Hi guys! I was thinking really hard about the content I wanted to make during this time. I know a lot of people are struggling with date night ideas, and since Josie and my anniversary is on Saturday, and we were long-distance for six years, I figured I’d give you some of my ideas for keeping the love alive weather you’re quarantined with your significant other or not!
Note: I mention several products through this post. Nothing is sponsored and there are no affiliate links, just helpful ideas and tips!
Okay, so I fully understand that a lot of people are suddenly living what is virtually a long-distance relationship for the first time. Even if you’re across town from each other if you’re not seeing each other than that’s pretty much what long-distance feels like! I feel like I’m a pretty good authority on this as I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart, our 8th anniversary is on the 25th, and we were long distance for six years! After six years here are some ideas we came up with for date night:
First, the biggest thing that Josie and I did while long-distance was Skype dates (or Facetime). There’s a lot you can do on a Skype date. You can eat dinner on a Skype call, you can play a game like Never Have I Ever, you can even watch a movie.
Games we’ve loved include Cards Against Humanity on Pretend You’re Xzzxy (You can get other couples involved. Double or triple date anyone!?) Or a new app I just found called Couple Game had us in stitches last night and we weren’t even on Skype.
If you’re video game type people find a game to play together online through Steam or Xbox (or other gaming platforms.) My friend Alex has been trying to get me to play Civ V with her on Steam and I might take her up on it!
You can watch movies on Kast together or we’ve watched Badger Games and How to Get Away with Murder together if you still have cable, or if you start the movie at the exact same time! Pop some popcorn and throw on Netflix or my favorite, Disney+!
This one is very couple specific, but Josie and I used to write every day when we were in high school. We still keep our chat logs up once in a while and it’s fun to stretch your creative muscles in real-time.
For more resources on navigating a relationship long-distance (and right now that means anyone not in the same house together) here, I found the website Loving from a Distance really useful for 6 years.
Josie and I were long-distance for six years, lived together for two and now we’re quarantined together. We’re working together from home and have gone from not seeing each other for two years at a time to seeing each other every second in our little apartment. It’s a bit of an experiment to see how we deal with each other’s pet peeves and moods.
We’ve taken it as a growing experience and it really is what you make of it, our 8th anniversary will be spent in the house on Saturday, with our cat, but we’ve gotten really creative with date nights in 8 years (see LDR ideas above). Here are some date night ideas at home we’ve been trying:
Do the LDR Things at Home!
Seriously, everything on the list above can be done at home. Movie nights, video games, light some candles, dress up (or not), or pretend you’re at a restaurant.
I hate cooking! Seriously, I do (though my Instagram lately would state otherwise), but Josie runs a food blog and loves it. Social Distancing has gotten people around the world making bread and whipped coffee (we’ve done both!) and all sorts of things. I—like most of the world—am “bored in a house and I’m in a house bored” during this. I get really restless and antsy.
TLDR; I’ve been helping Josie cook. Last night she taught me how to make guacamole. I drive her nuts and get good food pics for my Instagram story—and it’s really romantic. Win, win, win.
Board Games and Puzzles
Just like I dislike cooking, Josie isn’t too fond of board games or puzzles, but even she admits they’ve been a nice distraction. Good thing I love them, and we already had a few before stores sold out!
We ordered a Happily Date Box for our anniversary and I’m really excited to see what we get. I also think if this goes on long enough, we might try a Hunt-A-Killer box because we’re both into true crime. Boxes like these help us get out of our routine and get creative without having to leave the house.
For our anniversary we’re going to order out and do a picnic on the floor. We might also make a pillow fort, bake some sweets, and do a Disney movie night.
Recently, I saw Keith from the Try Guys build a mini-golf course from stuff around the house.
Think about things you two like and get creative with ideas (and maybe a little Pinterest-ing).
General Relationship Tips for Always
People ask me constantly how I lasted 6 years long distance. Truth is it’s the advice you should probably be following in a relationship anyway. We always made a point to at the very least send an “I love you” text a day. Strive for more, but if you’re busy at least send one text. Don’t hide stuff, and talk about things when you’re upset. I know it’s cliché, but don’t go to bed angry—or at the very least don’t go to bed without acknowledging what you’re angry about and promising to fix it/work on it in the morning.
Know Each Other’s Love Languages
If you don’t know about love languages—well. Here’s a link that explains it.
My love language is usually Physical Touch– doesn’t have to be dirty– hugs, a light hand on my shoulder when we pass each other or brushing my hair off my face all count. That’s how my brain recognizes acknowledgment, love, and appreciation.
So, Josie knows to show me love by hugging me from behind unexpectedly or putting her hand in mine briefly when we watch TV. Likewise, she knows I’m showing her love if I kiss her forehead or her cheek.
(P.S. This doesn’t just go for romantic love either, it can be platonic or familial love, too. For example, a lot of my friends know I’m a hugger!)
Josie’s love language is Acts of Service. For example, doing chores or helping her with something is how I let her know I appreciate her. Lately, she’s been requesting to make my lunch—partly because she stress cooks—but also because she wants to show me she cares and she’s here for me.
I’m not a marriage counselor so I can’t speak to anything but our experience, but knowing our love languages helps us recognize subtle ways we personally say “I love you” without actually speaking the words.
Respect Each Other’s Space
Both Josie and I grew up with younger siblings. We love them but we also have the typical big sibling response of protecting our space! My biggest pet peeve with roommates and housemates has always been when they touch my things or go into my room without asking. I had one housemate who broke my prom shoes I was saving for my wedding because she borrowed them (and went into my room) without asking!
Living with a partner is a bit different, we have a shared space and the same room. However, we have two spots in the house that are mutually agreed upon as “our areas.” Josie’s is the kitchen. She loves cooking and feels happy there. Mine is our guest room because it’s also my office/craft room and houses my altar. Obviously, we still use both spaces (imagine if I didn’t use my kitchen!) but it’s understood that that is the other person’s happy place and you don’t mess with that.
You should also remember you’re not just your relationship. Even though you’re trapped in the house, possibly both working from home together, etc. doesn’t mean you have to be attached at the hip. I’ve actually been taking more time away from Josie. Where once we spent nearly every night watching TV together (because 6 years apart made me clingy), now I take time to do my writing or work on passion projects some nights. It’s been really healthy and has—surprise—strengthened our relationship.
Being your own person and not always “so-and-so’s significant other” helps you work through your own emotions and wants and dreams and is healthy! Honestly, I know one too many couples who it seems like their sole purpose is to be together and a unit. It’s annoying. Be your own person with a partner, not your partner defines who you are as a person.
Let me know what else you’d like to know and tell me in the comments how you’re navigating social distance dating (or just friendships. I adore Skype dates with my friends back home)!
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