Dating looks different in 2020; can you even go out and meet someone new? If you manage to find someone, can you kiss them? What about a virtual first date? Should the whole dating process just move to your phone screen?
That moment your eyes first meet theirs, the butterflies in your stomach, that atmosphere that makes it feel like you’re the only two people in the room. First dates have this electricity and magic – can you really replicate that on Facetime?
I mean, do you want the truth? No. Don’t have first dates on a video chat. Just don’t.
The Reality Of A Virtual Date
Sure, you can see the person’s face and have a bit of a chat, but there’s no intimacy, no real eye contact (while you stare at the little box showing your own video, making sure you still look amazing), and no sparks. There are so many more distractions available if you’re just at home on the sofa, talking at a stranger on your phone screen.
That gut feeling you get when you meet for the first time? Hard to pin down when you’re not standing in front of each other. Not to mention, it feels way more like a job interview than it should, with nothing else to do but throw questions back and forth. If you go out into the world and do something fun, there’s much more spontaneity while you’re both in that experience together.
And hey, let’s say you do truly believe you can fall in love with a stranger online/via video connection. What if you have this whirlwind-online romance that just comes crashing down when you finally meet in person and decide there’s something just a bit off about them? Never underestimate the power of your gut and first impressions.
What Happens When You Meet In Real Life
Meeting in person gets your brain producing a whole bunch of chemicals; they make you happy, giddy, and even euphoric. These are the same chemicals that start the feeling of falling in love. When you hug, hold hands, and just sit together laughing about nonsense, that’s all part of the process of bonding together. If you move all of that to a Zoom call, you’re missing out on so much magic.
There’s no buffering or losing signal – just some one-on-one quality time to really get a feel for someone and see if they might be your person. You can talk and get to know things about each other on the phone, but nothing beats being together in that adrenaline-filled moment, sharing those first date nerves.
So What Should You Do?
I’m not saying defy all the rules and head out into the world of coronavirus – not at all. I have a different idea for your self-isolation. Don’t spend so much time worrying about finding a person. You don’t need another half – you’re already whole. Spend this time checking in on your family and friends – the people you already love. Lockdown and isolation are tough on everyone – even those people who seem fine (don’t trust everything you see on someone’s shiny Instagram highlight reel).
Get on Zoom/Skype/FaceTime/All The Things with your nearest and dearest. Do a virtual quiz, game night, or just chat. I’ve even done the whole ‘let’s watch a movie together at the same time’ video chat. Use this time to focus on the love already in your life, rather than chasing strangers on apps.
And hey, spend some of this free time on yourself. Meditate, exercise, read that book you started but didn’t finish, clear out your wardrobe, do something creative, and just be kind to yourself. Don’t put any pressure on yourself and don’t feel like you have to tell the world every little thing you’re doing. Just do you. But most importantly, take a break from being your own matchmaker, and focus on the happiness you already have. There’s a lot you already have to be grateful for.