By Lizzy Bliss
Whether you’re single or in a relationship, dating and date nights are essential to keep the fire alive.
In the current season, you could be restricted due to Covid-19, you might be socially awkward or struggle with a disability and limited in movement, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on a romantic date.
Which is why we compiled our pick of the seven best dating ideas you can do from the comfort of your home. Some of these are free, and some aren’t, but they’re all great fun and will go a long way to improving your love life, or prospective love life.
1. Bake together
Who doesn’t like baking, right? If you don’t bake, don’t worry, you’re never too old to learn, and it’s not that important to get it right! Baking together is a great way to bond and keep the conversation flowing while also keeping busy. You don’t have to go all Cake Boss either; you can bake brownies (maybe even special brownies), pies or even flapjacks. You’ll have a common goal, work together and get to enjoy a dessert at the end of it.
2. Have a picnic at home
The great indoors with no bugs! You can score some serious points with a picnic at home. Get creative and get a picnic basket. Set a scene with candles with a silent outdoors projection on the screen. Get all his/her favourite snacks and sensible picnic food and a good bottle of wine or champagne if that’s your thing. You can do it anywhere in the house; it’s the idea that counts.
3. Have a tasting party
Pick a category that you know your date will like. It can be wine, chocolate, gin, cheese or a combination of things. The key is in the planning. Read up on the tasting topic you decide to go with and build up a fair bit of knowledge.
Read the history of what you’ll be tasting, where it came from, interesting facts about the origin and so on. We have no shortage of good options in South Africa. Work out a tasting menu and print it out. The effort and creativity will be appreciated, trust me. You might also learn something in the process.
4. Build a blanket fort
Now, before you knock it let me explain. A fort is old school cool. It’s childish, whimsical and on the lighter side of life. It inadvertently takes you back to simpler times, especially with a drink or two and it’s always fun.
You can spruce up the fort with fairy lights but stay away from candles. Prepare a few easy nibbles that won’t create a mess and is easy to share. You’d be surprised at how romantic this can be and remember; what happens in the fort, stays in the fort.
5. Host a cooking challenge
This one works better with two couples because you need a bit of objectivity to judge the results. A bit of healthy competition is good for a relationship.
However, if you’re over competitive then maybe skip this one. The idea is to have a ready-steady cook style competition where you buy a set amount of random ingredients for the other party, and they have to create something with it. Or create two mystery bags with the same ingredients to make it fairer.
Put a budget on it and keep shopping limited to the same store. There are many variations of a cooking challenge, but the best part of this date is that it creates anticipation and requires planning from both sides. It’s something to look forward to, and you’ll already have a lot of fun planning it together.
6. Homemade YouTube karaoke and cocktail night
Okay, it has to be said that alcohol makes any Karaoke night easier for everyone involved. So you should consider doing a Karaoke night in tandem with a cocktail mixing night! That way you can assume by the end of the evening everyone will be singing.
YouTube is full of great Karaoke tracks that give you free access to all the best songs, including Bohemian Rhapsody. You can get a relatively inexpensive mic and speaker combination these days. It’s a great way to let your hair down and to leave any inhibitions at the front door.
7. Movie marathon
Nothing beats some excellent movies and a good snuggle, but this is probably not a great idea for a first date. Picking a movie can be a challenge for even the most hardened relationship veterans.
You need to make sure you can agree on a common theme for movies before having a nine-hour movie marathon. The easiest way to do this is by picking a genre you both like, i.e. 80’s or Fantasy. Pick your favourite three and throw the names in a hat and have a fair draw to decide the line-up. If all else fails, you can always opt for a Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks combination.
Make sure you have plenty of snacks. It’s been a tough year for everyone and a date night could be just what you need right about now, we highly recommend it.
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