How to Nail Virtual Dates

04 Jun

Virtual dates are quickly becoming the 'new normal' and are a great way to get to know someone before meeting in person. So set up your laptop, fix the lighting, dress up and get your favourite drink to get you in the mood for your virtual date.

Photo series of stay-at-home activities during lockdown in self isolation and social distancing for virtual dates

With social distancing and self isolation in place, this is the perfect time to get creative with your dating life. Virtual dates via Zoom, FaceTime and Skype are quickly becoming the “new normal” and are a great way to get to know someone before meeting in person.

Here are some tips to ensure you’re all set for your virtual first date (and beyond):

  1. Choose the right backdrop

    The ambiance of a bar or restaurant can set the tone of a date, and it’s equally important when it comes to virtual dates. Choose a space that is tidy, well lit and well decorated and make sure you are not pointing the camera at your bathroom or a pile of dirty washing.

  2. Dress up

    Get ready just like you would for an actual date. You may feel like you’ve been living in your sweats and yoga pants forever (haven’t we all!) but dressing up a bit will put you in the right mood and will make the whole experience feel more special and more like a real date.

  3. Set your laptop at eye level

    It makes for a more flattering angle than looking up at your chin or down on top of your head.

  4. Choose the right lighting

    If you’re chatting during the day face outwards towards a window to get good natural light. If you’re ‘meeting’ in the evening put a lamp behind the screen so you’re well lit.

  5. Do a video and sound check

    This will allow you to see what you’ll look like in the camera, test out your facial expressions, smiles, and will ensure that the date goes smoothly, without any technical hiccups.

  6. Make your favorite drink

    A cocktail, mocktail or tea will make it feel more like a real date, it will also give you something to do with your hands if you feel nervous.

  7. Have fun!

    Don’t let the COVID chat dominate the conversation. You want the other person to walk away feeling happy and excited, so choose topics that focus on positive and fun things, like your travels, interests, the latest podcast you listened to or a book you read recently.

  8. Schedule another date

    If the first chat goes well, do tell your date you’d like to “meet” again. You can stick to another easy conversation over a drink or a coffee, or plan an activity, like cooking a meal together or a game of virtual charades. Check out Google for more creative “ideas for virtual dates”.

  9. Plan for the future

    Keep the conversation exciting by discussing what activities or restaurants you’d like to enjoy together when you can finally meet in person.

  10. Have a polite exit strategy

    You shouldn’t feel you need to stay on the call if conversation has fizzled out or you realize you have nothing in common – or indeed, if you feel uncomfortable. Mentioning a time limit when your scheduling the video date is effective, as that will give you a natural way out. You could say “I’d love to FaceTime at 7:00, but just a heads up I have to do X at 7:30 x”. You can use just about any reason with a hint of urgency, from letting the dog out or starting dinner to calling your mom. “I have another call coming up” is perfect if you don’t want to invent a reason, and thanks to the vagueness of “coming up,” it’s also likely 100% truthful.

Even though a date over a video call may not be quite the same as in person, it can still be a great way to spend time together and there are many benefits to getting to know someone slowly. Make the most of this time and if you connect, there’s a good chance that you’ll be enjoying their company in real life very soon!

If you feel like you’ve exhausted all your mutual connections and dating apps to find ‘the one’, get in touch with our team at Maclynn International. Maclynn International is comprised of matchmakers, dating coaches and relationship experts who can assist you in your dating journey. Get in touch with us to learn more about our service today.

by Gina Yannotta

Chief Operating Officer, New York City.

Gina Yannotta is Head Matchmaker & Chief Operating Officer at Maclynn International's New York office. Gina’s unyielding passion for the field, in combination with her extensive experience in matchmaking, has allowed her to orchestrate successful and everlasting relationships amongst her clients. Tasked with running the Manhattan office, Gina utilizes her interpersonal skills and relationship expertise to make a splash in the matchmaking pool, personally connecting her clients with their ultimate match while simultaneously taking advantage of the endless possibilities that NYC offers to its client-base.More by this author