My eyes lit up as I heard a fresh idea come from my boyfriend’s lips that might offer some fast relief from the monotony of being quarantined for weeks. We both laughed about hiding the fact that we couldn’t play the card game from our peers—the accusatory ‘You don’t know how to play spades?’ reaction is way too triggering for us at this point in adulthood.
Motivated by our own boredom and embarrassment, we pulled out a deck of cards and found a great instructional video on YouTube to help us get through this necessary Black rite of passage.
“We are going to be pros by the time this is over,” he said,
as we daydreamed about summer night house parties and a chance to show off our
newly acquired skills as a couple.
While there is definitely privilege in being quarantined with someone you love, that constant closeness comes with its own challenges, as many couples must learn to navigate what life is like when you’re truly around each other 24/7. Separation often inspires intimacy, and since there is no physical escape to work, the gym or to hangout with good friends, partners are figuring out how to keep that sense of novelty in their relationship without getting burned out.
We’ve done some of our own experimenting with new ideas, plus I reached out to some of our favorite Instagram couples to find out how they are maintaining date nights within the comforting confines of their living rooms.
Learn Something New
While spades isn’t the sexiest
game couples could play, there is something special about tackling a new
challenge with your significant other. You have the rare opportunity to observe
one another in unfamiliar territory and that experience can ignite some new
sparks between you two. Try to master one of those dance challenges online or
check out a new Pinterest recipe, and let your boo sous-chef.
Get Dressed Anyway
Sweat pants and leggings are wardrobe staples while at home,
but being frumpy all the time when it’s not your usual vibe can drain your energy. Make the effort to get dressed for yourself
even if you don’t have anywhere to be. I came back to life last week when I
threw on some makeup and a comfortable dress just to look a little special for
a night in the living room. Changing your look can do wonders for your attitude
(and your relationship).
At Home Work Outs
Get that adrenaline pumping with some sweaty workouts with
your significant other at home. Exercise triggers feel good endorphins in the
blood, which is the natural pick-me-up we all need during these trying times.
Not only will it help you keep moving, but you can also can experiment with
some fun partner exercises that help you bond while staying active.
Those are my tips. Now get into these date night ideas from
a few social media influencers who have managed to keep things spicy with their
loved ones during quarantine.
Recreate Date Night Classics
“So this Wednesday marks 4 years since me and Carl's first date, and pre-covid we always celebrated by revisiting the sushi restaurant that jump started our love. Clearly we've been served the same plot twist as everyone else, so we're recreating this anniversary by having a sexy spicy tuna picnic. Pushing the couch aside and laying out the checkered blanket, trying my hand at being a Japanese top chef (or maybe bottom chef in this case lolol), candles lit, playlist lit, actually getting dressed (reminding myself that looking good for me and my man is enough reason for lipstick + heels) and for dessert... letting him indulge in the sight of me winning Uno, ha! Outside of that, curating our own sip and paint sessions is a MOOD as well as good ol conversations and cocktails.”--Tracy Garraud @ItstracyG, Sway In The Morning Co-Host
Have A Movie Night Under The Stars
“We love the movies, food and outdoors. So for us, it’s about being creative and intentional through the whole process of our new stay in “date night.” We go to the grocery store together, pick out our favorite meal and dessert and make it together at home! Then we grab pillows and blankets and watch movies and eat dinner under the stars with our outdoor TV!”
--Leticia Marie Gardner @leticiamariegardner Founder @totalbody21
The Ultimate Game Night For Two
“Quarantined times have forced my boyfriend and I to modify our date night ideas tremendously. To switch things up, we sometimes play games with one another like Jenga, or Connect Four. In order to maintain our intimacy we offer one another full body massages, foot rubs, etc. “
--Chanel Delisser @xxcocochanel, Fitness Coach
“We have been doing Club Quarantine, putting our own energy on our food through cooking classes, and making new healthier habits. We are also learning new skills and meditating.” --Destiney Lavonia @momcrushmonday
“So we haven’t done any intentional date nights, but honestly every night has felt like date night. We have been figuring out new things to make for each other. Ebony made buttermilk biscuits and cheesy grits this weekend, and we had brunch on our back porch. Ebony has also been DJing on Instagram live on Friday nights (10pm- if you wanna join) for three hours so it feels like a personal dance party where I get to change my look every other song lol. I think a tip we could give to couples or roommates is to do emotional check-ins. We do them daily--sometimes twice a day just to take some time to listen to how each other is feeling and hold space for whatever those feelings are without fixing or changing unless it’s requested.”
--Ericka Hart @IHartEricka, Racial/Social/Gender Justice Disruptor
Dance Party For Two
“Since the coronovarius has left us all indefinitely home bound, my fiancé and I have found joy in the Verzuz series. Anticipating the Instagram live battles while sipping D’usse has become our new date night. We’re both into music and producers so we were locked ever since Swizz and Timberland kicked it off weeks ago. My face so far is still the Johnta Austin and Ne-Yo battle because the timeless R&B cuts they played provided the perfect mood setting music.
--Shamika Sanders @shamika_sanders Deputy Editor, HelloBeautiful.com
Fine Dine At Home
“This quarantine has forced us to literally cook more than ever, which I personally am not the biggest fan of. When we want to make the evening more special or have a date night of sorts, we’ve opted to order out from some of our favorite local restaurants. It’s a win-win. We get to support small businesses and also spend time just hanging and enjoying delicious meals (that we don’t have to cook or clean dishes for).”
--Briana Monee Owens, @bri.monee Founder of @spikedspin
Good Old Fashioned Dinner and A Movie
“Date nights are few and far between when your spouse is an essential worker. However, life is all about balance, and we do what we can. A quick duo movie and dinner in the opposite room, while our daughter is occupied playing has been our go-to.” --Jessica Pettway @jessicapettway, Style, Beauty, Hair Enthusiast
Couples Massage, Anyone?
“Our date night these days include going to the ‘movies,’ which means we pick a movie we like, and then we both dress up as we would a real date. I make popcorn; he makes drinks. It’s been really fun. We also have unplugged nights where we just play our favorite music and give each other massages—helps relieve some stress and allows us to connect more as a couple.”
--Shelah Marie @theshelahmarie
Perform For Each Other
“We dance. He cooks, I eat lol. We have concerts. We sing to each other. We just do things that would naturally make us smile—which is music most of the time.” --Scottie Beam @ScottieBeam
“We paint together. We have canvases and art supplies. Last time we painted portraits of our animals.”
--Chasity Garner Valentine @GarnerStyle, Co-Founder of The Curvy Con