Dating While Distancing

Rachel DeAlto, Chief Dating Expert

The world has changed seemingly overnight and with social distancing and isolation being the new normal, singles have been posing the question – do I still try and date?

Yes! 100%. We humans have a biological desire and need for companionship. Even a global pandemic doesn’t stop that. The trick is to look at dating differently. We are kicking off a new blog series, Dating While Distancing, to support singles during this time. We will talk to success couples who made long distance work and dating experts talking to daters every day about their struggles sharing tips and tricks to make virtual dating fun and effective. Just as students are now being required to look at learning in a new way, singles need to rethink how they date.

How do we do that? I have some ideas.

  1. Be more mindful with your profile. We talk about your profile a lot, but I know most daters just want to get rolling and end up not really paying much attention to what they write. Heck, half the time people barely write anything at all. Turns out, when you can’t really go anywhere, you have plenty of time go through your profile! Get intentional about who you are looking for and what you offer. Take some new pics outdoors (and 6ft away from anyone else). Review your profile from the perspective of your ideal partner – does anything strike you as off putting?
  2. Bringing courtship back. If people can fall in love blindly in a pod, you can connect with someone through screens until you can meet in person. I’ve always been a proponent of getting offline as soon as everyone feels comfortable, but that just isn’t feasible right now – so we pivot! Create coffee dates and happy hours over Facetime or Zoom. Talk on the phone. Send funny memes. Ask questions to really get to know each other. While the physical is important, real relationships are built on a foundation of emotional intimacy, and that has not been cancelled!
  3. Get creative with conversations. One of the benefits of being behind a screen is that some conversations are actually less awkward! One of my favorite list of questions are the well-known “36 Questions to Fall in Love.” You don’t have to go through the entire list with every potential suitor (uh, that’s a LOT of love), but pick and choose some as a conversation starter (or propeller). They range from fun to deep, but all are great for getting to know someone.
  4. Don’t overdo the convos though. In “normal” life we have a lot going on! You have work to go to, the gym, events, etc. Now? Not so much. That does not mean it’s a good idea to spend every waking moment talking to your new paramour. You can still get out of conversations by having to go do something, ie. Walk the dog, feed a kid, call your boss, workout. Limit initial video dates to 45 minutes to an hour. Don’t text nonstop all day. Leave some room for mystery.
  5. Get ready for video. These are still first dates! Even if they are virtual. Put yourself together (at least from the waist up) as if you are going on an in person first date. Find somewhere in your space with a clean background (no one needs to see you haven’t been keeping up with your laundry) and good lighting. Position the camera at least 2 feet away if you can (you can always prop your phone on something and find a flattering angle before you start.

We at Match are here for you as we all learn to navigate a new path. Have questions? Let us know!