Dating in itself is not exactly a walk in the park. It can be difficult to meet someone compatible and sometimes sussing out those who are looking for a fling can be tiring. With the COVID-19 situation thrown into the mix, it is now even harder to meet new people.
Virtual dating offers a solution to this predicament. According to the Malaysian news portal, The Star, online dating has gone virtual in the midst of the pandemic. While it’s not as ideal as meeting someone in real life, virtual dates do allow you to see if you can click with a potential partner.
What is a virtual date?
A virtual date is similar to a regular in-person date in many ways. There is a planned activity, such as dinner or a movie, conversation and lots of fun. The only difference is that you are not physically together.
Thus, you will need a laptop, phone or tablet and a partner with one of these devices to be able to connect. Virtual dates enable you to go on face to face dates from the comfort of your home. For example, if you plan to watch a movie during your virtual date, you and your friend will watch the movie together while logged on to a video chat.
If you are in a long distance relationship, being apart can take its toll. Meeting your partner on a video date and doing something fun together will keep the relationship strong.
How to create a virtual date?
There are generally two ways to create a virtual date. The first is to simply ask a friend or an acquaintance if he or she would like to go on a virtual date with you. You can use video chats apps such as Zoom, Skype, etc for your date.
If you want to have more options, you can head over to apps or matchmaking websites that have a virtual dating service. All you need to do is create an online profile, approve your matches and get ready for the date! However, do make sure that the website or app that you select is legit before using their services.
Virtual dating ideas
Whether you are just getting to know someone or have already developed romantic feelings for each other, virtual dating can be fun especially if you have prepared something to do together.
Watch a movie
With hundreds of choices available on Netflix, all you have to do is pick one that both of you would like to watch. All you have to do is press play! If you have the whole weekend, choose a TV show to binge on.
Play ‘20 Questions’
Come up with 20 questions before your date starts that you would like to ask your date. Questions can be ‘get to know you’ questions such as Where did you grow up? or Where would you like to travel to? At the end of the date, you will know the other person a little bit better.
Play ‘Challenging Questions’
If both of you enjoyed 20 Questions, this variation will help you get to know each other a little deeper. Again, you can decide on the questions before the actual date.
Cook and dine ‘together’
Just because you are physically apart doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice meal together. Look for a recipe and cook it together. Once you’re done preparing the food, you can enjoy it together. Of course, if you are competitive, you can turn it into a cooking competition.
Invite another couple and have a four-person video chat. You can play a team game or have dinner ‘together’. Double dating can keep things interesting. It can also give you some insight on how your partner communicates and treats others. If you’ve run out of ideas for your virtual dates, ask the other couple for some insight.
Relax and have a drink
Having to continuously come up with things to do for dates can be tiring. Sometimes it’s good to just sit, relax and have a drink together. You can choose to have coffee, tea or even a glass of wine. Talk to each other and let the conversation flow. You might be surprised at what comes up. Enjoy the time that you get to spend together, even though you are physically apart.
Have a dance party
Pick some good music, set up a dance area and some funky lights. While you can’t really slow dance in each other’s arms, you can still dance to your heart’s content. Since you are most likely to have the ‘dance party’ at home, you don’t have to worry about what others think about your strange dance moves!
If you’re both games, you can even learn a whole dance together. Imagine your friends and family’s surprise when you break out perfectly coordinated dance moves when you actually meet in person.
Discuss a book
If you both love reading, select a book that you both have not read before. Read the book before the date and discuss the book. Start with some light reading to gauge if you like this activity.
Draw or paint
Drawing or painting can be fun and therapeutic. If you’re both on the creative side, you can choose an object or a theme to paint. Chat with each other while you create. This activity can be fun even if you or your partner are not artistic. Turn it into a contest to see who draws a better picture for some fun and laughter.
Exercising together is always more fun than doing it alone. Whether you take an online fitness class together or choose a fitness video from youtube, working out together will bring you closer. Complete your exercise date with a healthy lunch. You will also both be fitter and healthier than before.
Recount your day
Take turns with your partner and tell each other about your whole day. You woke up, went to the bathroom, had cereal for breakfast and then what next? This may sound really boring but hearing about your partner’s day will help you to feel closer to each other. This is especially effective if you have been together for some time but have not been able to meet physically for some reason or another.
Virtual dating tips
Virtual dating may sound easier than dating in real life but that’s not necessarily the case. Remember that if it’s your first date, first impressions still matter. A 2017 study found that a glance of 33 to 100 milliseconds was enough for people to form first impressions.
The ABCs of dating doesn’t change just because the dating medium has changed. You will still have to be vulnerable and be prepared for rejection if the other party doesn’t have the same feelings as you do. Here are some things you can work on to set the scene for an excellent digital courtship.
Set the space
You will most likely have the date at one particular space in your home so take some time to set it up. Check what’s in the background of your call, or even better, dress it up.
You can create a background with your favourite things or items that showcase your hobbies. This can help give a sense of who you are, as well as work as a conversation starter.
For example, if you paint, you can have some of your paintings in the backdrop, or even use the space that you paint for your date. Just make sure your laundry pile is out of the camera range!
Just because you’re dating from home doesn’t mean that you should not look your best. You will feel more confident with a nice dress on. While you don’t have to go over the top with what you wear, you might want to show off your good looks.
If you need some convincing to get out of your pyjamas, a 2009 study found that our appearance is directly linked to the way we feel about ourselves.. Dressing up for your date does have its advantages. After all, our personal image not only plays a role in how we feel, but also influences how others view us
The right light
Lighting can make or break your appearance so take some time to create good lighting for your call. Use natural lighting to your advantage if your call is in the daytime. For virtual dates at night, switch on a lamp so that you are not in the shadows.
Run a video test
Check your video before your date starts. Do you like your background, outfit and lighting? If you are using a laptop, try setting it at eye level.
Virtual dates are limited in the sense that you will not be able to use physical touch or body language to convey your feelings. You can, however, communicate your interest in the words that you use. Be present and positive. Tell your date what you like about them and that you would like to go on a second date (if you do).
With all the things that you need to do pre-virtual date, remember also that the whole point is to have fun and get to know the other person. Laugh off things that go wrong and don’t take matters too seriously. Enjoy yourself and you may just end up meeting in person soon!
What is a virtual dating assistant?
A virtual dating assistant helps their clients to set up an online date. They usually start by helping clients to create their profile and then search dating sites for a match that is suitable for their client.
The virtual dating assistant is usually tasked to communicate with the potential date as well as setting up the actual date. Only when a qualified match is found and the actual date is set up will the client meet the other person.
While the process may seem rather impersonal, virtual dating assistants are in demand by busy working professionals who do not have the time to sift through the seemingly infinite number of profiles that are available on dating sites.
If you want to give virtual dating a go, make sure that you do your research and find a site that is safe and secure. At Dateworks, your privacy is valued and your virtual dates are set up by professional matchmakers so you do not have to worry about fake profiles or stalkers.