Ideas for a romantic date at home
Without pub crawls and fancy restaurants, many couples are settling in for a movie marathon and candlelit picnics at home to build romance in lockdown.
With the pandemic forcing nationwide restrictions on bars and cinemas, Australians are reimagining date night by turning to home cooking, virtual hangouts and streaming services. While others look to purchase items to recreate a fun and intimate atmosphere at home.
eBay Australia has seen a surge in households buying items ideal for a romantic night in.
Pool tables and traditional board games such as chess are in high demand as more people find ways to keep themselves entertained.
"Chocolate and lollies are up 53 per cent, potentially for a movie night, while others turn to homemade treats with baking ingredients rising by 221 per cent," eBay Australia spokesperson Sophie Onikul says.
"Scrapbooking is up by 164 per cent as couples take the time at home to document their memories together and Lego continues to be popular with more adults getting involved."
Experts say sticking to (or starting) a date night tradition can bring some much-needed joy and anticipation and is critical to maintaining a healthy relationship.
"Date night can rekindle the spark, reduce stress and boost feel-good endorphins," relationship expert Samantha Jayne says.
"It's an opportunity to communicate in a loving trusting space while removing the distractions of the daily grind, work, children and the stress of COVID-19."
The most romantic dates are all about having a laugh together, feeling relaxed and doing fun things at home. And none of those has to cost a fortune.
As movie theatres steadily make a comeback, subscription services such as Binge, Netflix and Stan are filled with classic films and TV series for couples to stream.
Just add a sofa, subdued lighting, a bottle of wine and some snacks for the perfect romantic evening. And if it's really cold, it's a good excuse to cuddle up for warmth.
Settle in for a night of pampering - no pricey spa required. Run a bubble bath, light a few candles and treat each other to full body massages.
Dust off those old board games and puzzles, or even splurge and order a new gaming system while eBay and Amazon are still delivering and have yourself a game night.
For those in need of some fresh air, take a blanket outside and snuggle up to look at the stars. It's one of the most romantic activities around and yet it is often forgotten.
And if you're adventurous, go for a bike ride through the park or your neighbourhood (as long your current restrictions allow).
Couples can also use this time to learn a new skill and experiment with new cuisines while strengthening their bond.
ClassBento offers a variety of online cooking and crafty workshops that can provide a sweet reprieve for couples.
Having a romantic date night can become a challenge for many couples in lockdown, but it's a challenge that Lyndl Kean and Sonny Webster are ready for.
The couple's weekly plans have been a night with movie marathons and romantic dinners before competing over a game of SERVD - a deck of action cards served to your partner to complete chores and daring challenges around the home.
"It's nice to get dressed up even if we aren't leaving the house," Ms Kean says.
"Lockdown has given us time to focus on passion projects and ventures that we would have never done, like cooking together.
"Having quality time together can help you appreciate one another and give you the opportunity to communicate and connect."
Originally published as Ideas for a romantic date at home