Having a long-distance relationship can be tough, especially when it comes to dates. If you're separated from your significant other, you can use online technology and a bit of creativity for some fun-filled "virtual dates."
Virtual First Date Ideas
Online dating apps are a popular way of meeting people. Sometimes you can't have the first date in person, perhaps because one person is traveling or on a military deployment, or just lives several hours away. Having an online first date doesn't have to be intimidating with a bit of planning and video conferencing software like Zoom or even Facebook Messenger.
1. Have a "20 Questions" Conversation
Come up with a set number of questions beforehand, perhaps with each of you responsible for thinking up half the questions. These should be designed as getting to know you questions like, "What was your childhood like" and "Describe what you do for a living." If you both know the questions prior to your meeting, you'll be less nervous and ready to get to know more about each other.
2. Take a Personality Test Together
There are many personality tests and quizzes available online that you can sit down and take together. Then you can discuss your results and how closely you feel they match your true personality. These tests can be fun, and illuminating, and will help you both learn about each other. Some possible tests you can take are the 16 Personalities test, the Emotional Intelligence test and the Enneagram. Or for fun, the Pottermore Sorting Hat and your Spirit Animal quizzes.
3. Have a "List Party"
Come up with some themes for top five or ten lists to get to know more about each other. Then each of you can take turns giving an item on your list in reverse order, so you both end at number one! For example, you could do "top ten movies you could watch over and over" or "top five people you'd want if stranded on a deserted island."
4. Plan an Ideal Vacation
Another great way to get to know someone is understanding what sort of places they want to visit. You could share screen and research different places where you'd like to take a trip and talk about why you want to go there. It's not only a chance to get know more about a person but also to learn about some new destinations you'd never known about before. And then someday you can both actually visit those places you talked about during your "first date" in person.
5. Show and Tell
Pick a few themes together for a "show and tell" session and then use your webcam or smartphone to show the items in question and then discuss what they are and why they're important to you. Themes could be your pets, mementos and keepsakes, artwork on your wall, a spot in your garden or even favorite pieces of clothing like your college sweatshirt or a beloved t-shirt.
6. Challenging Questions
A variation on the 20 questions theme is to ask some challenging, thought-provoking questions to really get to know what the other person is like. Try playing popular party games like "truth or dare" or "would you rather." You can either agree on the questions ahead of time or agree to surprise each other with some insightful questions designed to dig deep into your date's personality.
7. Make Dinner Together
Agree upon a recipe ahead of time that you will both make together in your separate locations. If one or both of you are new to cooking, opt for an easy recipe with fewer ingredients and easier directions. Include a bottle of wine and some frequent toasts and set your dinner up by some candles to finish out your date discussing your meal and more about each other.
8. Make Vision Boards
A vision board is a fun project where you create a physical board that has images, quotes and items you write down about what you want to achieve in your life. Creating a board together and discussing it with each other is a fantastic way to learn more about a person, plus you end up with a vision board to keep in your home to remind you of your goals. You can each create a physical board that you show to each other, or you can make virtual boards using a program like Google Slides or Pinterest.
Fun Virtual Date Ideas
Once you've gotten to know each other after the initial first date, there are many possibilities for future fun virtual dates!
9. Have a Film Festival
Watching a movie together can be fun, but to make it different, come up with some "film festival" ideas, such as movies paired back to back that might have an actor in common, or a location or theme. You could also do a personalized film festival such as "movies that changed my life." Movie watching virtually can be even more fun using a service like Netflix Party or Metastream.
10. Game Night
You can adapt playing most games to a virtual setting with some rules adjustments. If you want to make it more fun, add some twists to it, such as the person who wins a game gets to ask the other person a challenging question or do something funny. Or make a game night theme such as taking a Monopoly board and using post-it notes to change the locations to match your city or a personal interest like sports or a TV show. You could play a game of Scrabble and insist that all the words must fit a certain theme such as animals or sports. Be creative!
11. Crafting and Art Night
If you've ever seen a wine and paint venue where participants get together to paint the same wine and enjoy a glass of wine together, you can do the same thing via Zoom. All you need to do is pick the same painting, such as a paint by numbers kit you can both order. Or try other crafts like making candles or learning origami together.
12. Scrapbooking Date
If you both enjoy creating memories for family and friends, you could both virtually create scrapbooks together. While you each work on your individual books, it's a chance to talk over Zoom about what each item in the book means to you. That can include telling funny or emotional stories and developing your relationship further.
13. Do Mutual Tarot Readings
You can learn more about the Tarot together and then do a reading for each of you. If you don't have a deck of cards, you can make a set using a pack of regular playing cards and some cardstock for the major arcana.
14. Design a Tattoo
Not everyone is into tattoos but if you and your date both love getting inked, or are thinking about it, you could spend a date on Zoom discussing your tattoo ideas and sharing the screen to look at pictures and concepts that interest you. You can even look at tattoo shops local to you and discuss what you like about them. You can start designing your tattoos online together as well.
15. Create a Story Together
If you are both creative types, you could work on writing a story, haiku or poem together. You can collaborate by sharing the screen or using a program like Google Docs. You can either work together, or take turns adding a sentence to see where the story goes. If you're feeling proud of your work, you can even both post it on your social media accounts and tag each other when you're done!
