16 Indoor Date Ideas For Staying Romantic During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Couples everywhere are facing a common conundrum, thanks to coronavirus: When your favorite restaurant is only accepting takeout orders, your go-to bar is closed for business, and basically every event in your area is canceled, what does that mean for date night? If you’re isolating with your SO, fret not. Even the coronavirus outbreak can’t squash romance, thanks to the countless indoor date ideas you can try.

As an eternal optimist, here’s my take — circumstances like these force you and your boo to get creative. If you were stuck in a rut of eating at the same go-to gastropubs or grabbing drinks at the same speakeasies on a Saturday night, now is a great time to shake things up. Just because you’re hibernating doesn’t mean you can’t have some fun, and in fact, you may be surprised at how indoor dates can boost the intimacy in your relationship.

The best indoor dates are the ones that not only allow you to bond in meaningful ways but also potentially learn new things about each other. So, it’s time to think beyond Netflix and chill. Who says you can’t get out of your comfort zone right from the comfort of your own home? These indoor dates will get the sparks flying — and the best part is, you can stay safe because you won’t have to set foot outside.

One of the many indoor date ideas is to compete in your own two-person cookoff.
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1. Compete in a cookoff.

Find a recipe that you can both realistically tackle, set up two stations with the same ingredients, set the timer, and start whipping up your own versions of the same tasty dish. Then, sample each of your creations together and compare cooking tips.

2. Engage in a sweat sesh.

Who says you can’t squeeze a workout in just because your local gym is closed? Check out apps like Dailyburn and Fitness Blender, which offer a wide variety of workout videos, from challenging HIIT classes to strength training sessions. Or, you can scour YouTube for free classes.

3. Have a candy tasting.

Satisfying your sweet tooth is a foolproof way to survive isolation. Stock up on different colors of Starbursts, Gummi Bears or Worms, Sour Straws, Hi-Chews, and whatever else you and your SO are craving — and then eat your way through the rainbow together.

4. Take personality tests.

Do you and your partner know your love languagesMyers-Briggs types, and Enneagram types? If not, consider getting to know each other better by taking one of the many online tests that are available (some of which are totally free). After you take the tests and share your results, you can look into podcasts or online resources that will offer additional insight into both of your “types.”

5. Go camping.

Channel your inner kid and build a fort out of blankets, pillows, and furniture (or set up a tent if you have one). Once you’re inside your cozy hideaway (with a batch of s’mores, of course), grab some flashlights and exchange spooky stories.

6. Get handy.

Now’s a great time to dive into that home improvement project you’ve been putting off (provided you can order the necessary supplies) — besides, painting a wall, installing shelving, or upgrading your light fixture can serve as an incredible bonding opportunity. Once you’ve completed the project together, reward yourselves with dinner delivery from your favorite local joint.

One of the best indoor date ideas is delving into a home improvement project, like painting a wall.
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7. Make your own beer.

Rather than getting a six-pack of IPAs delivered, shop online for a beer-making kit. Make a day date out of concocting your own suds (which will taste so much better knowing you brewed them), and sip on the fruits of your labor while watching a flick or playing a board game.

8. Plan a future adventure.

Got a case of cabin fever? While taking a romantic getaway may not be realistic RN, you can totally start plotting your next trip so you have something to look forward to down the line. Create a Pinterest board with some inspiration for destinations and activities, and start researching hotels so that when jet-setting becomes feasible again, you can finally take the #baecation of your dreams.

9. Film your own baking show.

You and your SO could be one video away from becoming YouTube sensations. So, whip out your smartphone and film your experience trying out a brand new dessert recipe. At the very least, documenting this date will offer a nice dose of nostalgia down the line.

10. Watch a concert.

Even though live performances are currently canceled, you can still find a recording of your favorite band or solo act and recreate the experience (with the added bonus of no strangers spilling beer on you). Best of all, you can sing along as loud as you want to. Check out NPR’s Tiny Desk series, which features intimate video performances from such artists as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, and the Jonas Brothers.

11. Have a couple’s casino night.

Bust out the cards and chips and make a few friendly wagers — and if you don’t want to place bets using real money, consider chores or fun personal favors to cash in on.

One of the indoor date ideas you might not think of is having your own casino night.
Shutterstock

12. Plan a DIY paint night.

YouTube is a goldmine of free step-by-step painting classes, and you and your boo will no doubt have a blast working on your individual interpretations of the artwork — even if they don’t come out looking like masterpieces. Order supplies on Amazon, or just use whatever tools you already have at home. You can even swap paintings at the end to hang in your respective abodes.

