Illustration for article titled How To Date During The Pandemic Without Taking Another Damn WalkPhoto: Drachenbilder (Shutterstock)

The pandemic has turned dating from a difficult and necessary evil into a fundamentally impossible and dangerous temptation. But with COVID-19 cases declining internationally and vaccination rates increasing daily in the US, you will likely stumble through an awkward date again, just like the old days. And if you did, why the hell would you take another lame, lackluster walk?

A walk is fine. And that’s really all it is … okay. If you’re looking to excite your potential date, especially after you’ve been in isolation for months after months, then you may want to suggest something more creative and fun than another stroll through a park.

Illustration for article titled How To Date During The Pandemic Without Taking Another Damn Walk

Virtual alternatives

We are not quite out of the forest of the pandemic yet. We can hope for a vaccinated summer to frolic with people we haven’t seen in a year, but for now, you could opt for a virtual date. Yes, I know the term “virtual date” doesn’t exactly create the anticipation you might otherwise get from an IRL meeting, but there are some good options that may suffice while we wait.

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  • Virtual escape room: Do you like to solve puzzles, especially when it comes to rescue from a (virtual) trap? Do a virtual escape room with your date. These prioritize teamwork and can definitely help you determine early on if you and your date can work together (if your goal is to win at all costs).
  • Try wine together: Are you two unbearable wine snobs? Then enjoy this snobbery by tasting wine together. You can buy the same bottles or order wine flights to their respective homes, pour out a few glasses, join a video conference and let the tannins and pretension take over.
  • Online tours: This may seem like a novelty stolen from the early days of the internet, but given the options available to you these days, it can actually be pretty cool. I mean you can take one virtual tour of the Louvre together. Or the Great Wall of China, the Georgia Aquarium, or any number of cool options.

Illustration for article titled How To Date During The Pandemic Without Taking Another Damn Walk

Fun IRL alternatives to walks

Walks are often viewed as facilitating discussion or a very intimate get-to-know activity. This is true. But it is also true that your legs can walk while you do other things besides speaking. Of course, given the tenacity of this pandemic, unless you’ve both been vaccinated, which is fine under the CDC protocol for now, you should wear a mask.

  • Mini golf: Is there a soul on this planet who doesn’t love mini golf? It will get you out of your comfort zone, and if you can maintain a positive mood while battling a goofy golf course, you will have a great time.
  • Picnics: You don’t go, you sit. But you’ll sit and talk, have a nice drink, and maybe eat something like sausage if that’s your speed.
  • Handcraft: Better still, if you go to a park for a picnic, why not get creative with some crafts? More specifically, why not bring some color and wine to someone else’s park or garden?
  • Outdoor movies / stand-up comedy: As the weather warms up, cities across the country will soon start projecting movies onto big screens amid local parks. There is also an option for stand-up and other performances to take place outdoors.
  • Bike tour: Take a bike ride in a picturesque location. Take a blanket and some lunch. Make it a day.
  • Look at the sunset: What could be nicer than going to a beautiful place (maybe on a bike), watching the sunset and coming home with fireflies lighting your way? I dont know! But you can definitely make that date come true this summer.
  • Botanical Gardens: Well, technically this is a walk, but it’s not an old walk. If your city has a botanical garden or nature reserve, walking around your local park will be a breeze.
  • tennis: Maybe you two aren’t the sporty types, but if you are, tennis is a fun game as you can really test your stamina to keep the chemistry going as you hit the ball back and forth.

This is just a small fraction of the things you can do that aren’t just about walking, which, quite frankly, is a boring activity to do on your own.