The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it for the foreseeable future. Not only has it forced the majority of the free world inside, but it’s caused powerful global economies to come to a screeching halt. One thing it hasn’t been able to stop? Dating. Believe it or not, a lot of guys and gals are still eager and willing to go on a virtual date.

COVID-19 hasn’t left the dating world entirely unscathed, though. Things are definitely changing on dating sites and apps from Match to Tinder and beyond. Of course, the biggest change to be brought about by the pandemic may be the rise of the virtual date. 

What Is A Virtual Date Anyway?

When all is said and done, the term “virtual date” will probably go down as a product of the coronavirus era. Although the idea is nothing revolutionary, virtual dating has increased ten-fold (or probably more!) since the coronavirus outbreak began. So exactly what is a virtual date?” It’s when you and someone you’re romantically interested in meet up online to engage in an activity together. The activity could be anything at all from having dinner to taking a walk. The point is that it’s something you’re doing together, while apart. 

Virtual Dating Versus Online Dating: What’s the Difference?

At first glance, the term “virtual dating” may seem like something you’ve heard before. Isn’t that what online dating is, after all? Not exactly, although the terms have been used interchangeably. While “online dating” refers to using a dating app to find romance (casual or otherwise), “virtual dating” is more about having a shared experience with the object of your affection. 

5 Ideas for Virtual Dating

When it comes to virtual dating, the sky’s the limit. Truly, if you can dream it up, you can probably find a way to experience it with someone else over the interwebs. Still, even poets need inspiration, so we’ve given you some virtual date ideas to ponder below. 

Take an online personality quiz

The whole idea of dating is to get to know someone so that you can determine whether he or she is right for you. So, why not take a personality quiz together during your virtual date? Many times, these online quizzes are light-hearted enough that they can make for a good time, but they can also be revealing.  Popular personality tests include Meyers-Briggs, the Enneagram Test, and 16 Personalities. Pro tip: check out the test before bringing a date. Some of these tests are quick and easy while others are akin to taking the SAT. 

Try virtual speed dating

Quarantine can get lonely. If you want to find a companion fast, your best bet might be virtual speed dating. If the idea piques your interest, you could try an app like Swivel, which accelerates the online dating process for users with one-minute video chat sessions. If you’re still interested in this person after the “trial period,” then the app gives the user your phone number, and presumably, you two can take it from there. Give it a whirl if you’re urgently seeking that someone special. 

Study a subject you’re both interested in

Amid the pandemic, many colleges and private organizations alike are offering free courses to individuals who are stuck at home due to social distancing measures. So long as you’re both up to the challenge of learning something new, taking a course or even just a lesson together could be a positive bonding experience. It could also provide good fodder for conversation long after the final lecture is delivered. Some interesting titles currently available include The Art of Structural Engineering, Masterpieces of World Literature, and The Science of Happiness, for instance.

Listen to a favorite (or new) album

Music has been a catalyst for many a great relationship, and is it any wonder? Like no other medium, music has the power to alter our moods and even our minds. Depending on the track, it can bring tears to our eyes or get us dancing or laughing. 

For your virtual date, why not FaceTime your date and play an album for the both of you to listen to? You’ll likely find it a surprisingly intimate experience. Plus, if you like the idea (and you like your date), you can do it on the regular, alternating turns to pick an album or song. If nothing else, you’ll find out that a person’s taste in music can speak volumes about who they really are!  

Go to an event (Yes, really!) 

Social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus have forced real-life events like concerts and museum exhibits to be canceled. Did you know that many of these events are now available online? As long as you have a device and an internet connection, you can still attend live events and frequent interesting venues, and you can even bring a date! Trust us, the CDC says it’s fine. 

But seriously, think of how pleasantly surprised and truly impressed your match will be if you take them to the National Gallery of Art, for instance, or treat them to an indie rock concert. Thanks to the glories of modern technology, you can do either of these things and more from the comfort of your couch. Will it be the same as in real life? No. Will it still be a lot of fun? It’s definitely a good possibility! (And really, what else are you going to do on random day 87ish of your quarantine?)

Need other ideas? You could try getting takeout from DoorDash (or having a dish delivered to your date), using Netflix Party to watch a movie together, or playing an online game together. Feeling really romantic? Read some poetry together and let things heat up. The idea is to choose an activity that you can really experience together, even though you’re currently forced to remain six feet apart. 

Remember that we’re always here to help. We have tons of dating advice for you to be on top of your game! Be in the know – browse and read through more articles here.