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What To Do On A Virtual Date?

Virtual dating has been the latest trend for a while now, with everything happening at an accelerated pace and the social distancing the pandemic has forced on people. Online dates are not that different from in-person ones and they can be fun and stress-free. Participants have the “home-court advantage”, which means they are usually more relaxed and don’t worry about things like who is paying or what is the best way to end the night. But while it’s become more mainstream, many people still wonder what to do on a virtual date and how to make sure they avoid awkward moments.

Partners can choose from so many secure and user-friendly platforms such as Zoom, Skype or FaceTime to connect to your remote partner or get to know the person you’ve been chatting with. Although a video call might not always make you feel close to your loved one, it can still be a fun or romantic experience, especially if you prepare beforehand. Moreover, virtual dates could be more intimate than IRL ones, as they encourage couples to focus on character traits and personal interests instead of appearance.

Even with all the technical help, not everybody finds dating easy and enjoyable. Still, with the right approach, some of your concerns could be ward off and you might really look forward to your next virtual date. Whether you already are in a long-distance relationship or you just want to meet someone online, here are some tips on what to do on a virtual date you may find useful.

1. Make an effort

Virtual dates are real dates, so act accordingly. Get ready for your video call as if you were actually going out. Choose your favorite outfit, the one that boosts your confidence and style your hair. One of the benefits of online dating is that you don’t have to worry about the weather, you can wear whatever you like, as long as it is appropriate and makes you feel comfortable.  

Taking the time to look good for your date shows the person on the other side of the screen that you care and that you are willing to invest in this relationship. No matter if you are on your first date or on your hundredth, make sure you do something more than open the app and answer the call.

2. Prepare some date topics

This is particularly helpful for the first couple of dates, when people don’t know each other very well and they might benefit from a few conversation starters. In order to prepare for a virtual date, you could think about what you would like to find out about your partner. Also consider what your answers may be to your own questions or others that may come up during your encounter.

There are several safe topics to talk about on a date, from favorite food to the last movie you have watched or the best show you ever went to. Discussing entertainment is a fast way to establish if you have anything in common and whether you could plan eventful dates in the future.

However, don’t make talking your main goal for the evening. It is equally important to listen to the other person and make them feel comfortable to share. To that effect, stay away from delicate topics, like money or religion, especially if you are in the early stages of your relationship. 

3. Work on your listening skills

Since every date involves a lot of discussions, keep in mind to find a balance between how much you talk and how much you let your partner speak. It’s neither pleasant nor polite to make it all about you, but you cannot be silent the entire time, as well. The solution is to listen carefully and to come up with relevant, smart replies.

When your date starts talking, show interest in what they say. Use active listening, which means maintaining eye contact and asking them follow-up questions. It is both a nice flirting technique and a great way to keep the conversation flowing.

4. Keep things simple

Not knowing what to do on a virtual date could trigger issues of anxiety and uncertainty, particularly in the beginning of a relationship. Trying to be charming and seductive can be a challenge even when you meet someone in person, let alone in front of a cold, impersonal gadget. The key to a successful date is to refrain from complicating it. Don’t set up the perfect day out, with numerous activities planned to the minute. Start simple and work your way up. 

For instance, if you are in a long distance relationship and you want to have a romantic evening together, plan your dinner first. Afterwards, if everything goes well and there is still time, you can have a late drink or perhaps go dancing. Virtually, of course. Or, if you just started dating someone online, you could FaceTime each other from your favorite coffee house at first or get to know one another over brunch. These relatively short video calls will help you decide if you would like to spend more time together or not. 

5. Flirt

Sometimes it can be complicated to show someone you are interested through a screen. Yet dating is, to a certain extent, about flirting and there are a few ways you can do that over a video call.

The first step is to look directly into the camera, not at your screen. Eye contact is effective in flirting, so try to glance at the camera any chance you get, mainly when your partner is talking. Complimenting them also works wonders, as well as laughing at their jokes. Only make sure your laugh is noticeable and real, otherwise things may look weird over the online platform. Last, but not least, tilt your head to the side. That is always a sweet gesture, even on a video call.

6. Have fun with online games 

Remember that one of the main reasons for dating is having fun. An entertaining pastime can really bring remote couples closer together and make them feel connected, in spite of the distance. The games available out there could easily turn a virtual date into a fun and exciting experience if you share a common passion for interactive activities.

Furthermore, engaging in healthy competition allows partners to discover each other without much effort and to establish the dynamic of their relationship. Playing games is a great way to decompress at the end of a busy day and to enjoy a few laughs with your beloved.

7. Avoid boredom 

One of the biggest fears of dating is getting bored during your romantic encounter. This is as much of an issue for people who just met and haven’t yet established their own rhythm as for those who have been together for a long time. You could avoid boredom by picking dates you already know you like, such as going on virtual tours of museums or even cities. 

Another method to make sure you are both having a good time is to keep the conversation going. Even when you know someone very well, you may find they hide one or two passions or challenges they would be happy to share. After all, given the chance, people will usually talk about themselves. 

8. Try something new

The best part of virtual dating is that it opens up countless opportunities, from chill nights of TV binging or star gazing to unbelievable adventures like online escape rooms or exploring exotic locations together. Since you have so many options of what to do on a virtual date you could have fun embracing new experiences. Unlike in-person dates that most of the time require planning and booking in advance, the virtual space enables spontaneity and quick changes, so that you’ll always have an amazing time.

Virtual dates are great opportunities to try new things and step out of your comfort zone. Thus, by enjoying different activities, you grow together, as a couple and develop your connection and intimacy at the same time.

9. Just be yourself

Dating is about finding that person you click with, the one who gets you. That special someone capable of making you happy and whom you could care about and make happy in return. Dating should be easy and pleasant, it should not feel like a test, where you always struggle to prove yourself. To make this happen, simply be yourself and let your personality win over your date.

A sure way to make your virtual date pleasant is to smile. Smiling sends the message that you have a good time and it will not only make you feel better, but it will also spread some of that positivity onto the other person. 

10. Be camera ready

Every small detail from your video calls says something about you, therefore you might pay attention to your surroundings. Keep your backdrop simple and clean, so that it doesn’t distract attention from you or the conversation. Adding a personalized Zoom background could be fun, especially for themed dates.

In addition, you could use lighting to your advantage. The right balance of natural and artificial light could truly emphasize your best features. When it comes to clothes, choose rather plain, yet colorful tops, because that is what your partner will be looking at during your date. Complex patterns or designs can be a little unsettling on camera and steal the focus from you.

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