Top Tips for Virtual Dating During Lockdown

When I found myself single at the beginning of 2020 I thought any hopes for my love life were completely off the cards. How on earth can I think about dating when I can’t meet anyone? But there was a voice in the back of my mind saying ‘Rapunzel met her prince in quarantine, so maybe you can too’. Little did I know my fairy-tale Lockdown love story was about to begin! When I signed up to online dating in Lockdown 1 I’d never done it before; I didn’t expect much. So if you’d told me that by Lockdown 2 I’d be living with the love of my life & our pet hedgehog, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you. Watching my Youtube videos you’ll know about my life with Ian & Honey but I’ve never shared how vital virtual dating was to our early relationship. If you’ve never done it, it seems like a scary concept but I found it much easier than dating IRL because it took the pressure off & meant we could get to know each other first. So if you’re looking for some ideas on how to make virtual dating work for you, with a new partner or long-term flame, here’s our top tips:

1. Use Zoom

I’d been out of the Essex dating scene for a long time so I had no idea what kind of people I could expect. Although video dating doesn’t come with the same dangers as meeting in person, I still didn’t want to give out my number or social media to a stranger so using zoom is great because all you need is a link. If the date doesn’t go well they can’t bother you.

( ID: Ian & Jenni on Zoom side by side. Ian, a white man in his 30s with brown hair and beard, is wearing large headphones and is wearing a black hoodie with a plain background. Jenni, a white woman in her 20s, is in her bedroom with her bed and beech cabinets behind her. she is wearing a forest green low cut top and her auburn hair is curled. The time in the corner reads 00:08.)

2. Set Rules

There are 2 main difficulties with virtual dates: firstly, much like working from home, any kind of dress code has gone out of the window. I made a special effort for all of our dates, however Ian did the classic nice jumper & pyjama bottoms. I was a little sad when I noticed. For some people this is a big deal & for others it’s not, so message about whether you’re going all out, smart casual or sticking to your pjs before switching on your cameras. The second is there’s no set end time, if you go to a pub or restaurant you have to leave by closing but we would lose track of time, ending up talking at 2 or 3am on a school night which played havoc with my sleep.

3. Play Games

Ian & I got to know alot about each other quickly by playing 2 truths & a lie. But a month in we needed to come up with some fresh ideas so turned to a great site I’d remembered from when I was in a LDR. It had 100+ ideas of fun things we could do whilst we were apart. One of my favourite memories was making virtual babies. To cure my lockdown boredom I got Sims & we’d play over zoom using screen share. We created our dream house, then made our sims do all the things we longed to do (WooHoo in the Hot Tub anyone? ;P)

4. Don’t Just Video Chat

People fall in love in lots of different ways so be sure to mix up your mediums. On days when you aren’t having official dates phone each other on your lunch break, play games & ask questions over text, send memes, selfies and videos of your day to bring each other closer. We also really enjoyed watching movies simultaneously & texting along. It was actually very strange watching a film together in person and not talking the whole way through because we were so used to it. 

I hope that’s given you some ideas of how you can make virtual dating work for you. Don’t give up on Lockdown love, I’m living proof that it can happen!

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