It’s understandable people have gotten lonely after being cooped up at home for so long because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But social distancing doesn't have to mean complete and total isolation—especially if you've been struck by Cupid's arrow. Whether y’all were dating before all this began or you’re just getting to know your new #CoronavirusCrush, manage your loneliness and continue safe social distancing practices with some of these date ideas.   

Treat each other to takeout

Many people are opting into food delivery services as some restaurants are still waiting to open their dining rooms back up. So, put a pin on your typical dinner date and order in delivery from one of your favorite restaurants—we love Midtown BBQ and Pho & Crab. If you and your date have exchanged addresses, considering sending them a digital gift card (which many food delivery apps also offer), an option that you could give as token of your affection.

Become temporary pen pals

Why not send your date a letter? The anticipation of waiting to see what they say next could help pass the time, and you’d have something personal that a text or Tinder message just can’t compete with. You can even add something sweet to the envelope, like a recent doodle or a flyer hinting where you want to take them when it’s safe to do so. Alternatively, if you can’t wait for snail mail—or y’all aren’t at the “I know where you live” stage of your relationship—exchanging emails could accomplish a similar goal while keeping personal information, well, personal.

Video call your date

There is no shortage of apps and services that let people video chat from the comfort of their own home: FaceTime, Skype, Zoom, Instagram, Snapchat, and many more. But, being at home doesn’t mean you can’t still get dressed up and meet for a video date. Set some time aside, practice your ice breakers, and have a nice time getting to know each other. For added fun, bring some wine to really enhance the evening’s ambience.

Get some fresh air together

Parks and trails around the city have remained open, for the most part. Grab your masks, and meet up for a nice socially-distanced stroll. You get the benefit of in-person interaction and some exercise while also spending time (albeit six feet apart) with your date. Hermann Park, Buffalo Bayou Park, and many others offer wide open spaces where you can enjoy each other’s company safely away from other people.

Host a watch party

Some movie theaters are still closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have the classic “dinner and a movie” kind of night. Try Netflix Party, the popular Google Chrome extension that lets people watch shows and movies together, while also allowing for real-time chat between watchers. If you haven’t broken down and gotten a Netflix subscription yet—we admire you, really—why not have a Facebook watch party? You and your date could take turns queueing up videos you think the other would like and watch them together while chatting. This could be a very good opportunity to judge your date’s taste, or lack thereof, in movies.

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