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video call
Photograph: Toa Heftiba/Unsplash

The best online date night ideas in Singapore

Beyond flirting on the phone, up the romance in your quarantine love story with fun virtual dates while social distancing

By Cam Khalid
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You best believe these are strange times for romance. Whether you've recently matched a cutie on a dating app or live separately from your partner, dating while practice social distancing is hard. But thankfully, things are made easier with technology – you can easily connect with your loved one at the touch of a button.

But if you can no longer count the number of times you've made Soulja Boy's noughties hit Kiss Me Thru The Phone a reality, it's time to level up your quarantine love story by planning fun online date nights with your boo. Here are some creative virtual date ideas to get started.

RECOMMENDED: The best (and worst) dating apps in Singapore and the best free date ideas in Singapore

cocktail
Photograph: Unsplash/Adam Jaime

Enjoy a virtual happy hour

Just because your favourite watering holes are closed for now doesn’t mean happy hour is cancelled. But what do you put in the shaker when all you have at home is some vodka, a sad lemon, and a few half-empty bottles of liqueur? Learn to shake up (or stir up) a cocktail or two with your special drinking partner with our Home Bar Series. But if you'd rather have one delivered for you and your date, order a tipple or two for each of you from our local bars.

Cacio e Pepe
Photograph: Shutterstock/Alexander Prokopenko

Try a new recipe together

It’s inevitable – the more we stay at home, the more our domesticated side surfaces. With more time on your hand to spare during this period, is your kitchen calling out to you? Make cooking extra fun by getting your personal sous chef to join along via a video call. Strap on that cooking apron and select a great-tasting recipe by local YouTube channels to kickstart your culinary journey – complete with engaging personalities, inspiring visuals, and easy-to-follow instructions. Not only do you get to spend time whipping up a meal – and witnessing all that kitchen mess – but your food will be ready at the same time.

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dance
Photograph: Unsplash/Hanson Lu

Have a Tik Tok dance off

Been practising the new viral Tik Tok dance craze in front of the mirror? Take it up a notch by getting your partner to join in the fun. Learn the choreography of the Renegade or the Savage, then fire up the video call to show off your mad skills –  or willingness to self-deprecate. Silly as it might seem, it might just be the comic relief you need to get through the new Phase 2 (Heightened Alert), and social distancing.

Singapore International Festival of the Arts, SIFA
Photograph: Tuckys Photography

Watch a local play online

Being sequestered at home doesn't mean you starve yourself off theatre shows. While you can't enjoy them IRL with your boo, you can still catch them together at the comfort of your couches with a glass of bubbly. Besides international broadcasts, there are also various online initiatives by local theatre companies including Wild Rice, Pangdemonium, and The Necessary Stage to keep us entertained like online watch parties, virtual theatrical experiences, and even Instagram book readings.

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Tapas,24
Photograph: Tapas,24

Order a meal for each other

Restaurants

When it comes to eating as a couple, there are two options: dining at a restaurant or cooking a nice meal at home. But now that the former option is not feasible, the next best thing to do is the latter – or play dinner-delivery roulette and order a meal for each other, which sounds fun. Sure, you could order your own food and eat it at the same time over FaceTime, but there’s something thrilling about a surprise food delivery at your door – unless your boo hasn't got a clue about your dietary preferences (best to double-check beforehand). And did we mention how exciting it is to see them unbox and enjoy it with you via a video call? Plus, ordering and having the meals delivered also helps support local businesses.

Nintendo Switch, Animal Crossing
Photograph: Unsplash/Sara Kurfeß

Play an online game

Turn up the heat... by channelling your competitive streak. At this digital age, you don't even need your date to be in the flesh to play popular games like Pictionary, Cards Against Humanity and Exploding Kittens. They're all available online too. But if both of you happen to be proud owners of a Nintendo Switch, jump on the hype train by playing Animal Crossing where you can visit each other's islands. Or play Mario Kart. A fun level of competition can be invigorating for your relationship, but always keep it friendly because it can turn out ugly otherwise.

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A Land Imagined
Photograph: mm2 Entertainment

Netflix Party and chill

Film

Fancy a movie night together? If cosying up in a couple seat at the cinema or the couch at home is off the cards, you can still watch a TV show or a film together over the internet. Cue Netflix Party, a Chrome extension that allows you to sync a show with your pals so that you all can watch – and pause – at the same time. There's also a live chatroom to quiz each other – winner gets to pick the next movie. If you're spoilt for choice, try playing one of our local movie picks.

music, headphones
Photograph: bruce mars/Unsplash

Take turns spinning quaran-tunes

Things to do

As Madge (aka Madonna) says, "Hey mister DJ, put a record on. I wanna dance with my baby," and put a record you shall. Play DJ, set up some funky lighting, and host a virtual party via Zoom. You can invite other couples (double date, say what) too if you're planning to turn your bedroom disco into an online rave. Looking for fresh tunes? Say no more. Check out hot new music from our local artists here.

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An Old New World: Digital Edition
Photograph: National Museum of Singapore

Explore an online art exhibition in your PJs

Art

Pour yourself a glass of wine, light the candle, keep your slippers on, and get your culture fix with a private virtual tour with bae. All you have to do is connect via video calling apps such as Zoom and Google Hangouts, and share your screen, exploring virtually every major museum and art galleries online. Check out the digital edition of National Museum of Singapore's An Old New World exhibition, and National Gallery Singapore’s collection of over 1,000 artworks and 7,000 archival materials online.

zoom
Photograph: Unsplash/Gabriel Benois

Test your brainpower

If you feel your sharp mind slipping into the dark abyss of boredom, create the ultimate dream team with your partner and work those brain cells with a good ol' quiz. Turn on your lightbulb – and your webcam and microphone – as The Singapore Quizmaster tests your smarts on history, pop culture and everything in between.

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36 questions, love letter
Photograph: Unsplash/Debby Hudson

Go deeper with 36 questions

Yes, we get it: 36 is a whole lotta questions for a whole lotta love. But hear us out. Based on a study by psychologist Arthur Aron (and others), it takes 36 personal questions to see whether intimacy between two people can be accelerated. It makes great conversation, especially if you're trying to see if your other half actually fits with your half. It can be intimidating but if you're curious creatures – or nosy like us – it makes a great way to learn more about each other. Whether you're on your fifth virtual date or celebrating your silver jubilee together, this is a social science experiment worth putting to the test. Downside? Gazing into each others' eyes while discussing the topic via video call may not be as effective as IRL.

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