Love in 2020: How to virtual date in the era of Covid-19
Dating is a minefield at the best of times, but the coronavirus pandemic of 2020 has managed to make meeting even loved ones, let alone potential partners, difficult. However, technology has come through for the singletons, who have resorted to swiping on dating apps from home: 82% of singles turned to the Internet while self-isolating in the hope of meeting that special someone. With the possibility of going back into lockdown, or at least remaining in separate tiers, it’s likely that this trend will continue.
The lockdown also brought a rise in virtual parties and events, which are expected to continue well beyond 2020, so it’s no surprise that people have turned to Zoom dates. Experts have even looked into the long-term benefits of a video date, including being able to screen out any “hard passes” without having to physically go out and meet anybody. Right now, if you’ve found that spark with a special someone and want to progress from a quick chat to a full-blown date, going virtual is probably your best bet. Here, we’ll go through everything you’d need for the ideal online date setup.
Get dressed up
Thanks to being furloughed or working from home, you’ve probably spent most of the year in loungewear with messy hair, making little effort for virtual work meetings. You’ll probably want to go a bit further for someone you could find yourself romantically interested in, so it might be an idea to take some extra time when getting ready to make sure you’re looking and feeling your absolute best. It’s a known fact that how you look on the outside has an impact on how you feel on the inside, as well as your confidence. One study even found that wearing a doctor’s coat made participants perform better on tasks than those who wore the same coat thinking it was a painter’s jacket. If you’re looking your best, chances are you’ll be feeling and acting your best, which is crucial for those important first dates.
Log in for your date
Before you sign in and start chatting away, take a quick second to make sure the background of your call doesn’t show anything you wouldn’t want to be seen. A pile of your dirty laundry, for example, is probably not first-date material, so make sure it’s out of view and that there isn’t anything too busy happening that could attract your date’s focus. After all, you want all of the attention on you, not what’s in your room.
Try and place your camera at eye level and at a good distance so it’s not too zoomed in on your face. You should also make sure that you don’t have any major light sources behind you, as this could make you look like a silhouette – instead have a good source of light in front of you. Now, message to confirm that you’re all set to get online, and get ready to start your date.
Get your food sorted
There are two ways you could play this: you could either both order a takeaway and eat together on camera or, if you want something more interactive, you could cook at the same time. If you’re planning on cooking together, it’s a good idea for you to both opt for a DIY meal kit so you both have exactly what you need sent to you and can avoid faffing around your kitchen looking for long-forgotten jars of spices. Plenty of restaurants offer this too, so you could order from the same place a couple of days in advance so you’re ready for a cook-off on the day. While cooking on camera could seem a bit strange, there’s the added bonus that if the conversation ever dwindles or it gets a bit awkward, you have something to keep you busy.
If you’re not into cooking you could both simply order a takeaway and dine together when your food arrives, making it much more casual and low-key. For an added twist, you could even choose a takeaway for each other to add an extra element of surprise. However, only do this if you’re comfortable giving out your address.
Get the drinks in
While you don’t want to go overboard with the drinks during those first few dates, having one or two can help you to loosen up. It’s a known fact that alcohol releases dopamine, which gives you feelings of euphoria and can help ease any awkward feelings while boosting your confidence. Wine, the perfect date tipple, also releases oxytocin, which is known as the love hormone, so it makes sense that you should have a bottle. Pick one together and order your wine online ahead of time for it to be delivered at your respective houses for you to share.
One the whole we would advise that you don’t go overboard on the first date. The last thing you want is to lose all your inhibitions and wake up with “the fear”!
Finish up with a movie
Watching a movie together is a classic date night and, thanks to technology, you no longer need to be sat together to watch it. If you both have a Netflix subscription, download Teleparty (formerly known as Netflix Party) so you can sync your viewings, and chat while watching the film. You could even keep your video chat going on your phone so you can watch your date’s reactions to the movie. There are a huge number of films on Netflix that are perfect for date night, so all you need to do is decide on what you want to watch together and hit play.
The editorial unit