Dating in the CoronaVirus Era — 7 Tips for Success

This is an excellent time to meet new people because virtual connections are our main source of human interaction. If you’re new to dating apps, or you took a break from the apps, now is the time to give them a (2nd) try! For most single people who are currently self-isolating, online interactions and activities are the only connection to others. Even though a lot of us have more time on our hands right now, it’s still important to have standards and be selective. Here are 7 things to remember while meeting new people virtually:

Of course, the CoronaVirus will probably come up in conversation, but it’s important to make a conscious effort to talk about other things too. What did you talk about with dates and friends pre-Covid-19? What is keeping you busy during your quarantine? Are you learning a new hobby? A new recipe? A new viral dance challenge? What new things have you added to your routine? Though you may have started some of these activities because of the CoronaVirus isolation, these are great things to talk about that don’t have to do with the virus.

With so much uncertainty, it can be easy to take conversations to a negative place. Think of your digital conversations as a way to connect and escape from the CoronaVirus overload. You could compare your favorite travel memories or share exciting plans for future travel. Have you had any fun interactions with the people you are quarantined with? Maybe you participated in a hilarious virtual game night with friends that would make your potential love-interest lol. Keep the convo real, but bring levity when possible.

Just because you can’t go on a date in real life, doesn’t mean that you can’t go on dates. Consider a virtual date! It might be totally different from how you usually date, which sounds like an exciting adventure to me! Not convinced? Here are a few ideas…

*Walking/Hiking Date — Each of you walking in your respective neighborhoods while video chatting. This is a great way to motivate each other to stay active.

*Happy Hour/Dinner Date — Have drinks or dinner virtually. You could even up the ante and each try the same new recipe simultaneously in a ‘who made it better’ cooking challenge.

*Movie Date — Choose a movie. Start the movie at the same time. Video chat while you are watching the movie so you can react and comment to each other throughout the shared experience. A horror flick or hilarious comedy would spark lots of reactive moments.

Are you doing a virtual happy hour or game night with friends? If they’re enthusiastic about participating, invite your new online crush! Just like in-person group gatherings, you’ll want to do your best to bring in people who would mesh well with your virtual social group. This could be a really fun way to broaden each other’s social circles and have fun in a group setting. A virtual group activity could also take some pressure off if you aren’t quite ready for a 1-on-1 virtual date.

Would you date your matches pre-CoronaVirus? If the answer is NO, then don’t waste your time, even if you feel cooped up during this quarantine! Remember, one day this era of social isolation will end and we’ll be free to frolic again. Be honest with yourself about who you really want to spend time with during and potentially after this sequester.

What was your pre-CoronaVirus dating pace? It can be easy to speed up the getting-to-know-you process because we’re in an unusual time with so much uncertainty. Take your time getting to know your matches. Set a virtual date time limit if you need to. How long were your dates pre-CoronaVirus? Just because we suddenly have more time to connect, doesn’t mean we should give our virtual dates all of our time. Imagine how much more exciting it will be to meet your matches in real life after taking your time getting to know them.

Even though you are meeting new people virtually, it’s important to remember that these interactions are still very real and have real effects! Respect is still a must when messaging and video chatting. Sending an unsolicited naked pic out of the blue definitely isn’t consensual. Pressuring someone to send you a sexy pic is also not ok. When you’re getting to know someone new, and there is chemistry, the worst thing you can do is make assumptions about how someone feels, what they want, or what you think they should want. Have conversations with new potential partners about virtual (and in-person) intimate encounters as flirtations progress and when you both feel ready.

Even though our new normal with the CoronaVirus feels like a big social bummer, just think about how exciting it will be to meet your dates in person once things calm down a bit. Our current circumstances are making us all more creative and more patient than we’ve been in the past. This is a great time to connect on a deeper level and really get to know who someone is. Let’s embrace this shift and use this opportunity to improve our dating skills, especially if this is our new normal for awhile.

The Dating Advice Girl, Erin Tillman, is an inclusive Dating Empowerment Coach, Author, Speaker & Media Personality for 12+ years