The silver lining to this pandemic is that couples are home together more than ever with an opportunity to turn a scary time into deeper bonding and opportunity for growth.
Generally when you think of a date you imagine movies, picnic in the park, hiking up a mountain - all great ideas usually - but due to the current situation it's time to get creative. I've compiled 30 great ways to reconnect, share time and get through this with a little love and care.
Paint an Art Piece for your Love Nest
It may seem intimidating to paint a picture, but take away the stress of perfection and just have some fun. Begin by setting up a clear area on your kitchen table or counter top and cover with newspaper. Next gather paint and brushes plus a mixing surface, I frequently use paper plates for easy clean up. Now you'll need to select something to actually create your art on, ideally you'll want to use a canvas but feel free to substitute with paper, wood, coasters or even cardboard from a box. Once you're set up you'll need to pick a subject. I personally love painting my dogs, scenery from my childhood and even just abstract colors in fun patterns. Don't limit yourself, just relax and let your creativity lead you. If you do feel stuck check out my favorite artist and his happy clouds, Bob Ross, he makes painting a real joy.
Book Club with Bae
You and your honey can pick the same book to read. Set up a little coffee date every other day to talk about the chapter or two you've read. Need a free resource to find your next read? I love this article written by Book Riot with options to access over a million no cost books.
Kill Boredom with Board Games
Blow the dust off that Scrabble Board and get out the Monopoly because this is the perfect time for a fierce board game marathon.
Have a Fancy Dinner
Dress up the table, dim the lights, surround the room with candles, put dinner on real plates, turn on a romantic playlist and most importantly dress up. Dig in the back of your closet to the bridesmaid's dress you only wore once, grab a dinner jacket and bow tie, spritz some perfume, curl your locks and put on your gawdiest jewelry. Spend the night eating slowly, sipping wine and talking about the finer things in life. Chat about art, music, travel, things that inspire you and dreams you don't usually have time to marinate on.
Clear the living room floor, set down some pillows and sit in silence. If you need a little guidance check out the free month on one of these 5 apps listed on Puregym. Zoning out, giggling or even nodding off are all normal reactions. Don't expect a huge enlightening moment but just enjoy the slight peace or calmness that comes naturally from slowing down and getting in touch with your breath.
Have a Glow Up
Give your full bodies a rejuvination from head to toe. Start with your scalp and a deep condition, take extra time plucking, popping and moisturizing your faces. Give each other salt scrubs and then lotion each other up afterwards. Really treat your partner to some TLC, let's be honest if you love them you don't mind helping them out with the spots they can't reach.
Learn a Dance or Two Step
Learning dance routines has been a favorite pastime of mine since the days of watching Carson Daly count down the top hits on TRL, yes I still know Oops I Did It Again by heart 18 years later. Whether you are into a funky colt classic like Flash Dance or want to get hip to the new Cowboy Boogie there is no excuse to why you can't learn every step with a little help from Youtube. Dance is an expression of culture, of happiness, of style and a great way to exercise without feeling like you're working out.
Fashion Show Closet Cleanout
Take turns trying on clothes that have been at the back of the closet. Make three signs - Keep, Sell and Donate. Model three outfits you've been holding on to but not sure you want to keep and let your partner decide it's fate!
Grab a blanket and a pair of binoculars or telescope and head out to your porch, balcony, backyard or even roof for some star gazing and lazy conversation. I love seeing how big the universe is, it always makes me and my problems feel so small. Who knows, with less cars out and about there may even be less pollution and more stars to see.
Year Book Browsing
Pull out those old yearbooks and go through them together. See if your honey can find you in the crowd, share the clubs you loved, your big crush, which teachers were the coolest, what your school mascot was and if you ever got detention. If you are high school sweethearts you can reminisce and if you met later in life it's an easy way to share another layer of yourself. To really get the full experience put on some sick beats from the year you graduated.
Get out your camera or use your phone to take photos of your special someone. Play with the lighting, the outfit (or lack of) and just have fun. Make it sexy, serious or silly. The point isn't to get photos to share or blow up but to just observe your babe through a lens and let them be vulnerable in front of you.
Plant an Herb or Succulent Garden
On your next market run purchase a few living garden herbs to grow and pick for each meal or cocktail as you need them. Another great way to start an indoor garden for free is taking clippings off local wild succulents and cactus. Obviously don't go around cutting off your neighbors plants but if there are little green beauties growing onto the sidewalk or street way then they will be clipped soon anyway and if you don't have pots upcycle cans by poking holes in the bottom and taking the labels off. You can always upgrade later.
Living Room Sleep Over
I don't mean just sleep in the same bed, I mean make it a sleep over like the old days. Build a pillow fort in the living room, dress up in your coolest PJs, make s'mores and tell ghost stories.
You can choose a jigsaw, crossword, sudoku or any other mind game you enjoy. Team up and cuddle up and take it slow. Two minds are always better than one.
Movie Marathon by Actor
It's easy to just slip into watching tv for hours upon hours while inside the house for days at a time. If you want to throw a twist on it choose an actor you both love and watch ALL their movies. It's especially fun to discover the oldies, the ones before they were famous where they only had a few lines.
Teach your Pup a New Trick
The dogs around the world are seriously rejoicing with extra attention and cuddle time. It's also a great bonding opportunity to teach them to do something new. We ordered Luna stairs and she was TERRIFIED of them but after a few days of salomi inspired encouragement she now hops up them and down off them by command and gets so happy when we clap for her.
