Love Lockdown: Date Ideas When You’re Quarantined Separately

If you don’t live with your significant other or are trying to start a romance with someone new, it takes some thoughtfulness to keep the flame alive without being able to spend quality time together in person. Here are some suggestions for creative ways to get to know one another and develop a relationship without ever being in the same room.


50 First Dates anonymously chronicles the fun, romantic, wacky, bizarre and downright awful true experiences of dating in Honolulu. Check back weekly for new first-date stories, where to go to woo a boo, tips on where to meet people and more!


quarantine dating



1. Movie Night

Grab a drink, pick a film and chat about it while watching simultaneously with the Chrome browser extension Netflix Party. (We hear Hulu is testing out a watch party, too.) This can be great for a low-pressure first date. If you’re less into the movie and more into having fun, pick a foreign-language film, turn off the subtitles and make it up as you go along.


SEE ALSO: 145 Thoughts We Had While Watching Love Is Blind with Netflix Party


movie night


If you’re ready to venture outside, keep an eye out for drive-in movies. Last week, Dodgeball screened at Pali Lanes and Kapolei Commons showed The Goonies. In Kailua, the film audio was broadcast through wireless devices. In Kapolei, it’s more old school, using a radio frequency. Make sure you have just one earbud in to hear your date on the phone—speakerphone will give you crazy feedback, and even if you park next to each other and have your windows open, you don’t want to be those people yelling.


SEE ALSO: Plan a Date While You and Your Partner Shelter at Home Together


swedish chef


2. DIY Dinner Challenge

Still not super keen on meeting a new person in the flesh yet? Why not play Mystery Box Challenge, quarantine-style? Give each other a list of your food likes and dislikes, a budget and then you both order groceries (via Instacart) for the other to arrive at your houses at the same time. FaceTime while you unveil your ingredients and rush to make dinner within a time limit. Another option is Menu Roulette: Just order the other one’s meal from a local restaurant they’ve never been to and have a dinner date over FaceTime.


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Wanna buy that cutie a drink? Bar Leather Apron’s signature cocktails, such as the BLA Old Fashioned and its version of a Matcha Old Fashioned, are available in make-your-own kits that include all the ingredients and instructions so you can have your partner try your favorites. You can even buy a clear 2-inch ice cube to make it look extra fancy, even if you don’t have the proper shaped glass. BLA’s kits come in either 5.5- or 12-ounce portions. Bottled cocktails are available at 12th Ave Grill and Square Barrels, too.


SEE ALSO: 9 O‘ahu Brewery Updates and Reopenings




3. Be Your Own Bartender

Challenge your partner to a cocktail contest—either create one recipe that you each collaborate on from home, or compete against each other. You might end up creating your own signature cocktail that embodies the two of you as a couple (and would be very popular at your wedding. Are we getting ahead of ourselves?).  Of course, you can do this with nonalcoholic drinks as well. The idea is to create something you’ll both enjoy, which could be quite the challenge for some couples.


4. Meet Up for a Workout

Now that outdoor fields and courts are open for exercise, play a sport together like tennis and find out if your date has a competitive side (and if it holds a candle to yours). This could be a good first date, too—you won’t have to worry about any awkward first kisses when you can excuse yourself in the name of good social distancing practices.



Parks and botanical gardens are always nice first-date spots for leisurely strolling and chatting; just make sure you’re not holding up a crowd of people behind you on the trail. Avoid the heat by going early in the day (Lili‘uokalani opens at 7 a.m.) or late (Koko Crater stays open until sunset, around 7:30 p.m. these days). Make sure any hikes you want to go on are currently legal to access (and safe). Now that groups of up to 10 people are allowed outdoors, you can even make it a double date.




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