We realize that romance and ‘date night’ might not exactly be high on your list of priorities right now.
And understandably so. We’re living through the most surreal and stressful episode of our lifetime. We’re stashing away toilet paper like rolls of gold. And we’re all just doing our best to stay sane, as we watch Dr. Anthony Fauci speak in front of that too-tall podium, hoping for some good news.
Point is, it’s very easy for your partner (and romance, generally) to take a back seat during these stranger-than-fiction times. I mean, who wants to give someone a back scratch when you’re terrified of rubbing your eyes or itching the tip of your nose?
But the truth is, taking care of your love life might be even more important now than before. Call us rom-com cheesy, but we think that when we finally come out of this storm cloud, there will be one main takeaway: humanity’s relentless capacity for love -- combined with breakthrough science -- always wins out.
So, in the name of Love, we’ve outlined a guide to help you keep things fun and romantic with your boo in the midst of COVID-19.
1. Have a romantic candle-lit dinner for two (at home)
We know, we know...all you really want to do is go to that charming, quaint restaurant by your home, the one you and bae love, where they always have a table for you. We’re right there with you. But just because you have to eat at home doesn’t preclude you from enjoying a romantic dinner with your special someone.
Turn your kitchen into a dining destination! Set the table with your best dishes and silverware. Dim the lights and break out those scented candles. Uncork that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion. You can even throw on some romantic background music to set the mood (maybe a little John Legend or Adele).
Savor each other’s company -- you know, like you used to do before COVID-19 forced you into house arrest together. Look into each other’s eyes. Hold hands. Play some footsie under the table. Get cozy and let loose!
There’s a reason you’re hunkered down together, so refill your partner’s wine glass and remind each other why you’re together.
2. Spice things up in the kitchen 🔥
Tell your partner to put that Stouffer’s pizza box back in the freezer. You’re cooking up a feast tonight!
Surprise bae with a divine meal you’ve been keeping under wraps. Search Pinterest beforehand and plan a menu with an appetizer, entree, and dessert. Keep things hot and mysterious with a blind taste test before the main meal (nothing too crazy, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the last thing you need is an upset stomach).
You can take turns cooking for each other -- or you can have a cook off! Choose a recipe and see who can make it better.
3. Enjoy an authentic movie (or Netflix) night
It’s almost impossible to get away from the news. And nothing on TV seems nearly as crucial or interesting as the real life dystopia we’re living through. But BACHes, you’ve gotta give it a break every now and then.
Have a proper movie night. Treat it as if you’re going to Alamo Drafthouse or your local movie theater. Fix yourself a giant bowl of popcorn. Indulge in all the fun snacks you’d never eat except when at a movie theater. Cozy up your couch with a nest of blankets and throw pillows.
Watch a new Netflix series -- we’re lovin’ Love is Blind and Sex Education -- or throw it back to one of the first movies you ever watched as a couple (Guardians of the Galaxy, anyone?). Now’s also a perfect time to catch up on all those shows you’ve only seen memes of, like the Netflix series: You.
If you’re feeling especially Doomsday-y, you can always go with a post-apocalyptic classic:
Children of Men, Contagion, I Am Legend, A Quiet Place, or 28 Days Later.
But chances are you want to keep it light and funny.
BACH Fam’s Pandemic Picks:
4. Happy hour → Dance party → 😻
Mix fun cocktails with your doomsday groceries and have a Friday night happy hour!
Wind down from another WFH week with some tasty, festive cocktails you’d usually order when out at the bar! Show off those mixology skills from that bartending class you took when you were 19.
After a cocktail (or 6), hit the lights and maybe unearth that rotating disco ball you’ve got stored in a closet for some forgotten reason. Blast your favorite songs and dance the night away with moves that may or may not come out at a wedding dancefloor down the road...
Your wedding got postponed? We’re sorry, that really sucks. But here’s a silver lining to that: now is a great time to perfect that first dance!
5. Stay young at heart together with games 🎮
You can only Google coronavirus so many times. And sometimes simply watching a show or a movie just isn't enough…Splurge on Nintendo Switch and tap back into your childhood glory with games like Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. It’s also possible you’re living at your parents’ house now. Who knows, you might even have a game system collecting dust somewhere in the attic or basement. Go find it!
If you have Apple TV, the game "Grindstone" in the Apple Arcade makes a great game for couples. Take turns solving puzzles and shouting strategies at each other (like my fiancé and I did for 8 hours straight last Saturday).
Wanna take things way back? Break out those board games you might have at your parents’ house, the ones you haven’t played since you were a kid. We’re talking about games like Yahtzee, Candy Land, Scrabble, and, of course, Clue 🕵️
6. Put your f*cking phone down (for an hour or two), and read to each other
No question, it’s important to stay informed. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and family, too. But consider putting your phone on airplane mode for a night and immersing yourself in a great book. Enjoy the quiet together, while losing yourselves in your own separate worlds.
Not sick of each other’s voices yet? Cuddle up on the couch or in bed with your partner, and take turns reading to each other. A book shared with someone you love just has more power. And there’s something about reading a book out-loud -- being told a bedtime story -- that’s inherently soothing.
Read something you both enjoy that gives you all those nostalgic, pre-pandemic feels, like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games or The Princess Bride.
Or, if you’re looking for something timely and suspenseful, here are some of the BACH Fam’s favorite reads right now:
7. Write a love letter
Heyy there, valentine - when’s the last time you surprised your special someone with a card filled with beautiful, tender words written straight from the heart?
Writing during times like these can be therapeutic and just an amazing way to put things in perspective. Sure, you and bae might get on each other’s nerves throughout the day (read: chews gum extremely loud, and screams into the phone during conference calls), but deep down you love each other.
And deep down, you know this is your person. It’s easy to take that for granted in the all-consuming, doom-and-gloom noise of coronavirus. Our suggestion? Take fifteen minutes to sit down with a pad of paper, and write down all the reasons you love your partner. Tell them why there’s no one else in the world with whom you’d rather be holed up.
You know the drill: wash your hands, sneeze into your elbow, keep your six feet of social distancing when you’re out of your home. These are our civic duties at this point, like paying taxes and stopping at the red traffic light.
But remember to think about the big picture (outside of coronavirus). It’s natural to fall into the bland everyday routine of lockdown life, but check in with the people who matter the most during this stressful time: your family and your partner.
Keep your loved ones and your community safe by staying responsible, and hold tight with bae until this is all over.