Fun activities couples can do during lockdown

Fun activities couples can do during lockdown

Paula Quinsee, a Relationship Expert, shares indoor, outdoor, and community activities couples can do together to strengthen their relationship. 

Happy couple
Happy couple/ iStock

The lockdown in South Africa has affected relationships, some in a negative way.

Many couples, especially those living apart, were restricted from meeting and experiencing things together. 

Date nights were also challenged, until recently, when the government allowed for sit-in restaurants to operate. But, even with the easing of regulations, some people prefer to stay indoors to limit their chances of being infected with the coronavirus.

READ: Restaurants open for sit-down diners

Relationship expert, Paula Quinsee, says a lot of couples believe there’s not much they can do when it comes to date nights under the lockdown.

The relationship expert says this is because traditionally, when it comes to date nights, the majority of couples have resorted to dinner at their favourite restaurant, or maybe even a movie and popcorn. 

This has all been challenged due to the lockdown regulations.

The relationship expert says couples need to be more creative and change how they view things. 

"Date nights don’t have to be at night, they can be breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, sundowners or dinner. Date nights don’t have to be at a fancy restaurant either, it can be as simple as a picnic on your lounge floor or outside in the garden,” states Quinsee. 

READ: Building your Relationship

She adds that couples need to rather set aside time to spend with each other and be intentional about it.

“I prefer to reference date nights rather as 'date-time', because it’s about couples being intentional with their time for each other and their relationship,” says Quinsee.

She adds that the main reason why relationship coaches and counsellors strongly advocate for date nights is not so much about the date night itself, but rather what the activity enables – spending quality time together away from the daily grind. Time where couples can be fully present and focused on each other and connect on a level deeper than the never-ending chores and ‘To Do’ lists at home or work.

The relationship expert says couples need to "think of your relationship as an investment account and ‘date nights’ as a form of currency. The more deposits you make into your investment account, the greater the returns you will have.

"Now there are multiple forms of ‘currency’ when it comes to relationships, and each currency you invest in, will yield higher returns for you and your relationship."

Her examples include:

• Living your relationship values – this establishes boundaries and protects your relationship.

• Making your relationship and each other a priority – taking each other into consideration.

• Making time for each other – quality time away from distractions.

• Sharing hopes, dreams, fears – builds trust, support and emotional safety.

• Resolving conflict – all relationships hit speedbumps, the ability to resolve conflict in a healthy way vs destructive way is crucial to your relationship health and success.

• Effective communication – communication = connection, when the relationship space doesn’t feel safe, there will be superficial communication and very little connection.

• Intimacy – this is different to sex! It’s how you treat each other, speak to each other, are affectionate towards each other, and the little things you do each day that say "I care about you".

• Managing expectations - we often set our partners up for failure by having a set of expectations in our minds as to how our partner should behave, speak or be that they are unaware of, and then feel let down and disappointed when they do not meet our expectations.

“Lockdown may have taken away our freedom to hop off to our favourite restaurant for dinner and a movie, however, it’s also created a wonderful opportunity for couples to be creative with their ‘date-time’ ideas,” says Quinsee, who shares some options for couples to explore:


• Exercise – nothing beats getting all sweaty together but if you’re not the active type, simply taking a walk and using the time to talk can go a long way to feeling bonded. Spice it up by trying different routes or walking to your favourite coffee or ice-cream store. If you’ve got furry friends, take them with you too, the fresh air will do them good.

• Gardening – if you’re not the green finger type then start off small with a pot plant or box planter for flowers or fresh herbs, which can be great for cooking or to spice up your G&Ts.

• DIY – nothing beats that sense of achievement and accomplishment like completing a DIY project together whether it’s simply painting a wall or something more creative like these easy beginner projects.

• Nature – spend time outdoors in the fresh air whether that be sitting in the garden, having a picnic or doing some form of activity outdoors. Being with nature helps us to feel grounded and is good for our mental well-being.


• Cooking or baking – try out a new recipe together from one of your recipe books or Google one.

• Movie night – watch your favourite movie or try one of these top recommendations suitable for both guys and girls.

• Games night – dust off the board games or play online games together, everything from scrabble to building puzzles online or actual gaming.

• Reading – read a book together or start your very own book club for two and share reviews on books you have both finished reading.

• Online classes – dancing, cooking, playing a musical instrument or learning a new skill together.

• Decluttering – clean out cupboards with old clothes, toys, papers, Tupperware etc and upcycle them or donate them.

READ: How playing with your children can benefit your relationship

In your community:

• Virtual tours - to museums, galleries, theme parks and more from around the world.

• Volunteer – giving back to others always gives us a sense of goodwill and makes us feel good about ourselves even if it’s simply making a few sandwiches and distributing them around your neighbourhood.

• Support local – search your local neighbourhood for small businesses that you can support during this period. Not only will you be helping them survive but the families of their employees, too.

READ: This couple’s enchanting garden sprouts support for healthcare workers

Quinsee says couples should also do activity jars. She views “activity jars as a great way for couples and families to maintain an element of surprise as well as the opportunity to try new things together."

"There are lots of things one can do to create ‘date-time’ with each other, it just takes a little bit of effort, being intentional with scheduling the time and being curious and open to trying new things," she says. 

In closing, Quinsee says that “couples who ‘play’ together stay together. In other words, couples who are intentional about their relationship and each other, create stronger bonds, feel more connected and have more good memories to draw on when they hit a speedbump.”

Image courtesy of iStock/ @fizkes

Show's Stories