8 Tips to date at home during quarantine.
In the past few months, our lives have changed dramatically. We’ve said goodbye to working in offices, seeing our friends and having appropriate access to toilet roll. Society is permeated by the unknown, which means we’re often living life one day to the next. It also means that, for those of us in lockdown with partners, we’ve got the chance to get a little more familiar.
You might be slightly apprehensive about this, despite where you’re at in your relationship. For the fast-tracked couples, getting to week five only to realise they’re monomaniacal about ketchup pasta could be a grim reality. On the other hand, a lack of respite for long-term partners may warrant an end to sanity.
But whoever you are, and whatever your situation, dating can provide sweet release and it can be just as good from the comfort of your own home. What do we mean by dating at home? Well, it’s about making time for one another; a period of focusing on the person you care about. In the mania of everyday life, this is a practice often overlooked. Especially for those of us with kids. Couples with children at home can make time for themselves and rediscover parts of their relationship… by rediscovering dating at home. Let’s make the most of the additional time we all have, when we’re not being pulled in different directions.
1.Find the time for self-care
A successful date is often made in the build-up. Connecting with your significant other is easier when you’ve connected with yourself. But being in the house indefinitely makes getting prepped problematic. How do we have sufficient ‘me’ time when we’re constantly with our other half? Work with your partner to find a balance and prearrange date nights to ensure you can both get ready alone. If you’ve got kids, this may require extra planning so that while one of you has some alone time, the other preoccupies the children. Whether you’re into pre-date exercise or candlelit bubble baths, stick with your tried and test methods for feeling confident.
For new couples, maintaining this sense of normality is important – try to mimic how you’d behave on the outside world. The ‘honeymoon’ phase is a joy we’re all entitled to, so don’t deny yourself by speeding it up. Enjoy the feeling of being seduced! Those who have been together for a while, these dating boundaries not only help reignite the spark (it might be a while since you’ve ‘dated’), but it also helps you to feel sexy – and that’s just as important.
2.Create the right atmosphere
Getting that ‘date’ feeling is tough when we’re surrounded by same things day in, day out. But setting is important. When our bedroom doubles as a study and the lounge is also our weekend hangout, it leaves little space for a designated date. But there are things we can do to transform our homes, like turning balconies into a prime picnic spots or reliving our childhood with cute DIY tents. Light candles, use your best cutlery and put on a playlist.
Just as important as where you are is what you talk about. Regardless of how well you know each other, a date atmosphere can draw out conversation. There’s always something surprising to learn. Treat your evening as you would a normal night out and use it as a chance to get to know your bae. Create some rules so that you don’t slip into the menial chat of who took the bins out – own this time as chance to bond. And try a little seduction. We can all do it once we find our flirting rhythm – it’s about creating ‘a private world’ for you and your partner.
4.Do things together
Of course, dating is more than just dinner and drinks. Some of the most memorable dates are activity-based, and since quarantine is encouraging us all to get creative, now is the perfect time to do this with a partner. Challenge each other to a cook-off using random cupboard ingredients or take up painting (and progress to life drawing). Perhaps you’ve got a garden and want to get gardening? Plant some fruit and veg that you can nurture together.
Once you’ve explored a hobby, use lockdown to learn what they enjoy when they’re away from you. If they’re yoga-obsessed, suggest you try out a few classes with them. By learning what is it about an activity that they like, you could end up learning something fundamental about their needs.
5.Involve your friends
An important part of dating is sharing the experience with those we love – whether they’re in-laws, prospective ones or just there to say hello. Set up family quizzes and create rounds together that test your imagination. If you’re a new couple and haven’t yet met the parents, an activity may help to ease any nerves (although, of course, you’ll be great).
Zoom double dates are a fun way to bring couples into the mix. It’s been suggested that interacting with others makes us see the one we’re with differently, so be open to what friends can teach you. Start off by playing relationship challenges; set the questions for one another, sit back and let the entertainment unfold.
6.Set up a romantic home spa
There are certain activities we reserve for when we really deserve it – and the spa is one of them. But in quarantine, we always deserve it. Whether it’s pedicures, calming music or facials, we all have ways to help us relax and unwind. Draw a bath using your nicest essential oils and suggest taking it together… and spend time drying each other off afterwards. In lockdown, we have the opportunity to make everyday tasks exciting, so forget the time and lose yourself in the moment.
Massage is an obvious way to create closeness and there are plenty of online learning resources to help finesse your skills. If you’re new to dating and want to take it slow, a simple head massage is enough to get your blood flowing. When you’re ready to move on, experimenting with massage oilscreates intimacy and sensuality and if you’re both in the mood, good sex.
7.Discover – or rediscover – each other’s bodies
Over time, we can lose sight of the simple stuff, like the sight of our partner’s naked body. If you’re looking to reconnect with your partner or are finding your way as newbies, making a pact to sleep naked every night forges that intimacy without the need for words. Some studies suggest that sleeping in the buff heightens happiness in a marriage (going skin-to-skin releases Oxytocin, the hormone influencing feelings of emotional understanding).
8.Talk about sex
Just like a great orgasm, there’s joy in taking dating slowly. If you’re long-termers, go back to basics and start with caresses here and there. When you’re comfortable around each other, have an open conversation about your hidden kinks. Talk to your partner about the things you want to try. Sex toys such as cock rings or vibrators can add another element to your sexual experience, so if this is something you want to explore, talk to your partner and order them together. Being honest about our sexual desires can seem daunting, especially if you’re in a new relationship, so if you’re feeling worried about discussing them face-to-face, write your partner a sex wish-list. Above all else, consent is the most important thing in every relationship and it’s vital this is maintained.
Dating is something we’re all familiar with, but COVID-19 is getting us to reimagine what it means and think on our feet; we can think about it differently. Now is your chance to rekindle that flame. We understand that it’s hard but let’s try to not give in to those feelings of anxiety. And for the fast-tracked couples who have taken a leap of faith – use dating to keep the momentum going.
If any of you are displaying symptoms, even if they are mild, you should social distance and follow local/government guidelines, related to activity inside and outside the home, relevant for you. Please contact your local health care practitioner for further questions or medical advice.