As someone who has been having vivid dreams featuring bread baskets and bottles of wine, I imagine I am not alone in desperately missing date night out at a beloved restaurant. Whether your date nights were spent with a significant other, a best friend, or solo with a book at the bar, there’s no need to deprive yourself of the simple joys of having a good meal surrounded by good ambiance all because you can’t leave your home. Scroll to discover a step-by-step (and super easy) guide to transforming nights of mac-and-cheese while watching TV into your favorite night of quarantine yet.
Clean the Space
Everything about your date night will feel instantly elevated in a clean and tidy space. Whether that’s a quick Swiffering of your dining area or a full-blown overhaul of your home, do whatever you need to get the space feeling as fresh and welcoming as possible. No need to let crumbs left over from breakfast ruin your night.
Set the Scene
This is the time to pull out all the stops. Remember, this is an opportunity to make things feel special and different (even if you’re going on a date with yourself), so make it count. Use your nicest china, pull out that pretty tablecloth you’ve been saving, light some candles, and get a playlist going that sets the tone for your night.
We all know you have it: That one dress that’s been sitting in the back of your closet waiting for a reason to be worn. This is the occasion. And beyond a pretty dress—do your hair, your makeup, and your nails—do whatever makes you feel your best, or whatever you would do for a date night in a pre-quarantine world.
Whether it’s a go-to recipe that you know backwards and forwards, or something new (if you’re feeling adventurous), get in the kitchen and put something together that’s date night worthy.
If cooking isn’t your thing (yeah, mine either), get take-out from your favorite bougie restaurant. You’re supporting their business and saving yourself the distress of washing pots and pans. Win, win.
Don’t Forget Dessert
Whether you cook it or order it, no romantic meal is complete without a sweet treat at the end.
Seriously, think of this as a real date. What would happen next? Head to a bar for a night-cap? Go out dancing? Head to see a late-night movie? Whatever that is, re-create it at home. Have your favorite bottle of wine on hand, have a dance party in your living room, or have a movie already picked out to hit play once you’re done with dinner—clean up can wait.
In the end, it’s all about quality time. Just because you share a space with someone doesn’t necessarily mean you’re making meaningful connections on a daily basis. Take this as an opportunity to re-connect with your spouse, significant other, family member, or yourself, and indulge a little in the things that make you happy.