another is a meaningful and intimate way to reconnect when you’re spending time apart.
If you share a favourite book, why not take it in turns to read out a chapter? It may sound cheesy, but it’s a memorable activity and way to enjoy something you both love.
2. Get deep
If you’re feeling adventurous you could try playing We’re Not Really Strangers, a “purpose-driven” card game designed to help you build meaningful connections.
Each card you draw comes with a different question or prompt to guide the conversation – and with three levels of cards designed to help you grow closer with every round, the conversation is guaranteed to get deep. Quickly.
3. Arrange a virtual experience
If you want to make your date extra special, why not book a virtual experience?
4. Order each other dinner
If your local restaurants are still delivering takeaways, why not mix things up and order a meal for each other? Sure, you could just order your own food and eat it at the same time over FaceTime, but there’s something extra cute about ordering a meal for your date.
All you need to do is set a budget, pick a restaurant (or not, if you want a real surprise) and get ordering – bon appetit!
5. Play a board game
Playing a board game isn’t just a great way to keep you entertained, it also gives you time to talk about anything and everything while giving you something to focus on – perfect if you’re in the early stages of a relationship.
From Cluedo to Monopoly, there’s plenty to enjoy – check out our guide to the best board games which can be played online to find out more.
6. Escape together
Yep, online escape rooms really are a thing – and they’re a great way to feel closer to your partner from a distance (if, that is, you don’t end up arguing about who’s right).
Put your heads together and work out the clues to escape from the room of your choice – with themes ranging from Harry Potter to Grimms fairytales, there’s no shortage of fun challenges to take on.
7. Have a movie night
Thanks to the tech experts determined to make our lives easier under lockdown, there are now a number of ways to watch a film with your date (without that awkward manoeuvre of trying to click play at the same time).
Netflix Party is a chrome extension which enables you to watch any TV show or film on the streaming platform, and the BBC have launched their own service called BBC Together so you can stream something from iPlayer, too.
8. Cook a meal
If you’d prefer not to splash the cash on a takeaway date, why not have a go at cooking together?
Simply pick a recipe (it could be one neither of you have tried before if you want to set yourselves a challenge) and get started. If you’re looking for something special, plenty of restaurants have shared their most popular recipes so you can have some takeaway treats at home, or you could each try out a DIY meal kit if your want the full restaurant experience.
Not only do you then get to spend some quality time together and have a laugh when someone inevitably messes up, but your food will be ready at the exact same time, meaning you’ll be able to sit down and have a more conventional date afterwards.
9. Answer 36 questions
Dive straight into the deep end and put the science to the test by playing the 36 questions game. Based on a study by psychologist Arthur Aron (and others), the 36 questions are broken up into three sets and gradually get more personal. They were designed to test whether intimacy between two strangers can be accelerated when you ask personal questions.
If you’re feeling brave enough, why not give it a go? It’s all in the name of science, after all…
10. Try gaming
Let your competitive streak run rabid by playing online games alongside your partner.
If you’ve both got a gaming console like a Nintendo Switch, you could play a number of your favourite games in online mode including Animal Crossing (you can visit each other’s islands, it’s incredibly cute) and Mario Kart. And if not, download an app you both like the look of and jump on multiplayer mode.
11. Play pancakes vs waffles
We were confused about this one at first too, but bear with us.
Pancakes vs waffles is a game which allows you to find out more about the other person and have a laugh while doing it. It starts off pretty simple – player one poses the question “pancakes or waffles?” to the other player, who then has to choose one of the options. In the game’s universe, the other option now ceases to exist.
The game then continues with the chosen option, say waffles, versus a new object, say chips. The trajectory of the game is up to you: either stay light-hearted and debate the values of various foodstuffs or go deep and argue about whether education or policing is more important. It’s up to you!
Once you reach a point where the person is unable to choose, you can simply swap roles and play all over again.
12. Go for a walk together
Although holding hands and going for an evening stroll is no longer on the agenda, getting out of the house (within government guidelines, of course) and speaking over the phone is a great way to get the conversation flowing.
You could even take it in terms to narrate everything that’s going on around you.