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Photograph: Monstera

Dating ideas for when you're in lockdown

From at-home pub nights to backyard camping, here are some dating ideas for when you're stuck in that 5km bubble

Adena Maier
Written by
Divya Venkataraman
Adena Maier

Most of us have our lockdown lifestyles perfected by now, like knowing which local bakeries deliver the best sourdough after our own attempts failed and the best parks to spend our allotted two hours of outdoor time. Our collective dating skills, on the other hand, have likely become pretty rusty.

Whether it's with someone new, a partner who you don't live with or someone you do live with and are itching for inspo for home dates, we're here with some ideas. Here's how to spice up your romantic life in the time of 5km radii and physical distancing. 

Go on a digi-date

If you and your date are unfortunately too far apart to meet up, then a digital rendezvous is the best option. Send them a Google Hangout invitation, put away all of your laundry and dress snazzy (at least from the waist up, if you want to keep your trackies on). If the idea of just sitting and talking makes you anxious, there are heaps of activities you can do together virtually like a virtual escape room or a paint and sip

Meet them halfway

If you and your date are lucky enough to have intersecting 5km bubbles, then try out some well-worded advice by the Black Eyed Peas and meet them halfway for a walk to get to know each other. See if one of these parks or walking trails sits inside your bubbles and get some fresh air. 

Bring the pub to your home

If you're sick of ordering takeaway, enjoy what has been crowned Melbourne's most iconic dish – the humble chicken parma. Pretend you're at your local and have your own parma and a pot deal. If you can't be bothered going to the store to get all the fixings for your parma, we've compiled a list of the best grocery delivery services in Melbourne. While everything's cooking, put some fancy beer glasses in the freezer for a bit. Pour your tinnies in and you'll feel like you've just gotten a fresh, frosty pour from the tap. 

Send a surprise delivery 

As adults, the closest thing to the unbridled childhood joy we experienced during the holiday season is the joy we get when the doorbell rings and we find a parcel on the front doorstep. That joy is even greater when it's something unexpected. Make someone's day with gourmet cheese care package left on their stoop, a gift hamper filled with treats by Melbourne makers or a pretty bunch of flowers.

Order a schmancy meal in

The hospitality industry has taken a thorough beating over the last year, with all venues around the state having been forced to close up shop except to offer takeaway and delivery. If you've had a special occasion to celebrate together in the last year, you've probably felt the pain of endlessly having to cancel and reschedule reservations. So, why not try a fancy feast via takeout? We've compiled a list of the best places to order a fancy dinner from, so get out the fancy plates.  

Get stuck into games night

Find out how competitive your date is by breaking out the games. If you're able to meet up, there's nothing like the intensity of Uno or Monopoly or some other board games to help you find out if you can do this for the long haul. There's also some wholesome video games and some virtual and online game sites that you can play whether you're together or apart. If you feel like getting a little loose, there are also some fun drinking games that you can play over Zoom – and you can always add a stripping element to any of these activities to kick them up a notch. 

Recreate Melbourne experiences from home

Some of Melbourne's best date spots – the NGV, Cinema Nova, and the MCG – are unfortunately not open during lockdown. But fear not, because we've taken it upon ourselves to find low-budget crafty ways to recreate those experiences at home.  

Shout a round via boozy delivery 

This one is basically just buying that cute someone a drink at the bar, but dialled up a notch. You can get drinks delivered to your date’s home via services like Home Grown, which delivers pre-mixed spritzes and highballs straight to your door. All you need is a glass and a garnish and you're good to go. Better yet, support local bars and bottle shops that do online delivery

Netflix and chill - no, really

Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) should help with this one. Sync up your screens and chat through your favourite scenes of an old classic, or try out a new release to get you on the edge of your seat. Better yet, support Melbourne's Lido, Classic and Cameo cinemas and use their online streaming service. 

Backyard camping

Grab that tent that's gathering dust in your garage and turn your yard into a campsite. You can create a DIY fire pit and toast some marshmallows, or pretend you're out in the wilderness and warm up some tinned beans over the flames. Enjoy all the best parts of camping together while still having close access to the luxury of indoor plumbing. You could even invest in a projector, pin a sheet to the side of your house and make it an outdoor movie night. 

Wondering how else to while away the time?

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