The excuse of “babe, you know I suck at texting,” is no longer applicable under the rule of Miss Rona, better known as COVID-19. Gone are the days of, “I don’t like phone/video calls,” or “I’m much better in real life,” excuses. We’re in a global pandemic sweetie, your communication skills and relationship must adapt.

Personally, I’ve maintained a sterner rule around dating, or getting to know someone if we’re being pedantic. If a person does not communicate with me in ways that I can receive and feel wanted, then I don’t want it. They can watch my Instagram stories if they want to know what’s popping. 2020 is the year of virtual intimacy, virtual romance, at least until you’ve decided to bite the bullet, move in together, and get married at Home Affairs. Because according to Foyin Og, after quarantine we’re getting married!

Perhaps you don’t know how to adapt your communication skills. Perhaps you don’t want a serious conversation with your partner every day. Perhaps you just don’t know how to keep that connection going, to maintain the spark. Below are a few activities I know of that may bridge the gap for you and yours during this quarantine!

Playing games

Thanks to dual player online games, playing together is an easy task. If the two of you are into word games and puzzles, try playing Scrabble for free. If the relationship is going strong and you’re willing to spend some money, consider more intricate games like Monopoly. Perhaps the two of you are more traditional, play Snakes and Ladders. The options are endless, kind of like the list of games available for free on Agame.

Something I’ve enjoyed during quarantine is playing a game of select with regards to Twitter thread. It may seem corny, but I like participating in the threads where you have to choose one option out of four. The threads specific to home decor have been my thing of late, and now I don’t just put my answers on my feed, I answer instead with a partner over the phone. Funny enough, you learn a lot about what living with someone would be like playing that game.

Netflix watch parties

Netflix has been holding us down with their Original content of late. Not only do they have series to binge on to your heart’s desire, now you can watch them with friends. Using the Netflix watch party extension on Google Chrome will allow you to watch your favorite shows and films with loved ones, no matter where you are in the world.

I haven’t made use of this yet, mainly because I’m very finicky about who I watch films with, but if this lockdown doesn’t end any time soon I may have to reconsider!

Virtual date night

Sometimes you just have to get dressed, set up your phone/laptop in a place with good lighting and have a meal together. Just because date night at a restaurant is no more and “kissing is a thing of the past,” according to Cyril Ramaphosa, you’re going to have to kiss your love through the phone for a while. Put on your best date night outfit, brush your hair or wear a hat if you must, and coordinate your meals so that you can enjoy a well-lit dinner for two via your preferred platform!

I advise you don’t use House Party for this. There seems to be just a bit too much going on at any given time with that app. How awkward would it be for that friend you’re not fond of waltzing into your romantic dinner? Talk about a mood kill!

Reading to each other

Something an ex-boyfriend introduced me to was the joys of reading to your partner. Imagine us, both petite in height, sitting in a Cape Town cafe reading new editions of The Lake Magazine while sipping on our favourite cafeinated drinks. Well, you can’t do this anymore, but you can still read to each other over the phone. Maybe before bed or in the middle of the day? Something short, or something long if you’re reading a book together.

I’d recommend an internet call for this, unless you don’t mind spending your minutes on this activity.

Attending virtual concerts together

Part 1

When James Blake played for the first time on Instagram Live during the South African lockdown, the comment section was full of South Africans enjoying the moment. It was beautiful to see familiar names in the comment section, now imagine catching the person you’re dating in there with you. When it’s over that would also be a great discussion point. There are concerts all over the world, plan to see each other’s favorite shows together where you can.