Given that places of entertainment are expected to stay closed for many more weeks or months, people now struggle with dating-related technicalities – What can you do when you can’t go on a date to a bar or a restaurant?
Where do you meet when movies are not an option, and all shows have been canceled?
Even visiting a fortune teller on your first date to check whether there is a reason for a second date is no longer an option (yes, people do it).
The new online dating world
Where there is a will, there is a way. In recent weeks, the dating world has rapidly changed to accommodate this new reality.
The use of virtual dating apps is growing, people are more active on social media, and virtual dates are becoming a thing.
Yes, many people have resorted to virtual dating as an alternative to the “classic” old-fashioned date.
Although it might seem to be a compromise, virtual dating during the Coronavirus crisis has advantages, that makes it an excellent option for many.
The following are given some of the advantages of virtual dating.
1. More intimacy
Virtual dating can result in more intimacy. While most people associate it with physical contact, intimacy does not involve sexual activities or physical contact for it to grow.
Classic dates are full of distractions – the food, the scenery, the music, the alcohol, and the friends you happen to run into.
Such things could indeed make a date more interesting, but in many cases, people use them as an escape to avoid the awkwardness that sometimes happens when two strangers meet each other for the first time.
In virtual dating, interaction is the main thing. The focus is on getting to know each other.
In such situations, experiential intimacy can develop. It lets you get to know each other on a deeper level – interests, things you love, fears, experiences, and more.
2. Less pressure and more flow
Classic dating is not always straightforward. The dilemmas encountered, especially on the first date, can be complicated.
Where will we go? A movie is nice, but you cannot talk to each other. A restaurant is romantic, but what if something gets stuck in your teeth?
A bar is fun, but where can you find a quiet bar that is quite enough, empty enough, and busy enough to have that perfect date? Do they come to pick you up, or do you meet there?
Should they insist on paying, or should you offer to share? And the biggest dilemma of them all – what about the kiss at the end of the date?
In virtual dating, this complexity does not exist. No need to pick up anyone from their home. No need to offer to share the bill.
No need to try leaning in for a kiss and then to discover that you are not reading the signs correctly. You do not even have to decide what to wear (at least not on the bottom half of your body).
When it comes to virtual dating, it’s just two people, each sitting in their most comfortable place (home), talking. Very simple and real!
And, even if you find that the date is not progressing well and that it is not exactly what you were expecting, you can quickly and easily end the process of virtual dating.
Tell the other side that it was nice and that is not exactly what you are looking for. That is it. One-click away!
3. No need for a second date
The whole concept of “counting dates” becomes irrelevant.
Online dates can occur much more frequently than classic dates, especially since virtual dating is an event that requires much less effort in comparison to traditional dating.
You can talk for a few minutes in the morning and decide to have lunch “together” in a few hours.
And if in the middle of the “date,” you suddenly need to do something else (like going for a walk with the dog that is looking at you expectantly, with its eyes, saying – it’s either now, or I pee in the house), then there is no problem unplugging and “dating” again later.
4. A new experience
I often meet single men and women who gave up on classic dating. They feel as though it is not for them.
For example, this can happen to people who have been disappointed too many times when the other party announced they are not interested or to those who feel they are not successful with showing their real selves on a date.
It is also common for more mature people who want to start a (new) relationship and do not feel comfortable (and sometimes embarrassed) going through all the hurdles of dating yet again.
Virtual dating creates a new, much lighter, and more comfortable experience for many. It can provide people who gave up on dating with a chance for a huge comeback.
Virtual dating ideas
Some people think that a virtual date must look like two people “interviewing” each other via video chat. But this is far from being true.
Virtual dating brings a lot of room for creativity. Here are some examples of how to spice things up.
1. The romantic date
Both sides wear date night outfits (top to bottom – yes, including shoes), bring a glass of wine, dim the lights, and create a pleasant atmosphere.
2. Watching a show
You decide on a show (something on TV or a movie), and you watch it at the same time while the video chat is open.
This will give you a chance to share the experience (laugh together, be scared together – based on whatever you’re watching), and talk about whatever comes to mind.
3. The home tour
When you feel comfortable enough, you can take your partner on a virtual tour of your home. Spend time in each room.
Show your favorite spots in the house, talk about funny things that happened in different places, and present your favorite items in the house, like your favorite morning coffee mug.
4. Sharing memories and moments
Choose interesting or funny photos (from your phone or social media) and share them. Then, tell the story behind them.
5. Cook together!
Try to prepare a fancy dinner together. Both of you should make the same dish and go through the same process together.
Watch this video to learn and enjoy the process of virtual dating.
Love in the times of Corona
Although the coronavirus forces us to keep a distance, it does not mean that we cannot be close.
In these times, when we need to adapt to a new reality, we should not be afraid of virtual dating. We should embrace its benefits.
You would be surprised at how close you can get to a person through virtual dating, and how strong the connection can be, without meeting them face-to-face.
Sometimes, keeping a physical distance can result in people forming even stronger bonds.
Not only that, but once the crisis is over, you and your partner will have fond memories of what you had to go through to maintain the relationship.
” Hardship brings people closer together if you share it.” – John Wooden.
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Shirli Grayfner is an Israeli personal and couples consultant. Her expertise includes helping people resolve and overcome personal challenges, barriers in communication, relationship struggles, dating difficulties, insecurities, lack of self-esteem, lack of self-love, and more.
Additionally, Shirli is a certified lawyer (LL.B) who graduated with honors. She also completed her studies in the master’s program at Bar Ilan University. Shirli is invited to give lectures on various topics including achieving goals, tackling personal challenges, and building a winning relationship.