Over half of American couples struggle to find new at-home date night ideas

·4-min read

According to new research, more than half of Americans say they've had a relationship pushed to the brink because of the pandemic.

A survey of 2,000 Americans found 54% of couples have had their relationships jeopardized by pandemic-related stressors, including not having enough date nights.

The study also found 53% of single-and-ready-to-mingle Americans have had a first date via virtual platforms within the past year, averaging two virtual dates per month. For 54% of those in the dating scene, the first virtual date went so well they had a second virtual date.

While virtual dating is on the rise, it still can't quite compete with regular in-person date nights once a connection is made. For more than six in 10 American couples (61%), not having a regular date night is a stressor in a relationship.

Commissioned by Bogle Vineyards and conducted by OnePoll, the survey looked into the date night habits of singles and couples alike to determine how date nights have changed since the pandemic began.

Before the pandemic, the top date nights were obvious: going out to dinner (80%), shopping together (64%) and going out to see a movie (61%). Yet since the pandemic began, date night ideas have made room for more subtle, at-home approaches to romance.

Since the pandemic began, couples are more likely to have date nights at home by ordering takeout (59%), cooking dinner together (58%) and having a movie night in (49%). Seven in 10 couples agree that this year's Valentine's Day will look a lot different because of the pandemic.

Fifty-five percent of American couples say they've begun to run out of date night ideas since the pandemic began. For 69 percent of couples, having regular date nights is an important part of a healthy relationship.

Not having regular date nights can also make intimacy more difficult, according to 52% of couples. Keeping the fire alive is a priority for nearly two-thirds of couples (65%), who have begun planning dates ahead of time so they can keep their relationship fresh and active.

Kids also play a factor in how date nights unfold for couples. Of our respondents with children, nearly nine in 10 (89%) parents can't get alone time with their spouse/partner because their kids are around all the time.

Parents will even go out of their way to get time without kids being present. Parents will put their kids to bed early (53%), let them play video games (47%), distract them with tv/movies (46%) and let them play in the back/front yard unattended (42%), all to get some alone time with their spouse/partner.

"Stress used to mean finding a babysitter on Friday night," explains Jody Bogle of Bogle Vineyards. "But during the pandemic parents uncovered a newfound stress of attempting to keep their children entertained while they tried to salvage some semblance of a normal date night. This survey reveals that couples found creative ways to keep the fire burning even when they weren't able to leave their home."

Alcohol has played a larger role in relationships this past year. Eighteen percent of respondents said they've bought higher quality and quantity of alcohol in 2021. To add to that, 79 percent of people believe a person's choice of alcoholic beverage is important on a first date.

When asked to identify the most romantic alcoholic beverages, respondents made it red, gold, white and pink. Red wine holds the top spot, with 41 percent of Americans choosing it as the most romantic beverage. It is closely followed by champagne (38%), white wine (37%), rosé (29%) and wine cocktails (26%).

Overall, people are inclined to incorporate drinking into their dates. Forty percent of people will rope drinking in with going out to dinner. Other date night ideas most likely to involve alcohol include cooking dinner together at home (35%), ordering takeout at home (32%), staying in for a movie night (31%) and going to a concert (28%).

"Four out of five people revealed that what you drink is important on that first date. This may be a lesson for singles out there to pay attention to not only what your date is telling you about themselves, but also take note of what drink they have in front of them," says Jody. "From experience, I can say that if my husband didn't drink wine on our first date, who knows, maybe we would not be together today."