(Cat parents don't be salty - I didn't include teaching your cat a trick because let's be serious, I didn't want to set you up to fail, we all know they are smarter than us all.)
Play Truth or Dare
This game is as old as the sands of time and will always be a classic I love. Remember to keep it light, fun and silly. This is not an opportunity to embarrass your parents into answering things they don't want to share. Here are a few easy examples to help get you rolling...
Which celebrity would you want to make out with?
What is the grossest meal you've ever eaten?
Have you ever peed your pants?
Turn on your favorite rock song and air guitar the whole thing.
Prank call your best friend.
Eat a ghost pepper.
Work Out like it's 1999
Whether you feel like you're a pony or in the mood to get a beach bod there are a ton of old school workouts hanging around the house on a VHS, DVD or even just online. If you really want to have fun add some short shorts, leg warms and a neon headband. The outfit will really set that retro mood.
Do Your Taxes
Fine, you caught me, this is not a date. I do think if you have tedious work to do it can be easier to accomplish if you work with someone else and since most couples have a device per person, pop both your laptops up and co-work through those deductions and write offs. It may not be the most fun but you'll feel so good when you get it done.
Brunch - Table for Two Please
You have two options here... go classy or go kiddy. If you want to go classy pull out the fine china for cereal, dress in a cute day time outfit, open the windows to let in some sunlight and chat about normal brunch topics - who is breaking up with who, what fashion statements are in and out, how much you love or hate bloody marys, how you are not looking forward to going back to work this week. If you choose to go kiddy, put on a cute pair of pajamas, get comfy on the couch, turn on Scooby Doo and share your childhood Saturday morning rituals.
Hit up your favorite bartender friend on Facebook or Instagram. Show them the liquor and mixers you have in your home. Let them make you a custom recipe and work together to shake up a calming concoction.
Play Drinking Games
Think back to long ago when your liquor was cheap and our beer was luke warm so you needed to play games to get it down. My two personal favorites are Quarters & Kings Cup.
Redesign Your Space
Choose a room or space you've been meaning to change and really sit down and figure out what you invision. Maybe it's as simple as a drop off area by the front door for purses and backpacks or your laundry room needs a face lift. Here are a few prompts to help get you started :
1. What function do you want this space to accomplish?
2. What are three key words that you want this space to convey?
3. What big items are required to accomplish the use of the space?
4. What decorative items would you like to incorporate?
5. What is the base color, pop color and textures (wood, copper, tile) you'd like to include?
If you want to overhaul a bigger room Ikea has some really cool tools to try out.
Gather up all the old magazines and fliers around the house. Use one large poster board or a few papers taped together, or even a vision box, you know you have an extra Amazon box laying around. Choose a topic in your life - love, travel, home, work or mix them all together. Cut, trim, arrange, tape and be creative until you have a fun piece of art to inspire past this safe at home.
Have a Chopped Competition
I have always loved the TV show Chopped and what better time to try it at home than now? You'll have to modify the rules a bit and maybe even switch off nights in order to not waste food. A great twist to the traditional game is picking 5 items your significant other has to include in the meal that night. Set an hour timer and see how creative he or she can be!
If you have an indoor basketball hoop and ball then great, if not you can still play. Use a clean small trash can, mop bucket or laundry basket for the hoop and use a dog toy, rolled up pair of socks or rubber band ball for the object to throw. Put the "hoop" somewhere in the room and take turns throwing the "ball". The first person to make it gets an H - you then have to mimic them. Were they sitting or standing? Left hand or right? Backwards or under the leg? If you really want to get in the mood play Space Jam, currently streaming on
Take a Bath Together
Fill up the tub with a bath bomb and bubbles and sud up together. Bonus points if you turn on some light background music and have some bubbly in your bubbles.
Sketch Each Other Naked
Using a fresh piece of paper and an open mind set. Take turns stripping down and posing. The most popular are the French Lady, laying on a couch, or the Grecian God, standing tall with a fig leaf. Now in reality you are probably not a great sketch artist and it will turn out more like a flattering stick figure but it's a chance to be vulnerable and flirty and artist together.
I love a good massage but have realized part of the relaxation is the whole ambiance. Set up a table or your bed with fresh linen, warm up the room with a heater, turn on sounds of a beach or running river and dim the lights. Give your partner a good long massage, starting with their back, moving to the legs, arms, neck and scalp. This may just be the most relaxing "date" you ever go on.
Spice it up in The Bedroom - or Kitchen
Sex can be a great way to relieve stress and pass the time, you could even count it as your daily workout if done right. After a long time together couples can get into a routine, foreplay being the same, always in the bed, maybe even the same positions. Spice it up a bit and do something new. Whether you put on a frisky movie and re-enact the scenes, grab a shower together or just put on some moody music, it doesn't have to be a big fake production but something just new enough for some excitement.
I am struggling just like the rest of the country. Ten years into a relationship I LOVE the heck out of my man and our life together but I have to be honest... it's hard. It's hard to share a small space, to not have a real routine, to not feel useful in the big picture, to be uncertain and it is easy to just slump up in a pair of leggings and slip into sadness. I'm consciously choosing daily to love my partner deeper, to accept his flaws as he accepts mine, to understand this will pass, to cook things he will love, to watch shows he loves, to do activities we can both enjoy. Love is not an easy thing that we fall into but a choice you make every morning you wake up, every afternoon and every evening before you drift off that you will be giving and vulnerable to another. I'm lucky to have someone to share the time with.
Please comment below with any of the above activities you think sound fun, any you have tried or will try and if there is anything super fu