With Covid rudely crashing into our world and uprooting our social lives, it’s no wonder singles are feeling more alone than ever. Lockdowns are keeping families and friends apart, and let’s face it, toys aren’t great at conversation.
We all crave a connection and a long- lasting love, and technology has made that even easier, albeit more confusing for the older crowd. Those who hate technology and have avoided using dating apps are now finding themselves with no choice, but to take the leap into the scary unknown.
E-Harmony has picked up on this trend, and has begun to offer Video Dating which is exciting and easy to use. It’s a great idea for those in lockdown and has the benefit of meeting people for the first time in the comfort of their own home, which makes it easier for those who are shy and reserved.
It’s also a lot safer and can be ideal for those who have had bad experiences in the past and feel more comfortable getting to know someone face to face without actually being face to face.
I’ve put together a few tips for your first online date, so that you can go into it with complete confidence and swagger – and perhaps meet the love of your life!
DONT BE AFRAID OF TECHNOLOGY
The thought of online dating can be daunting, but apps and websites make it very easy to navigate these days. Whether you use your phone or a desktop, there are options available that are just as easy as using your phone. Accept that this is a new creative way to meet people and that you’re opening up a whole new world of options and different people you would have never met if it wasn’t for tech, be open to the idea and just roll with it for a while. Once you get into it, it’s easy to get addicted to just the chatting and messaging without actually making it to the next level of a physical date – this is where video dating comes in.
BE AWARE OF THE ROOM
When you’re setting up your device for an online date, make sure you look at everything in the picture behind you. Do you have a bra hanging from the lamp shade? A huge pile of dirty laundry you haven’t gotten around to (guilty) or maybe your collection of realistic looking baby dolls staring at them from a shelf (no judgements here…I know some people are into that but personally they creep me out).
The best background is a blank wall, but if that isn’t possible just make sure it’s all tip top and what’s showing is the state it would be in if you were to be physically having them in your house.
LIGHTING AND ANGLES
Lighting can make or break how you look, anyone can look less flattering in the wrong light, casting shadows on your face that make you look tired or sick. If it’s day time, make sure you are sitting with the sun or window facing you. Make sure you are front-on to your camera. Natural lighting is amazing, and you will be able to tell the difference by looking at yourself through the camera while you adjust the positioning. Light coming from behind you will basically make you disappear and blind your date. If it’s night time, position a lamp behind your screen or laptop to get a nice glow.
The same goes with angles, going from slightly above or mid-level is best. You don’t want your device to be lower than your face, unless you want a double chin. Having it lower could also mean they are looking up your nostrils the whole time. which is not ideal (unless you can flare them on command – which is hilarious)
Dress like you would dress on a date. I don’t know why, but people think just because they’re on a video call that the other person can’t REALLY see them. Well, yes they can! So make an effort just like you would a real date. Go for solid colours rather than loud patterns and avoid strapless tops or dresses that can make you look, well, naked. Don’t forget you are on camera, it’s easy to start doing other things like scrolling on our phones or picking our noses when we are behind a screen. THEY CAN SEE EVERYTHING
If you’re really nervous and get stuck on what to say like I do sometimes, have some notes at the ready. Just make sure you can’t see the notes on camera! I actually use post it notes or a word doc open on my screen that has some conversation questions on it or points I like to make about myself and what I want on there, that way if there’s an awkward silence I can just ask them questions. Asking more questions means they will be doing most of the talking and takes the pressure off you.
Using all of these tips means you are well prepared to take the leap into video dating. The most important tip of all is to HAVE FUN! Don’t take it too seriously, when the person who is right for you is on the screen the conversation will flow naturally and if it doesn’t, all you have to do is scream “BAD CONNECTION!” and close your laptop. Simples!
Bethany Hiska is a sex and dating coach helping people connect with themselves and others. To ask a question and get more support visit http://www.bethanyhiska.com and join the Facebook Group