Finding love in the time of Coronavirus? Yes, please. There WILL be some great stories of connection and finding love that will come out of all of this. Will your story be one of them?
It’s such a strange and uncertain time but one thing is for sure, people will be seeking out connection now more than ever.
Connecting virtually will be the new norm for the foreseeable future. To avoid feelings of isolation and loneliness during this time, it will be important for all of us to get comfortable with using technology to connect with family and friends. And if single and living alone without a partner, those feelings of isolation and loneliness could even be more heightened, especially if physical or social distancing goes on for months (and not weeks), as some experts are predicting.
So dating will go on and adapt, that’s for certain. Extended phone calls and video calls will be the new norm until people can meet in person. Dating this way will be new for many. But has been done and done well for many in happy long distance relationships.
We've always recommended meeting face to face, instead of having extended phone chats because, well, nothing takes the place of meeting in person. But now we need to embrace the phone call and use it as a tool to connect and stay connected. And there are some definite advantages to getting to know someone over the phone. Obvious one? You can wear your sweats and sit on your comfy couch, wrapped in a blanket. But even better than that? You can really concentrate on the content of what someone is saying as opposed to how they physically look (and they, you). A deeper connection can be built this way, over a period of time. Talking on the phone is your friend right now. And here are some tips to help with that connection.
Talk about COVID-19 and how you are feeling
Talking about COVID-19 and the current situation is inevitable. It’s a shared experience and we are all feeling the weight of it. And being vulnerable on a date means being authentic – that’s where the connection happens. It’s ok to say you are having a tough time with this and that it is, well, a bit scary. Ask them how they are coping? How their family is doing with this? How has their work has changed? And then share your experiences.
But also, lighten it up. Find shared humour in what you are going through. Humour can be found in ANY situation.
Get to know them
And then get to the business of getting to know them and what makes them tick. And all the standard dating do’s and don’ts apply. Don’t monopolize the conversation, don’t try to sell yourself, and ask open-ended questions. Know that talking on the phone with a stranger can be awkward, especially at first. Everyone’s communication style is different and you aren’t getting the benefit of body language, eye contact, etc. Also not everyone is a “phone person”. It may take time to connect in this way. Keep that in mind and don’t write someone off too soon. If a conversation doesn't flow well the first time, give it another chance and book a second call.
And if those awkward silences crop up (and they will), you can have a couple of go-to questions at the ready (tell me a funny story from your childhood?). Or, you can always just acknowledge that this a a bit awkward. Again, a shared experience. If you are feeling it, they are likely feeling it as well.
And then move on to the video date
At some point, try moving to the video call or the virtual date, where chemistry (and physical attraction) can further build. I know this may not be comfortable for some, but dating is all about getting out of your comfort zone. There is a lot of fun to be had with this! Here are some tips to make it go a little more smoothly. But again, be patient with yourself and the other person and focus on the fact that you are both stumbling through this together.
Practice and get comfortable using video conferencing tools first. Try it out with a family member or friend, if you haven’t already. FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Facebook Video are all examples of available video platforms.
Book the time and set the mood (this is a real date, after all). Pay attention to the setting. What area of your home will they see? Make sure it’s reasonably clean and de-cluttered. Adjust the lighting. Adjust the angle of your computer screen and make sure you are postitioned and sitting at a flattering angle. Think about what works for a selfie. For most, the higher the angle, the better. Get out of your sweats and put on your favourite outfit. Pour your beverage of choice or you can even share a meal together.
Relax and let the conversation flow. Again, focus on shared experiences and getting to know each other.
And as dating progresses, there are so many fun ideas for a virtual date. You can watch a movie together on Netflix, set up the laptop in the kitchen and cook the same meal, or maybe even do an online fitness class together. The options are endless. Be creative and have fun!