Just as I’m about to launch some exciting little projects to do with dating, dating went and changed. It’s no longer single but dating, it’s single but isolated. But with all the changes, it just takes a little while to get used to things. This change in the dating landscape is not a permanent one but it could be the way of life for a while. There are many opportunities to explore connections through online forms and even work more on yourself during this time, but in order to date during a pandemic, it’s just a matter of being creative. So, I thought I might give you a few ideas.
The biggest asset we have right now is video platforms, where we can see each other clearly as though we were sitting across the table, but it’s how we use these that make a difference.
If you haven’t met someone before and are just meeting them online, don’t feel as though Facetime or Skype is the next step because that’s how everyone is dating now. Treat this as you would any other dating experience. You might want to text a bit, chat a bit over the phone and then commit to some face to face conversations when you feel ready.
Why not make that first Facetime chat an actual date. And this is where you have an opportunity to show a playful side. Think about what you would normally do if you were dating in person. Are you more of a drink first dater? If so, then both grab a beverage and pretend as though you are at your local bar. If it’s dinner, then order some take in and have a meal whilst chatting about all the things you would normally. It might not be ideal, but for now we just need to be using the screen, however it does mean our creative and imaginative sides need to show.
You can also step things up a bit more, and this is also great for those who just started dating but are now separated due to the virus. Do you want to take someone out to dinner? Well you still can. Thanks to the abundance of meal delivery services, dinner is just a call away and you are able to order from the restaurant you might have taken someone out to and send it to their home. Just make sure that someone is comfortable giving their home address and if you are being asked of this make sure you are comfortable as well. You can always politely decline this offer if it doesn’t feel right or both just order or make what you want. Some bars are even home delivering cocktails which could be a cute gesture for an online date night to send to someone.
Get creative with locations. But you are confined to your homes, right? There is a great meme going around about bar hoping through your own home by having a drink in different rooms. Why not be playful and create names for the different places in your home, even use props to give the appearance of somewhere else. Even though dating is currently without touch, this is an opportunity to let your playful side show.
Play games and create fun challenges with each other over Facetime so it’s not just two people talking uninteresting topics. Have you ever wanted to judge someone on aspects other than what they do for a living and how they behave on the first date? Well here is the golden opportunity. Look for some different and unique ways to conduct a date online. It might be giving each other a tour of your homes. You can tell a lot about a person by how they live and what objects they have in their home. You might want to show each other what’s in your fridge (I think that is an actual dating show or a segment on a radio show) or play pranks together on house mates or other family members. Even do a chore like laundry together (sounds weird but would make for a funny conversation). Just because you are dating online does not mean it has to be mundane.
Watch a movie together or something on TV. The invite to Netflix and chill can still be a reality, just without that hidden (or no so hidden) meaning. Some streamlining services are offering an option to watch something with other people so you are able to comment on what it is that’s going on. Even just watching a TV show together on Facetime and discussing all the drama and chaos is a great way to feel connected to someone and feel as though they were there. MAFS might have finished, but I’m sure Bachelor in Paradise is right around the corner.
Take advantage of the online retail world. You might not be able to see that person, but you can send them a gift. I’m not suggesting lavish things but something to say I’m thinking about you or even just to give that person a laugh. We are all under a lot of stress and anxiety at the moment, so a giggle goes a long way. You might send someone toilet paper (if you can get your hands on it), hand sanitiser (if you can find some), or something that just came up in a conversation that would put a smile on their face.
Drive by dates. Now I’m not sure completely if this one is within the rules as I’m trying not to stay glued to the news and I apologise if it isn’t. You might not be able to touch someone or come within 1.5 meters, but why not a friendly drive by just to have a wave and say hi (from a good distance of course). This can be especially good if you have started seeing someone and miss them, with just a glance of their face in person all you need to survive a bit longer with no touch. Or if you have never met someone before, it’s a great way to see that they exist (once again as long as you are comfortable giving out your address or someone giving theirs to you).
Have a double date. Double dates are always a great way to take some of the pressure off just the two and bring in an extra and sometimes fun element to the mix. Just like you might date on Facetime, using WhatsApp to add in more people or even something like house party can be a lot of fun and also something to cheer everyone up if they are feeling a bit down. It’s also a great way to set friends up. A blind date online?
Let’s also consider going back to our old school dating ways. I have such fond memories or dating when I was a teenager, and due to being a teenager and not just being able to go out with boys when I wanted (similar to what’s going on now for many), it was long phone chats to get to know each other. You might not feel like Facetime, you might not be bothered to put on clothes (which can also be a type of first date) but there is something nice about chatting on the phone and just discussing anything that comes to mind. What’s important with dating is being able to have good banter and talk to someone, so phone dates might be the ultimate test.
Dating has changed for a while, but it’s not all doom and gloom. This pandemic has presented us with some opportunities as well as limitations. We just need to get a bit creative and think outside the box as to how we explore them.