We’ve all established that we’re all het up and wild on the dating apps now that we’re not allowed to go out and be root rats, right? It’s an absolute distillation of reverse psychology and Murphy’s Law; because iso means we’re not allowed to go out on dates I have 1. immediately wanted to actually dip my toe back in that pool and 2. actually had people wanting to go on dates with me for the first time in years. Y E A R S.
The fuck is with that timing? Is it because there’s absolutely no level of commitment needed, or because nobody has to put any effort into dating right now? It’s just plain rude that the moment I actually make half an attempt is also the same time that the entire country goes into pandemic shutdown.
This new landscape means that I can’t just go to the pub or over to the park with some beers for a date, so instead, I decided to watch a movie on an iso date with a guy over Skype. Quite literally phoning it in.
Sure, there’s some awkwardness with iso dates on video chats – like the first Skype sesh we didn’t use something like Netflix Party, so trying to sync up our respective streams was a bit tricky. It requires a bit of communication (mostly just asking where they’re up to, laughing about lag time, complaining about your borked internet connection and how the telco fully said you don’t live in a fucken dead zone) but once you’ve got it going, it’s really comforting and pretty bloody cute.
It’s quite possibly the perfect scenario – you get to be comfortable, you can watch a movie and make dumb comments about how good/terrible it is, and before you know it you’ve both binged three episodes of ‘Tiger King’. And you’ve spent the whole thing flicking your eyes between the TV and your kinda-glitched out date on your phone or laptop screen to see how they’re reacting to Joe Exotic in his leathers lip-syncing on top of a car.
I found I gave up on trying to look in any way attractive a hell of a lot quicker than other dates in real life. I tried to get a good, forgiving angle, redid my hair so it fell nicely, that kinda stuff. By iso Skype date two where we watched Bee Movie (2007), I realised there’s no way in hell you can get a good, flattering angle when you’re on video chat and lying in bed or on the couch. Simply doesn’t exist. Lean into it, this is truly the only era of dating where you can wear stained trakky dacks, no makeup, and nobody will know.
It’s very weird to essentially act like you’re doing a long-distance iso dates thing with someone who lives literally 20 minutes from your house. Maybe there will be a time when I can go for a socially-distant walk with a date, or maybe subject them to me attempting to run (a genuinely horrible sight) but until then, it’s video dates where we drink our own bottles of wine and send each other stupid-ass videos of James Acaster to watch and report back on.
Image: Comedy Central / Broad City