It’s been an incredible year for lesbian and bisexual movies; soon we will even have a lesbian Christmas rom-com starring Kristen Stewart, a combination of words that only a few years ago would have felt like you were possibly having a stroke to say out loud. While we are verily blessed with a range of cinematic options from the last year ranging from “sweet songwriting coming of age romance” to “narcissistic love triangle with gout,” not all of them are great date viewing! Can You Ever Forgive Me is a fantastic film that still may not leave you in the mood for love. Still, there is cute date inspiration to be drawn from these wide range of gay-ass movies; watching them is optional, but let us know how it goes either way!
There were many lessons one could take away from The Favourite — about the grim costs of palace intrigue, wars with France, Rachel Weisz in period clothing, etc — but one of them was about the importance of demonstrating your interest in animals when the person you’re into is obsessed with them. Channel the NRE of Anne and Abigail cavorting in a bedchamber surrounded by dozens of rabbits (and not the harrowing discordance of the ending scene, also surrounded by dozens of rabbits) by hanging out with your animal-obsessed date in a cat cafe. Have a cup of coffee, enjoy comfortable silences punctuated by cat purrs, begin the mental and emotional process of selecting the cat you two have a 50/50 chance of adopting together within the next three months.
Murder mystery surprise
Before we had escape rooms, when we had to walk uphill both ways to create simulations of terrifying experiences as capsules of social bonding within our already terrifying world, people had to design social evenings around pretend attempted murder, like in Clue but without Tim Curry there, usually. This can be accomplished with a prepackaged game, or if you too are a calculating mastermind, design an interactive mystery yourself. “This sounds more like a group hang,” you are thinking, “than a date, per se.” Only if you are limiting yourself with your own smallmindedness! It’s easy to make it a romantic date by assigning yourself and your date the roles of murderer and murderee in a sort of Killing Eve move. Suit optional but encouraged.
Spending time in nature together can be a really beautiful way to get to know someone better; it affords you a space without distractions or a phone signal to spend time with someone very intentionally. Think about how close (mostly) the women of Annihilation got, and you’ll have the option of doing this without mutant bear attacks or the eldritch doppelganger of Oscar Isaac making things more stressful. Bring a snack and plenty of water!
Read books to each other misanthropically
Although it’s never been definitively “proven” that Lizzie Borden was gay, much like it’s never been “proven” that she murdered her parents, it is true that she was reclusive and introverted, loved animals and her primary source of social interaction was her short-lived probably-girlfriend, Nance O’Neill. Seems pretty on the nose! Although the date experience most faithful to both the film and real historical events would be, you know, an alleged double murder and highly publicized trial, probably better in the long run for you and your sweetie to engage in another Lizzie Borden-approved activity, like reading to each other in a quaint New England garden or possibly an old cemetery, maybe with a cheese plate.
Hotel room staycation
You will be thrilled to hear that you do not need to be in the midst of an impossible reunion with your childhood love to have a romantic/sad/sexy/all of the above hotel room weekend! Order room service! Watch Jurassic Park while in bed with nicer sheets than you have at home! Take advantage of the stability bar inside the shower for shower sex! Spitting in each others’ mouths is optional, but completely free and legal.
Antiquing has the charms of both museum visiting, in that you are looking at old and wacky things that you probably can’t afford and sometimes aren’t allowed to touch, and shopping, in that there’s at least a chance one of you will leave with a cute midcentury modern side table. Practically speaking, antiquing gives you a chance to imagine furnishing your future place together or actually furnish your present place together, gives you practice for your future as a silver-haired couple of 40 years in Provincetown, and surprisingly often, antique stores have cats. If it inspires you two to begin a long con together that you find unexpectedly emotionally and creatively fulfilling but ultimately come to regret, well, who’s to stop you. The couple that grifts together, etc.
Obviously in an ideal world you would be able to demonstrate your devotion to your cutie by writing a book based in part on your real-life romance that your jealous husband tries to destroy all trace of, or even better creating an original theater experience that stars you and your date — and actually if those things are at all within reach for you, that sounds really fun and you should definitely do it. Otherwise, probably the closest you can get is going to an immersive theater production, which Colette would probably find diverting and then find a way to one-up somehow. If you’ve read about how much KaeLyn and her partner love Sleep No More then you probably know what I mean!
Go on a cute bike ride
Bike riding together is an extremely top ten lesbian dating activity — thank you, Kiersey Clemons, for your vital community work of riding a bike in an explicitly gay manner in Dope and Easy as well as Hearts Beat Loud. Although there are as many kinds of bike riding as there are lesbians — see: the Subaru Pink Ride episode of the L Word — the emphasis here is on a very chill, low-stakes experience: the biking equivalent of meandering, capturing the same energy as Sasha Lane tenderly teaching Kiersey Clemons how to ride with no expectations.