5 Refreshing Date Ideas for a Post-COVID Summer


With COVID-19 vaccinations now rolling out at a fairly rapid pace, just about everyone is counting down the days when everything returns back to “normal.” We’ll still need to take precautions for the foreseeable future of course, and it will take time for enough Americans to be vaccinated for normal to truly be within reach. But recent updates from the government provide reason for optimism. As was summed up at The Hill recently, there’s been a new call for all adults to be eligible for the vaccine no later than May 1 — and there’s a stated goal for a “more normal” Fourth of July.

This is wonderful news! It means many important things for countless people: safety for the vulnerable, some measure of relief for healthcare workers, the chance for grandparents to hug their grandchildren, and so on. On a lighter note though — but still an important one — a “more normal” summer will also mean a return to dating.

Clearly, there have been much more serious consequences of COVID-19 than the loss of in-person dating. But a year of Zoom socialization takes a toll, and particularly among younger generations, many are excited to get back out into the world and meet new people in person. So, in anticipation of a happier summer, I came up with a few refreshing date ideas for our post-pandemic days.

1. Coffee

Coffee is always the best suggestion, isn’t it? It’s something that was brought up her in a piece on how women can support each other not so long ago, and it’s one of the first things a lot of us will be looking to do with friends or family once it’s deemed safe. But it also makes for a lovely first date! If there’s someone you’ve been talking to remotely during the pandemic, or even if you set out to meet someone immediately upon the dawning of the “new normal,” coffee will be a convenient, casual way to finally do something in person. It’s a simple date, but particularly after such prolonged isolation, “simple” might be the best way for some of us to ease back into the dating pool.

2. A Bit of Live Music

Maybe it’s just me, but live music is one of those things I just can’t wait to get back into the world for. I’m already eyeing a few tentatively scheduled shows for late summer and early fall! So as far as I’m concerned, this is another terrific date idea. Hanging out with someone new and enjoying a totally normal live entertainment experience at the same time sounds like heaven after a year in lockdown. Throw in a drink or two and a big picnic blanket for the lawn seats, and it’ll be hard to have a bad date.

3. A Picnic

Speaking of picnic blankets, you can also simply go for a picnic. I have to admit this isn’t an idea I’d ordinarily have thought of, but a Gala Bingo piece on fun, budget-friendly dates made the idea seem simply irresistible, and I have to say I’m now on board. That piece referenced the peace and quiet of the outdoors, a date without loud music to shout over, ice-cold drinks, and even the option of splurging a bit on the food. This took me right to daydreams of a sunny day, a small cooler full of drinks, and a basket full of bread, cheese, and meats. Oh, and some nice fresh company of course.

4. A Date at Home

I don’t have a specific source for this idea, nor do I have any elaborate suggestions beyond putting on some music and finding some intriguing delivery food so that no one has to cook. But in a way, a date at home sounds just about perfect. Are we all dying to get out of our homes? Absolutely. But I for one miss having people over also, and inviting a date for a few hours sounds incredibly refreshing. This requires a bit more trust than some other options, and it is of course important to be safe with a first date. Given that caveat though, this is an option I’m certainly keeping in mind.

5. A Real, Live Restaurant

Maybe it’s not the most original idea, but to round out this list let me just ask: How nice does a sit-down restaurant sound after a year? It may look and feel a bit different; Fast Company did a very interesting article on how restaurants might change after the pandemic and mentioned everything from distanced tables to better prices. But the fundamental experience of sitting at a table with a new date, ordering food, and enjoying good service is the sort of thing many of us have been fantasizing about all pandemic long. I know I’ll have a reservation as soon as I feel safe doing it — with or without a date!

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