There’s no getting away from it: COVID-19 changed so many things about our lives forever. This includes the way that we date. Virtual dating became the norm as we weren’t able to arrange spontaneous in-person dates. This helped us to keep the spark alive until we could be with people IRL again.
“Dating during COVID-19 doesn’t offer the romance of infatuation or the passion of a fling, but it teaches us to commit to something different: kindness, curiosity, discovery, patience,” wrote Raisa Bruner in Time magazine. So, could the virtual dating practices brought about by the pandemic be here to stay? And would it be good news if they are?
What Exactly Is Virtual Dating?
As the name suggests, virtual dating doesn’t take place in person. In its most basic form, it can be a chat on a platform like Zoom or Google Hangouts, whilst sharing a glass of wine or a cup of coffee. For some couples, an unstructured virtual hangout might feel a little bit too much like being on a conference call. Those that use video chat platforms a lot for work might need to go the extra mile to help make the date feel special.
The Different Types of Online Dates
Virtual dating has become more popular and — even when the ‘Zoom fatigue’ gets real — there’re plenty of options to choose from.
For instance, try picking a very specific activity to do to feel more connected with your partner. Examples of this could include cooking a meal together, watching the same TV show, or even taking a walk and sharing some nice pictures.
Companies and experience providers are also catering to couples who’re seeking a romantic escape from the comfort of their living rooms. Zoosk Great Dates, for example, is a popular option that can be a great ice breaker for a first virtual date.
This platform offers an interactive experience in which you and your date can go on a virtual guided city tour. Why not discover the wonders of ancient Athens? Or, check out the incredible sights and sounds of the popular Japanese city, Kyoto.
Whatever city you choose, you and your date will be able to chat and interact as you go, an easy way to keep the convo flowing!
Why Choose Virtual Dating Post-pandemic?
We’re all pretty excited to get back out there and explore the world in person. That’s understandable. But it doesn’t mean that virtual dating needs to die forever. In fact, it could be a great option for people who are short on time.
So, if you’re someone who struggles to fit in-person dating into your busy schedule, virtual alternatives are a great way to make the most of every minute. Not to mention, for those in a long-distance relationship, virtual dates are a fun way to connect from different cities, regions, or countries, in between planning in-person time together.
Virtual dating also helps to get a feel for a person before committing time to them. It’s a safe dating alternative for those who’re anxious about meeting up with a stranger in person and can help to avoid those awkward first-date moments too.
No longer will you have the uncomfortable situation of sitting in silence, waiting for the restaurant staff to bring the check so that a bad date can finally end. On a virtual date, it’s much easier to bow out if you feel uncomfortable, which is a massive plus if you’re still sussing someone out.
Tips for Planning a Great Virtual Date
Fancy giving virtual dating a try? Great! But, you might find that one of the biggest challenges is getting a virtual date to feel any different from the rest of the time that you spend in front of your laptop every day.
To get the date vibes going, it’s important to pay attention to the little things. Taking some extra time to put on a nice outfit or fix your hair can do a lot to boost your mood and might even get that familiar pre-date excitement flowing.
It sounds obvious, but don’t forget about the logistics either. Lighting, for example. You’ll want to make sure that your date will be able to see you so double-check that the room is properly lit. If you live with family or friends, give them a heads up that you’ll be on a date, so that there’re not any untimely disruptions that could kill the mood!
Finally, the boring stuff. Check your internet connection is stable. Grainy feeds aren’t sexy, and if you’re going to take the time to try virtual dating, you’ll want the conversation to be smooth.