16. Learn a Language
If you both like languages and travel, consider having a date, or multiple dates, where you learn a language together. You could use a website like Duolingo to learn a language and then practice pronunciation and communication over Zoom. Or splurge and hire a language tutor to work with you both via Zoom to help you improve your language skills. This way you can communicate romantically in more than one language!
17. Dance Together
This may sound difficult since you're both in separate places, but you could try learning some dance moves together that don't involve physical touching. For example, belly dancing, line dancing, step dancing and many other forms of solo dancing could be fun to do over Zoom. You can both learn steps together by watching a class or one can take turns performing for the other. Or just play some music and practice sillier dances like the bunny hop, the robot, the chicken dance or breakdancing.
18. Virtual Exercising
Take a yoga or fitness class together as it's always more fun to work out with another person instead of alone in your house. You can even consider hiring a fitness or yoga coach for an hour to get on Zoom with the both of you and run you through a routine, or give you both pointers on things you can improve with your workout. You can finish off the date with a healthy lunch and some praise for a job well done.
19. Have a Pet Trick Competition
If you're both dog lovers, consider having a competition where you both teach your dog a trick. You can choose the same trick, or different ones, and have fun working together and with your pups. If one of you is a cat person, you don't have to be left out! Teach your cat a trick instead, or for that matter, work with whatever species you have to truly impress your significant other. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can both submit your dogs for a trick dog title when you're done, though this may take multiple dates to achieve.
20. Read a Book Together
Choose a genre that you both enjoy, such as science fiction or romance and take turns reading a book to each other. Or choose a genre that's brand new to one or both of you. You can then discuss the book and have your own reading club date. Or expand the date to another couple to have a larger reading group discussion between couples.
21. Have a "Beach" Date
If you're both stuck inside, especially with gloomy weather, have a beach themed party together. You can add some beach-themed Zoom backgrounds, make some fruity tropical cocktails and island-style foods, and wear your best beachwear.
22. Take a "Walk" Together
You can use Zoom on your smartphone or tablet and go outside and take a walk in a park "together." You can show each other what you're seeing along your walk and talk about the area. It's a nice way to get physical exercise and fresh air while still being together and talking about your day and what your neighborhood is like.
23. Virtual Gallery Date
There are many art galleries and museums with virtual tours online. You can share screen on Zoom and "walk" through the galleries together and discuss the art and why you love it (or don't!) You can also pair in an art history lesson since many of these sites include information about the artist and his or her work. You can enjoy a mutual love or art, or develop one together.
24. Virtual Zoo and Aquarium Trip
If you are both animal lovers, consider virtually visiting a zoo or an aquarium. You can have fun watching the live webcams together and talk about what your favorite animals are and which facilities you'd love to visit together in the future.
25. Root for Your Teams
Sports lovers can enjoy a virtual date watching their favorite teams play a game. You can enjoy rooting for your mutual teams together, or go all out if you have a team rivalry. Pair your game watching with some game-oriented appetizers like nachos and chicken wings and some brews and you can both enjoy a game even if you aren't sitting next to each other in person. If you're a real sports fanatic, dress up in your team's colors or clothing and indulge in some team face paint and wave your foam finger around in front of the webcam when your team scores!
26. "Go Out" for Coffee
This virtual date idea works if you have a favorite coffee hangout where you can set up your smartphone, tablet or laptop and enjoy free wifi. You will need to use headphones to keep your noise level down for other patrons, but each of you can set up a favorite cafe location and enjoy a coffee and chat together.
27. Have a Shopping Trip Online
Some people love shopping online, even if just to browse things they'll never buy. You could both have a virtual shopping trip where you share the screen on Zoom and look at things you'd like to get. Make it a "fantasy" shopping trip by looking at things like fancy sports cars, designer couture or elaborate luxury setups for your pet.
28. Virtual City Tour
There are websites where you can tour a city online, or you can just use Google Earth to "walk" through a city you'd both like to visit. Or another option, have one person actually walk through their city with their smartphone and tablet and they can show you the different sights around where they live. Just be careful when you're walking and talking that you don't trip on a sidewalk!
29. Bubble Bath Date
For a more daring couple, you could enjoy a bath date together. Set up your bathroom as elaborately as you like with scented candles, soft spa music and your frothiest bubble bath. Enjoy a glass of wine while you chat away in your respective tubs. Just be careful where you place your device so it doesn't fall in!
30. Social Media Bonding
Consider creating a social media channel together, such as a Pinterest board featuring your mutual hobbies, or an Instagram channel with photos of things you both find interesting or funny. You could make a Facebook page dedicated to a mutual interest such as a movie genre, video game or craft or to raise funds for a charity, or a YouTube channel or TikTok channel where you both collaborate to make videos that are instructive or simply a lot of fun.
31. Virtual Snuggle in Bed
You can set your device up in bed next to you and engage in some pillow talk, which can be "adult" in nature or simply chat about things that are important to you and how your day went in a relaxed setting. You can engage in more adult activities together or leave the Zoom chat on and fall asleep together, with both of you able to wake up in the morning "next" to each other. It's a nice way to end the day with your significant other, even if you can't be in the same place at the same time.
Explore Your Creativity and Relationship Virtual Dating
It may seem weird to have a date over the internet, but with more and more people meeting online in different locations, or just separated by work and family commitments or emergency situations, it's becoming an accepted practice. Don't let the initial strangeness get to you - come up with creative ideas to get to know your date better and look for things that you have in common to come up with more fun date ideas online.