Online dating has been the norm for quite some years now.
That being said, it’s usually with the possibility of meeting, in person, after an appropriate amount of “wyd” and “nm wbu”.
While many of our lives have to somewhat go on hold during this global pandemic, and yes that can include physical dates, it doesn’t mean our connections need to go on hold as well (unless you’re with iiNet, in which case, my thoughts are with you).
In fact, there’s huge potential to connect like never before with isolation and social distancing in full swing, especially because the traditionally difficult goal posts have completely changed.
You no longer have to wonder if they haven’t written back because they’re too busy (literally none of us are) and you don’t have to second-guess whether they’re only after One Thing (non-essential, soz). You also don’t even have to wonder if they’re DTV (Down To Video) with the likes of Bumble now letting you add a badge to your profile saying you’re keen to get on camera.
You see my point. Because so much has been taken off the table from a standard dating scenario POV, the whole concept of going on online dates at this time is about one thing and one thing only – connecting. So below’s how to take advantage of that in the best possible way.
Be mindful that body language still exists
You know how during a normal first date, where you choose to sit can make all the difference in the world? Like if you choose to sit on their side of the table it’s instantly more intimate, whereas if you sit on the opposite side it’s weirdly like an interview? This applies for online dating too.
Think about what kind of dynamic you want to foster before you hit that video call button. Kicking back in bed or on your couch is also a nice relaxed vibe, whereas holding your phone in your hand is plain chaotic, and sitting upright at your work desk might kill the vibe unless you like, prop a knee up to your chest to make it more chill.
Play a different kind of game
Perhaps the hardest thing about online dating right now is that there’s not a whole lot to talk about other than the coronavirus, given we’re really not allowed to do anything else. Sure, you can ask how their week was, but it’s not necessarily something that’s going to create a bigger conversation in the way it normally would.
You’re going to have to get creative and steer them into a direction that’ll allow you to see what they’re really all about. Obviously there’s a few cooked questions out there that’ll get you some very insightful answers (like, “What’s your biggest flaw?”), but at least with a game you can hide behind the likes of Mattel and Hasbro while putting it out there.
If I could suggest any game to get to know someone better, it would be Flex Mami’s ReFlex #1 Critical Thinking Cards. You’ll get your money’s worth from the date and beyond – some cards pose moral dilemmas, some take a deeper look into priorities and values, and others showcase an acute sense of self-awareness. 10/10 would recommend.
Leave your ego at the door
I know it’s tempting to just look at your fine self on video chat and I wouldn’t blame you for it, at least while we’re still adjusting, but you’re here to connect with someone else other than yourself. And look, you’re just not going to do that if you miss their reactions to your jokes or a spider crawls across their forehead and you’ll now never know if they’ll be able to save you in a huntsman-behind-the-couch situation.
While we’re on the topic, it can also be really easy to talk all about yourself and how you’re feeling in a time like this. I understand, it’s exciting to talk to someone for the first time in a while, and you can go a bit gung-ho on the me-me-me.
To be honest, this is something that’s important for everyone to remember on any date (if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it you’ll know just how much of a turn off it is), but is especially important right now. The best part about DFH (Dating From Home) is that you can have a post-it saying “stop talking about yourself” on your screen or bedhead or whatever to remind you.
The world of video dating might pose a whole new set of rules, but they could be easier to follow than the real-world stuff, depending on what kind of singleton you are.
I, for one, am delighted to be able to skip the dinner and bar dates and fast forward right to the trackie dacks and UberEats stage of the relationship.
So when I video call you on Bumble after we’ve matched, please answer, because it means I’m ready to take our relationship to the next level.Image: Broad City