13. Have an indoor picnic.

No bug spray required for this romantic indoor date — all you need is a towel or blanket, a basket or bin with nosh and libations, and perhaps a game or two to keep you occupied.

14. Plot out a scavenger hunt for each other.

Using sticky notes, write out clever clues that lead your partner to different locations around your home until they hunt down their thoughtful prize.

15. Start a two-person book club.

Listening to the same book together can prompt all kinds of inspiring discussions about your relationship, your goals, and your own life experiences. If you have a library card, you can try connecting your account to Hoopla, a digital service that boasts a vast selection of audiobooks.

16. Create your own mindfulness retreat.

There’s hardly a better time than now to focus on being present and aware of your thoughts and feelings. Turn your home into a mini retreat for a day, complete with meditation and yoga sessions, mindfulness exercises, healthy eats, and a steady supply of hot tea.

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. 

 

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Hidden Deal Breakers In Dating You Never Notice Right Away — But Should

While the first weeks (or months) of dating can and should be the fun, carefree stage in which you’re simply learning the dynamics of a potential relationship, they are also crucial in that they can determine overall compatibility. As intense as it sounds, these initial dates can be very telling — especially if you pay attention to hidden deal breakers. And although some signs of trouble can be more obvious — difference in life and relationship goals, negativity, aggression, etc. — some are carefully secreted under the surface, peeking out discreetly and sneakily here and there.

“Red flags are one of the most important things to look out for in dating because they tell you what kind of person you are dealing with,” says Melissa Hobley, the Global CMO at OkCupid. “Women in particular tend to make excuses for red flags — but take these seriously. As the saying goes, ‘When people show you who they are, believe them.'”

That said, the more under-the-radar the issue, the more cause for concern, as these little deal breakers can often manifest into something truly catastrophic if they go unchecked for too long. Hobley offers this example: “Excited about a new person you’re seeing, but he or she seems a bit too concerned about the fact that you have other guy or girl friends? You could be dealing with some serious jealousy issues, so don’t ignore these.”

An example like the one mentioned above can easily fall through the cracks, especially when you’re in the full infatuation phase. You could easily misidentify jealousy for devotion or avid interest. Sometimes this red flag radar doesn’t truly kick until you’ve had a couple bad experiences under your belt. “The more people date, the more they learn about themselves and what they are looking for,” says Hobley. “We know that 66 percent of OkCupid users say they become more specific over time in what they want in a potential partner, and I think it’s equally important to figure out what you don’t want as it is to know what you do.”

So what are some of the more under-the-radar deal breakers you should be wising up to, you ask? Ahead, six major ones that should be detected early on, even in their subtlest states, according to relationship experts.

Viacheslav Boiko/Shutterstock

Too Eager To Impress

Although it’s natural to want to make the best impression possible on your date or potential partner, you don’t want someone who is inauthentic. “It may be tempting to put on the best face or to tell your dating partner information about you that you think he or she will find impressive,” says Rachel Astarte, psychotherapist, transformational life coach, author, and educator. “Certainly this is something that we don’t want to do, but it’s important to be aware when the person you’re on a date with is doing the same. Pay attention to how eager he or she is to impress you with stories about his or her life. It may be that they are not entirely factual, which you will find out down the line.”

Conversation Monopolizer

There’s nothing better than those long, open talks with the person you’re interested in. You know the ones — the dates that last for hours and you never want to end. However, be aware of the dynamics of your conversation and who is doing all the talking. “Beware of a dating partner who monopolizes the conversation,” says Astarte. “Not only could this be a sign of narcissistic tendencies, but it may indicate low self-esteem, hence the need to control the conversation. Again, we should not have to build ourselves up in order to be liked.”

Piggybacking off the above, lack of empathy can really shine through in these initial conversations. Again, in the haze of lust, you might not notice little flaws in your emotional connection with your date. Try to be aware of how they respond to deeper and more vulnerable discussions. “If you share your emotional distress and they respond in unkind ways then it’s a red flag,” says Dr. Wyatt Fisher, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Marriage Counselor.

How They Treat Others

Even the most brief interaction can clue you in on someone’s character. Simple manners and kindness can really shine through when you’re out and about … or not. “When you’re going out to eat with the person on a date, pay attention to how they treat your server, bartender, Uber driver, and other folks around you,” says Hobley. “People overlook red flags in these scenarios that become huge issues later on.”

