Tips for dating during self-isolation
As a singleton, hearing the words social distancing may have you thinking your dating life is over. But, with dating app usage on the rise, it seems those looking for love are finding inventive ways to keep the spark alive… or get it going. While we must all follow the government’s advice, quarantine doesn’t mean lonely evenings in – just an opportunity to have some virtual fun. So put on your sexiest tunes, ramp up the swiping and make sure you know how to work that video call: this is dating in the age of isolation.
Get a little experimental
Virtual dating is the perfect excuse to experiment without having the pressure of face-to-face contact. Forget the quarantine anxiety – see this as an opportunity to explore who you look for and what you like. We’re all guilty of the same dating cycle; choosing the wrong ones, the not-so right ones… and choosing them all over again. But isolation breeds self-reflection and there’s never been a better time to broaden your horizons. Embrace not having to dedicate an evening to a potential timewaster. For now you don’t to schlep across town and risk disappointment… you just have to turn your laptop on: it’s low risk, high demand.
Get to know their interests
We’re all using isolation to learn new skills and get creative, so explore this with a potential partner. Take the opportunity to discover their hidden talents… and show them yours. Use technology to your advantage and build a relationship before any virtual link up; apps provide great conversation starters, so give your profile an isolation makeover. When our currency is time, it pays to explore your future bae’s profile before going screen-to-screen.
Set the right atmosphere
Let’s be honest, first dates are awkward. There’s a reason for pre-dinner butterflies and plenty of things that’ll make you sweat in your seat. But just because you’re dating at home, doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate awkward silences or bad dates dragging out. So, make the most of the functionality of video calling apps. On a first date, timing is everything – it’s always important to have an out just in case your beau doesn’t deliver the goods. The beauty of some of the popular video apps is that calls can’t last more than forty minutes, which gives you a ready excuse if the spark isn’t there. Another bonus is that you can set your own background – letting you keep your private spaces, private, even in isolation. Choose a background that says something about you, they’re a great conversation starter.
Get in the mood
Dating is all about mood, and often, it’s the getting ready that sets the vibe of the evening. Without a destination for your date, it’s easy to forgo this process, but don’t let quarantine change what makes you feel good. Confidence is key, and good dates begin with loving yourself first. Have a shower, get friends to join a video call and help you choose an outfit… or even have a practice date session (warning: do this with great friends). Maintain a sense of normality by giving yourself time to feel date ready. As some of you may be isolating with relatives, make sure you’ve got a designated date room in the house… and get that virtual link-up lighting on point.
Do an activity together
The thought of a date without the promise of an atmosphere – background music, bar stools… other people can be nerve wracking for some. Even the prospect of keeping the conversation flowing might seem daunting. So, give yourself an activity to do together – it’s a great way to start the conversation and test their powers of creativity. Try cooking the same meal together or setting each other a culinary challenge. Seeing what someone can rustle up with 5 cupboard ingredients is a genius way to understand they live up to your palette.
Replicate experiences at home
Getting past the first-date hurdle is an achievement, but a good experience can make date two feel high pressured. If you’re worrying about how to maintain that instant attraction, suggest a virtual game or quiz to give you something to connect over. You can learn a lot about someone by how seriously they take their general knowledge, and this could be a way to fast-track the dating process. If you’re after a more mellow evening, bring the big screen home with by watching a movie together. And if you’re in the market to woo your new quarantine lover, order them a surprise to their door; brownie boxes or favourite food with the delivery apps.
Just as with dating in the real world, it’s important to take everything at your own pace. As you progress in your relationship and feel yourself opening up, you may want to take things a little further. If you do, why not experiment with lubes if you feel comfortable – the experience is about getting to know your partner, but also getting to know yourself.
Our love lives may have drastically changed, but this shouldn’t turn you off dating. It goes without saying that we should all respect government advice, so romantic forays need to be a virtual affair for the time being. Let’s rise to the challenge of online romance, because while we don’t know how long quarantine will last, we do know the build-up will be worth the wait. So, stay at home, date online and find your quarantine crush.