You can still have a good first date during a pandemic.
First dates can be awkward, amazing, fun, or even your worst nightmare.
It’s not always easy to put yourself out there with someone new. Add in a global pandemic and you’ve got yourself a grade-A stressful situation.
Once you’ve passed that video chat stage, where can you go if nothing’s open? What if he doesn’t believe in wearing a mask? Is it even safe to date during a pandemic?
Trust me, I get it, girl!
But the truth is, we shouldn’t let external circumstances interfere with our plans for love. You can get to know someone at any time, no matter how uncertain.
Perhaps you’ll form a connection that is unlike any other despite what’s happening around us.
The important thing is that you’re able to open up to someone in such troubling times.
So, don’t cancel that date you have set up with Tinder guy!
Here are 20 good first date ideas for when things are still kinda shut down.
There are still fun ways to get to know each other and spend time together amidst all the craziness.
1. Hike through the woods.
If you’re lucky enough to have a patch of nature near you, use it to your dating advantage!
Pack a water bottle and some snacks and get ready to walk your heart away. Think of some questions you have for him so that conversation flows smoothly.
And of course, take his hand when he’s offering to help you climb up a rock.
2. Go to the hot spots in your city.
Exploring the city you’re from is an adventure we often forget about. Assuming you’re avoiding large crowds and being safe, this is a great first date.
Maybe take him to your favorite view of the city or somewhere you used to go as a child. Be spontaneous about the spots that pop into your head — he’ll love your carefree attitude.
3. Netflix and chill (literally).
Decide between a movie or show you both love.
Hint: make sure that you’ve seen it already so you can still make conversation! The last thing you want is for him to be so invested in what you’re watching that he forgets this is a first date and not alone time with some Netflix.
4. Cook something together.
Since the grocery store might be the only place open, mask up and get some ingredients for a recipe you both want to try out.
This could be a meal or some yummy dessert like cupcakes. The great thing about this is that it’ll show how well you can work together.
5. Go for a bike ride.
Who says you can’t enjoy a first date while getting your exercise in? Meet up at a local park or ride around the neighborhood.
Try to go somewhere that will allow you to bike side-by-side so that you’re not yelling to each other while having a conversation.
6. Plan a picnic in the park.
Luckily, most parks are still open with some social distancing policies in place. That said, you can find a small area to put down a blanket and your picnic basket (so cute for the grams).
Pack some of your favorite snacks that the other hasn’t tried. Use this time to get to know the random things about each other and enjoy some good food.
7. Drive to your favorite place.
This date idea is good for a few reasons. First, there’s nothing more romantic than a small road trip. Second, the car is a great place to discover each other’s music tastes.
And lastly, the destination ahead will fill you both with energy and excitement. Even if where you’re headed isn’t open, it’s the journey that counts.
8. Eat at an outdoor restaurant.
Although there’s no good time for a global pandemic, at least it hit us hardest in the summer when outdoor dining options are available.
Enjoy the nice weather and some good food. Spice things up by picking a small local restaurant that could use your business.
9. Stargaze at night.
What better way to be vulnerable with someone than to look at the galaxy above us? It seems like everyone is inspired by the great unknown.
Feel free to do this in your backyard or go to an open field where there won’t be many people around. Oh, and bring your favorite lip balm just in case!
10. Do a few drive-thru runs.
We all have our favorite menu items from the many drive-thru restaurants to choose from. So, you want McDonald’s fries but a Wendy’s vanilla frosty?
This is the time to get both! Once you’ve got your perfect mix of fast food, park somewhere with a nice view and get to eating.
11. Ask your date some deep questions.
You can have this date anywhere — over FaceTime, in your living room, or on a park bench. Sometimes we don’t even know where to begin with getting to know someone new.
Find some questions that are really unique and will show you who he is deep down.
12. Work on an art project together.
For some, the idea of making art is super stressful. But it can be a really fun activity that allows you to be yourself.
Whatever you decide to do — paint, color, draw, etc. — let loose with it! End with a little judging competition about who did better work.
13. Have a board game night.
Monopoly, Sorry, Trouble, or Yahtzee are always great games to play, first date or not. Enjoy a night in and some healthy competition.
Bring out the wine and cheese board (and board games, of course) and let yourself be a kid for the night.
14. Watch the sunset.
Who doesn’t love seeing the beautiful sky at night? Go to a place that will give you the best view of the sunset.
Whether you stay in your car or get out with a blanket to sit on, this is sure to be a romantic first date that will leave you feeling happy.
15. Get ice cream at your favorite ice cream stand.
Similar to outdoor restaurants, ice cream stands are a safe way to avoid close contact with people and still feel a sense of normalcy.
The hardest part about this date will be deciding which flavor to get. If things are really going well, offer him a bite of yours and vice versa!
16. Walk your dog together.
While not everyone might have a dog, most people do. If this is you, let him meet your furry pup and show him around your neighborhood.
This will be a stress-free first date as it’s something that you’re used to doing. Plus, sometimes the security of your dog around is all you need to be calm and comfortable.
17. Play a sport outside.
You don’t have to be an athlete to get your sport on! Find something that both of you know how to do — kick around a soccer ball, play tennis, or hit a volleyball.
Major bonus points if you have to teach each other how to play. This shows that you’re both willing to learn and able to take advice.
18. Rollerblade around.
Although you can’t go to an actual skate rink, this is just as good! Tie up your blades and have fun with this great pastime.
Maybe you’ll even start to hold hands because everyone needs a little help balancing from time to time, right?
19. Tell your most embarrassing stories.
This might not be up your alley but it sure is a great way to relieve some tension of the first date. Since you might not have anywhere special to go, take your date back to the past.
Relive some of your most embarrassing, favorite, or least favorite moments. Help him get to know you by describing the events of your life and have him do the same.
20. Make a Spotify playlist together.
Take turns adding songs into a playlist that will forever be labeled as “the first date playlist.” It will give you a plethora of songs that remind you of the other.
What’s really great about this date is that it can be repeated after your relationship has developed into something more. Yay for new music and romance!
Isabella Pacinelli is a writer who covers relationship, self-love, spirituality, and entertainment topics.