COVID-19 has really done a number on socialising – this is a good thing, of course, because self isolation is key to flattening the curve and lowering the coronavirus death toll in Australia. It just fucking sucks when you’re single and ready to mingle. Enter the FaceTime date.

Already, people are talking about new ways to date and ~do it~ during self isolation. Phone sex is back. Porn is being given out for free. And people are logging on to their video chat systems to meet people from dating apps.

Having matched with a few good dudes on my apps who a) didn’t include some self-obsessed ramble about doing ayahuasca in the centre of the Amazon with a shamanic priest, b) were actually funny and c) actually replied to me, I was left in the dating lurch when self isolation became the right thing to do. When you aren’t meant to be out socialising, how the fuck do you date?

So, even though I hate FaceTiming and have never video chatted to anyone for longer than ten minutes, even when my sister was gallivanting around Europe for 100 years, I decided to give the old FaceTime date a try.

I went with the “best” guy of my bunch, Ronald. Obviously his name is not Ronald, but he didn’t want to be identified and I respect that both for my own legal don’t-sue-me reasons, and because I’m an ethical bitch who doesn’t FaceTime and tell.

Ronald and I had been messaging for a bit, so I knew he was quite funny and that our chat would be decent, at least. That’s obviously the first anxiety you get with a FaceTime date – will you have nothing to talk about? But when you think about it, that can happen on a face-to-face date, too. So fuck that anxiety off immediately.

Right before we “met up”, Ronald told me he was grabbing some snacks. How had I forgotten to collect snacks? I rushed to my kitchen and made myself a lovely bogan cheese board – my fave.

pickles, Coon cheese, stale crackers, beef jerky. GANG’S ALL HERE

Two beers and I felt set. Turns out it was a good decision to have all my snacks and drinks with me, because Ronald went to get more beers mid-chat and my god, guys. When someone walks with their phone just know the person on the other end is likely vomiting into their pillow. The shakes, no bueno.

I also want to strongly note the importance of setting your phone/comp up so you look hot. Everyone wants to look hot on a date, so obviously you still wanna look hot on a FaceTime date. I spent a few minutes prior to calling Ronald sussing my angles, getting enough natural light on my face so I didn’t look like the cryptkeeper, and working out where I could sit and look cute, versus where I could sit if I wanted to look like one giant nose.

Hot tip – angle the camera downward a little. Really cuts those cheekbones.

Another hot tip – the absolutely killer part of the FaceTime date is that you can be business on top, party on the bottom:

aw shit yeah

Yep, I absolutely picked a cute date top, did my hair and makeup but left my ratty PJ pants on. Except…I committed the ultimate fuck up around five minutes in of moving around so Ronald could SEE my ratty PJ pants. Then, of course, he asked me about my ratty PJ pants. The pants became a focus, and my hotness jig was up. Damn.

I’d say the first ten minutes was awkward. I was definitely drinking faster than I usually would to fill gaps in the conversation. But then again, I feel like all FaceTime convos are awkward at first – there’s just something fundamentally weird about talking to a tiny digital face on a screen.

Once I was a little buzzed though it was pretty easy – we had great chat as I anticipated, so the conversation flowed along. Naturally, coronavirus came up – can ANYONE talk these days and not word vomit about self isolating and hoarders? But we also talked about work, what we’ve been up to the past few years, all the usual shit I’d talk about on dates in real life.

I was also never bored, or waiting for time to pass until it was socially acceptable to hit the end button. Ronald was a shit stirrer like I am, so we had lots of laughs. Another benefit to FaceTime dates? You can take people on tours – Ronald walked me around his house and showed me some art he had, coz we’d been talking about art (NOT IN A WANKY WAY I SWEAR), I showed him my new mattress (NOT IN A SEXUAL WAY I SWEAR). It was kind of a fun new spin on drinks at the pub.

But – as fun as my FaceTime date with Ronald was – it ended up going for an hour and a half which is short but not unusual for a first date, and I had to go do a MAFS recap so I wrapped things up early for a reason – it wasn’t the same as being in person. It’s hard to gauge physical chemistry when you’re talking through a screen, and even harder to get past the awkward just-mates portion of the evening. In fact, you can’t really get past it unless you got sloshed and decided to flash your tits or dick (consensually, of course).

Basically, in my opinion we can’t really replace dating entirely with FaceTime. But given the state of the world right now, and the fact that avoiding contact with others is VITAL if we want to protect those who are vulnerable to coronavirus, it’s all we’ve got. And I think it’s a good stand-in.

Will I go out with Ronald again? For sure. On FaceTime? Why not – it’s not a perfect solution, but it’s still a good way to get to know someone. I’ll just wear less shit pants this time.