I have found one of the most difficult parts about dating while also social distancing is finding activities we can both enjoy while staying safe. After spending five months apart and now dealing with the monotony of online classes, I find it extra important to spend quality time with my significant other to rekindle the love and make the most out of each day. We’ve found the best way is to try new things that allow us to focus on one another.

1. Bike around Lincoln

Biking is a perfect way to get some fresh air while spending time with your better half. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent one from BikeLNK docks around the city. My boyfriend and I personally enjoy biking down Rock Island Trail, just east of campus. Taking a ride down this beautiful trail can also lead you to some playgrounds where you can relive your childhood.

2. Learn how to cook a new meal together

Cooking a meal together is one of my favorite date nights. Not only are you and your partner able to bond in the kitchen, you will hopefully have a delicious meal as well. This date is perfect for every couple, no matter your level of skills. Whether you’re looking to make a five-course meal worthy of Chef Ramsey or just learn to boil water for some pasta together, this date can be both intimate and entertaining.

3. Host a movie night in

For couples who are looking to stay indoors and away from others, having your own movie night might just be up your alley. You can bring the movie theater to life by popping a bag of popcorn and bringing all of your favorite snacks. If you don’t have access to Netflix or other streaming services, every student connected to campus WiFi is able to access free movies through the RHA Movie Channel.

If you are long distance dating, you can also watch movies together through a video call. While spending five months apart, my boyfriend and I hosted movie nights through a variety of streaming outlets. One option is sharing the movie through a Zoom call. Otherwise, we watched the movie through Netflix Party or Amazon Prime on our computers while video chatting on our phones. It wasn’t ideal, but it was always a memorable date.

4. Explore Lincoln

If you or your partner aren’t familiar with Lincoln, this is the perfect opportunity to spend time with one another while traveling across the city. One of my favorite spots to visit with my boyfriend is the Nebraska State Capitol. It usually isn’t busy and you can guide yourself through the building on your own.

There’s always something to see in the Haymarket as well. Whether it’s enjoying ice cream from Ivanna Cone or (402) Creamery, taking a stroll down Gallery Alley or exploring the railroad tracks, there’s something for each couple to enjoy. And if you want an extra little treat, I suggest visiting Licorice International to find candy from around the world.

5. Go for an evening stroll

Finally, you can never go wrong with a romantic walk with no destination in mind. It can be hard to find time with your significant other to talk and focus completely on each other, especially when you spend most of the day cooped up in a dorm room where your mind is constantly thinking about classwork and other priorities. I’ve enjoyed going for evening strolls when the temperature is cooling down and we can watch the sunset together. This date doesn't require the stress of planning, and it can be great for your health and general well-being.