Great date ideas you can do during Coronavirus lockdown
One of the key rules around COVID-19 social distancing lockdowns is that you can meet one other person, usually outdoors, but they can also come to your house. This means Coronavirus is no barrier to love and dating. In fact, this pandemic is the era of the cheap date.
At the time of writing this, states were beginning to relax their laws. Of course, different states, territories and even regions will be applying very different rules and these will change over time. You should check your own state's rules, remembering to both look at the official rules posted your state's health officer, as well as the interpretations of those rules made by politicians and law enforcement.
This guide includes ideas that are valid under everything except the strictest lockdown rules, through to those that will be allowed as the rules ease. In some states, lockdown will start to ease at the start of May, and in others, it will take longer. If Coronavirus cases start to increase again, lockdowns rules may return to their higher levels.
The easing of the rules
What we are seeing now is that some states are both easing or simply clarifying rules. We can expect this to occur over the coming weeks and months, but the focus will be on allowing more activities that are safe.
A couple sitting 1.5 metres apart. Are they socially responsible or having an argument?
So big events are probably out for the rest of the year and even restaurants, are not likely to come back too quickly. The biggest issue is that this virus can survive well in droplets in the air. Outdoors, those droplets just dissipate, but indoors they can become trapped and build up. This is, much like someone smoking inside versus out in the park. Personally, I am hoping that outdoor venues will open up soon.
Of course, in countries where the rules have been eased, such as China, restaurants are open, but people are not rushing back to eat there. So the following date ideas will apply for some time as people try to both find love and stay safe.
Is love and dating a valid reason to meet?
There is some confusion here. So the basic rule is that one person can visit another person who lives alone. There are some variations on this, such as in Queensland, 2 people can come to a house. But this was designed to allow separated parents to come around and drop off kids, not for romantic activities between multiple adults.
However, you still need a valid reason to leave the house, even with the easing of the rules. Just going to hang out is not necessarily a valid reason, but not necessarily against the rules either. As the rules ease, there will be more and more reasons that you can meet someone, though, under the strictest rules, it is to get together to exercise.
Meeting someone for a walk has been the most obvious date since lockdown came into effect. A long romantic walk in the park, along the beach, or through a local bushland reserve is actually my idea of a good date at any time that the weather is good. It sounds like I am cheap, but there is nature, flowers, other couples and it is just a relaxed setting.
Holding hands is allowed if you live together with your walking partner
Best of all, you want to head somewhere that is not too crowded. Even the quiet places near where I live have lots of people these days. so you need to explore a little.
If you are in a place that has yet to allow picnics, you can rest and have a snack after exercising. So a romantic snack of protein bars and sports drinks is allowed.
Remember, if the person is not from your household, you are meant to remain 1.5 metres apart. So no holding hands, but yearning looks are allowed.
Exercise and sports on a first date is something that can fraught with danger. Both people are trying to give their best impression, so it can be a little difficult. Though it can be a great way to find someone who is fit and healthy.
A couple preparing to jump in the ocean for a swim
Fitness dates are great for couples that have been together for some time. The secret of long-term relationships is always encouraging each other to perform better and helping them to improve, while also changing a little to match in with their ability.
The trick is to find something that you can both do. Head for a swim (at one of the few beaches that are still open), do bodyweight exercises in the park, or just go for a jog. Why not try netless badminton in the park or the classic frisbee.
Some states will soon be allowing picnics. This is a great first date because you can either impress your date with the food you prepared, or you can both bring a little to share and learn about each other's tastes.
Nothing is more romantic than a picnic by water while the sun sets
My advice for a good first date picnic is to bring lots of things little things to eat and keep it fresh with lots of colour. Also, it can look like you are well prepared for little effort.
Remember, you may or may not be allowed to use park benches, so bring or a picnic rug, or folding chairs and table. If you find you can use the provided tables, it is safest to put the rug on the table.
Take away dates
I am making this a separate category to picnics, mostly because I want to emphasise that takeaway has become the only way to eat out and many restaurants that didn't go takeaway or delivery in the past, have started doing this. Yes, you can still grab fish and chips at the beach, but now you can have an Uber Eats driver drop off dinner from a top restaurant to an outdoor location of your choice.
You can get more than fish & chips delivered to you for a picnic in the park
The best or worst possible date is just sitting and talking. It is the best, because sometimes you meet a wonderful person, and just sit for hours talking. Other times, it is hard to get into a proper conversation with some people, so the date could just be the two of you sitting around staring at your shoes for the whole time, or worse yet, listening to them go on and on about their own opinions about everything without listening to anything you say.
Find a nice place to just sit and talk, but please, 1.5 metres apart
Sitting and talking has always been allowed with some caveats. Basically, you could do some exercise, then stop and rest. So this is the time to sit and talk. If picnics are allowed, then sitting and talking is also allowable as well.
The trick is to find a really nice place to sit away from other people and talk. Like I often say, there are lots of great little local parks where few people visit where you can just find a shady tree to sit under.
Cycling dates were invented not long after the invention of the bicycle and by the look at the queue in front of my local bike shop, I think cycling is having a big resurgence at the moment. Cycling is exercise so it has always been allowed, but with the relaxing of the rules you can easily cycle and then stop somewhere for a picnic or to grab some takeaway.
Even if your location doesn't yet allow stopping for long periods, cycling is still a great date. I do recommend the lazy Sunday cycle approach to riding, which means finding a nice cycling location to just cycle and enjoy the scenery. If the path is not too busy you can ride and talk at the same time.
Of course, if you and your date are both super fit, then you can find something a little more challenging, whether it is a local mountain to ride up or mountain bike paths to careen around. Given that superfit cyclists can really wrack up the miles in cycling, I am not sure if there is any restriction on how far you are allowed to ride. I think that if the police do stop you, they will be more impressed than anything else.
Whichever way you do it, 2 people, 2 bicycles and one path make a great date. As long as both people are cycling at the same level, that is.
The previous rule in most states is that you can go out to exercise, as long as it is near where you live. How far is near? Well, they didn't say. This is being clarified and in at least 1 state, you can travel up to 50 kms from your home.
Scenic drives are going to be one of the things allowed as lockdown rules ease
Many cities actually have lots of little scenic spots people don't even know about as they drive past them to more famous places further away. For the near future, it is likely to just outdoor locations that you can visit. But the easing of the rules can be a great opportunity to do some suburban exploring. There are some amazing little parks in every city in Australia that even people who live near them don't know about.
Some shops are still open and hopefully soon more and more will open up again. While not my idea of a superfun date, and certainly not my idea of keeping safe during COVID-19, some people love shopping. You won't be able to stop and eat at a cafe, but if your date likes shopping, it can be a great way to get out of bad weather for a while.
If the weather is bad, the only often for a date is to visit someone's home. I should remind people to stay safe if going on a first date to another person's place of residence. The basics are, let someone else know where you are going, don't drink too much, and just leave if you feel uncomfortable.
Nothing stops love. It has surpassed wars, racism and distance, and plagues certainly have not stopped people falling in love. So keep an eye on the rules where you live and you will still have opportunities to find love and go on great romantic dates.