The scare of the coronavirus has taken over the planet, yet dating apps are experiencing peak activity right now. With nearly half of adults in the U.S. being single -- and quarantined -- people have the time and desire to make new connections.
You may have concerns about playing the field during these unusual times, but here are a few things to consider -- and some ideas for your next video call date.
Wait, people actually dating right now?
Yes! They are FaceTime, Skype and Zoom dating. Dating on video is doing great, and most of the apps have quickly added video chats. It’s easier, cheaper, faster and less intimidating than meeting a stranger. You don’t have to worry about who pays and the date only needs to be 30 minutes long.
Does FaceTime dating actually mean anything since you haven’t “seen” the person in real life?
Yes! You can develop real connections and deep relationships by talking to someone over the screen. It can actually benefit you in the beginning by taking the pressure of “chemistry” off the relationship. The screen provides a “barrier to entry” (pun intended) and can keep you from moving things too quickly.
If you really like someone after one video chat, what do you do?
The best thing to do is to keep talking to other people -- don’t start having eight to 10-hour FaceTimes with this new person because you’re lonely and excited. Keep your dating funnel robust and have multiple irons in the fire at the same time. You don’t want to have something go too fast because you’re putting all your eggs in one basket.
What happens with the funnel of people after the coronavirus?
Hopefully, you’ve got a whole pipeline of people that you’ll have been FaceTiming with so that you have a bench of people waiting to go out with you. These dates have the potential to be great because you already know what the person looks like, sounds like and have somewhat of a connection already formed. This will feel like the icing on the cake!
If you’re single and on the fence, take the plunge and give video dating a try. It’s easier, faster and cheaper than going on a real date, and you can do it from the cozy comfort of your own home.
If you’re ready to find your own beautiful coronavirus love story, check out these tips.
How to have a great Zoom date
1. Find a good-looking spot in your house that’s well lit. Always be lit from the front or face your light source, such as a living room window or even putting a desk lamp above your monitor.
2. Dress to impress and act as if you were going on a real date. I mean, you can have your sweatpants on the bottom or fuzzy slippers, but it should be all date from the waist up. Do your hair and look like you would if you were actually going to meet in person. You’ll look good and feel so much better.
3. Don’t talk about the gloom and doom of coronavirus. Have positive questions, such as “Have you learned something new about yourself?” “Have you picked up a new skill?” “What are you watching or listening to?” Stay positive and be energetic -- energy and positivity radiate across a screen!
Need some ideas for your next video date?
If it’s a first date, remember all you need is 30 minutes. You can plan an activity like “happy hour” or, better yet, give it a theme. Maybe you each pour your own drink, and then tell your date why you love it and some fun facts about it. This sets it up to be more fun and you have some easy small talk to ease you into the date.
If it’s a person you’ve dated multiple times, you can cook dinner together in your kitchens. You can do a pantry challenge, giving each other five ingredients that you both have and a timer to see who makes what.
You can also tour many of the world’s finest museums for free or engage with another online activity, and then have something fun to talk about.
Bela Gandhi is the founder and president of the Smart Dating Academy, a coaching agency that helps clients "make dating fun, inspiring and focused" in their pursuit of a meaningful relationship. Every Thursday night at 7 p.m. Central Time, Smart Dating Academy hosts a dating and relationship chat on Instagram Live. It’s a free and an awesome way to get new tips, get inspired and chat with other singles. Follow @smartdatingacademy to join this Thursday.