The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges that couples never thought they would have to face. Working from home, supervising online learning for the kids, and more unexpected responsibilities undoubtedly take their toll.

The pressure is enough to send any couple into a frenzy!

Of course, you knew before the coronavirus hit that date night was vital to keep the spark alive in a relationship. But is that even realistic now?

The answer is yes!

Date night is even more crucial now than it was before all this started. You need to have the time to unwind with your partner and to focus on each other.

Here are five ideas you can use for quarantine date nights.

1. Connect Over a Meal

Forget the box of mac n’ cheese and canned ham for dinner. Instead, you can take advantage of this time by eating your best meals ever!

Food has always been a way for people to connect and build relationships. Most likely, one of your first dates was at a restaurant or somehow involved sharing food.

Now, take quarantine date night to the next level by preparing tasty, healthy, and fresh meals together. The best part is that you don’t have to be a world-class chef to do so. For example:

  • Use a pressure cooker for preparing rice or cooking meat.
  • Grill outside.
  • Bake in the oven.
  • Prepare dinner from a meal-prep kit.

Plus, when you sit down to eat, use the fancy flatware, dishes, and napkins. If you have a deck, backyard, or other outdoor space, take advantage of it. Play music in the background. Go all out!

2. Learn Something New Together

Often, date night before the quarantine involved going to a workshop or taking a lesson together. You can still do the same now for quarantine date nights.

One idea is signing up for virtual music lessons together. This approach allows you both to learn an instrument together and have a shared experience. It’s fun to do, but there’s something more essential, as well. Those shared experiences are what bring couples closer together.

3. Attend a Live-Stream Performance

Concerts and live theater are not possible right now. However, there are so many streaming options currently available.

Plan an evening where the two of you can sit down together to enjoy a previously recorded show. Or, hop on a live-stream to watch a musician or artist perform in real-time. Remember, these are not indulgences.

Being able to sit back, enjoy good music (and perhaps a glass of wine to boot!) is essential for staying grounded, connected, and balanced.

4. Do an At-Home Escape Room

Before the pandemic, the escape room was a novel way that couples could spend time together. It was also an opportunity for groups of friends to hang out and do something unique and out-of-the-box.

Of course, you can’t go to an escape room right now. However, there has been a growth of at-home escape room games that you can play in the comfort of your living room. Even better, get together with another couple via a video stream, and everyone plays the game together.

Not only are you spending time with your partner, but also maintaining essential connections with others, too.

5. Work Out Together

Finally, exercising together can be a fun activity. It serves several purposes, such as:

  • Staying as healthy as possible in case you do get sick
  • Releasing endorphins, which are vital for mood
  • Working out with your partner is another shared experience that you can have

When exercising, try to mix things up so that you don’t get stuck in a routine. Consider attending an online live-stream of a workout class together. Go ahead and brush off that exercise bike that has been gathering dust in the closet.

If you are starting to exercise again after a long absence, or have never worked out much before, take things slowly. Check-in with your physician or health-care provider (virtually, if possible) to ensure that that you are healthy enough to exercise.

The COVD-19 pandemic provides a unique opportunity for couples to get creative with how they approach quarantine date nights. However, this is also a very stressful time. That stress can and will affect your relationship if left unaddressed.

If you notice that you and your partner are struggling, don’t hesitate to reach out for support. Or, if you are in the NYC area, visit my page on couples counseling to learn more about how I can help.