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The Art of a Virtual Date

Written By: Girl Tyler

So, you’ve slid into some DMs, matched with a cutie on a dating app, been pursued by a longtime admirer, or met someone on a quarantine snack run. Whatever the case, you’ve made a connection and now the two of you are ready for some one-on-one time. Turn on Zapp and get ready for some computer love. Who knew the ‘80s would prepare us for virtual dating?

Although you might have imagined your first date would be a bit more romantic, you can still enjoy it from the comfort of your home just as you would during an in-person meetup. All you need is a strong Wi-Fi connection and an open mind.

Before the date, make sure your living space, especially the area in the background, is tidy. (Trust me, they’ll try to size you up based on your surroundings. Make sure it’s neat!) You can always opt to upload a fun image as your background to show off your humor and personality.

Lighting matters! Find a quiet, well-lit area of your home. Do a test run with a friend to work out any kinks or technical  difficulties. Most importantly, clean your lens. You want to present the clearest possible view of yourself and a dirty lens is not only annoying, it’s distracting. Also, make sure your battery is fully charged. You certainly don’t want to end the call prematurely due to a dead device.

Dress comfortably and once the date starts, be yourself. This is simple yet vital advice. Similar to a first-time in-person meeting, virtual dates come with lots of nerves. Body language is key. There are tons of social cues to read from the other person when you’re on a  traditional date. In this setting, the only view they have is from the chest up. (I mean unless you have something else in mind. Do you Sis!) Seriously, talk with your hands. Smile when you're amused. Lean in to show you're interested. Nod when appropriate. These are all great signals to show the other person you like where things are going.

Have fun with it! Play icebreakers. Tap into their music and film interests. Ask for book recommendations written by their favorite authors. Discuss health habits and swap tips. Skip gloom and  doom or controversial topics like the pandemic and the election for now. Instead, opt for light conversation to keep the mood fun and pleasant. If the conversation gets deeper, only share information that makes you feel comfortable.

Take a deep breath and remember who you are. Above all, go in with the knowledge that you are worthy and with the mindset that, good or bad, one date doesn’t dictate the future of your love life. In the end, if you’re not feeling it, you can politely opt-out.

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