William Perugini/Shutterstock

Flakiness

Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, it’s normal for plans to change, but keep an eye out for chronic inconsistency. If your date is constantly flaking or you’re going too long in-between dates, it could be a warning of things to come. “The proof is in the pursuit,” says Dee Strickland, Certified Dating & Relationship Coach/ Expert. “If your new beau goes missing for days at a time or makes plans with you and bails last minute, or you’re getting stood up with no notice; ditch him or her. This person has no respect for your time. You want a partner that values and appreciates the time you’ve set aside for them.”

Disparaging The Ex

Yes, breakups are difficult, hurtful, and can leave you with a multitude of scars and baggage. However, someone who badmouths their ex openly and extensively could have some character issues that are cause for concern. “Sure, at some point, there may be a safe space created within your relationship to be vulnerable and share past disappointments or hurts caused by an ex, but this is a red flag that should not be ignored early on,” says Strickland. “This type of person usually tends to be an expert at negging (an act of emotional manipulation whereby a person makes a deliberate backhanded compliment or other negative comment to another person to undermine their confidence and increase their need of the manipulator’s approval,) and you will only be signing up to be his next victim.”

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Too Much Too Soon

It’s flattering and typically an easy boost to one’s self-esteem when a person you’re interested in wants to spend as much time with you as possible. However, there is such a thing as jumping in too quickly. “People who commit to quickly — this is exciting at first, but can speak to underlying, problematic issues or even mental health concerns,” says Lauren O’Connell, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a Private Practice in Santa Monica, California. Also, the relationship guru warns against people who get vulnerable too quickly, as it can also reinforce the above point. “Too much too soon — I would be cautious about people who pour out their life story to you on a first date,” she explains.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Sun Stories: Cassie – Chapter 1 – The Stewardess

It’s the busy season at the the salon. We’re mobbed every night. That’s why I need Amelia and Eileen to help me. They’re the best hires we’ve ever had and I adore them both.

I usually leave the girls to work the front counter because as long as I’ve been here I’m accustomed to doing everything. So when it gets crazy busy in here, I’m happy to just run around and clean beds and not have to deal with all of the complicated intake. That’s great practice for the girls, because that’s the nuts and bolts of the job and will make them more independent of me and they’ll be able to run the salon without me.

Unlike in my past corporate jobs, I as a leader train my employees to walk where I walk, not where I point. The more they know and the more efficient they become, the more valuable they become to the company. In the rat race I usually worked for loser no talents that had just been there longer than anybody else because they were mentally incapable of getting a better job so they became middle managers.

Losers. When they met me they saw the talent and they held it down. They spent most of their time having meetings and controlling the staff and pretending to do their jobs and justifying their positions.

I’ve always been a shark. Let me swim and I’ll run down and kill the accounts all day long. It’s not about the money, it’s just low self esteem and talent to be number one because your father told you were a loser.

I’m a deadly sales guy who will work until they pat me in the face with a shovel.

I happened to be at the front counter with Eileen for a moment last week when an attractive 30 year old, brown eyed, fit, blonde, came in to tan. She said she was a transplant from California. I was running my usual program of charm on her and wine had been discussed.

She lit up when I mentioned, oceans of free chardonnay.

“I’m a flight attendant and I’ve been recently sent here to be in Philly as my hub.”

Oh, baby seal that knows nothing about the city or where to drink?

“Oh, I love that. Flight attendant. You’re not around all of the time!”

I have to be honest, that would be a good gig for me. I love my time alone.

I can see we’re connecting and shes giggling. I can add her to my circle. Maybe.

A week passes and she appears again.

“Hey. I just got in from L.A. How are you?”

“I’m good. Great to see you.”

“You too.”

I walk her back to her room. “I’m actually off Saturday, (phenomenon because I’m always working) If you’d like we could meet up for a drink. Your new in town and i know all the good spots.”

“That would be awesome. Text me on Saturday.”

Cassie seems great. We actually joked about how I had lost a friend with her same name because she moved away and it almost seemed like she wanted to be the new Cassie.

I miss the real one, but maybe this girl will be a sweet band aid for a few drinks.

I push her my contact info and leave it at that. I’m 55, she’s 31 (allegedly) so we’re still stretching it on a newbie.

She gets back to me before she exits the sunbed. This is a good sign.

I’m not looking for anything, but I just love the energy and the game of meeting someone new.

I discover I’m off Saturday.

I’m going to text Cassie and see if she’d like to meet me for a drink.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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