Why Virtual Dating During the Lockdown Is Bunk

You have to admire dating platform providers for doing their best to adjust to the COVID-19 situation. They’ve done what appears to be a great job of developing options for virtual dating. But while this may seem great to Millennials and Gen Z, they don’t have enough life experience to see the landmines.

The biggest problem with virtual dating has to do with the candy store effect. Anybody you talked to a month or two ago has most likely already forgotten about you. If they do manage to keep in touch with an occasional Zoom chat, they will eventually lose interest. This has to do with all the new potential suitors they are talking with, each one seemingly having more potential than the previous. 95% of these online virtual dates will not lead to a real date when restrictions are finally lifted. The reality is that the last one or two people they talk to will end up getting the real date.

Additional virtual dating challenges circle around technical issues such as lighting, camera position, and background. Similar to the professional help needed on most pictures found in dating profiles, you’ll need to learn how to look good live on camera. This involves a steep learning curve off. There hasn’t been a whole lot of decent advice out there on this subject. It wasn’t until August that I became aware of any detailed and tested information on how to approach it.

I’m a regular listener of Julie Ferman’s Cupid’s Coach Podcast. Julie interviewed Rachael Greenwald in Episode 50, titled “Creating Connections Via Zoom Dates.” Rachel lays out a manageable and well-explained avenue that anyone can follow to creating a positive Zoom meetup date. Rachel is the author of Why He Didn’t Call You Back and Find a Husband After 35 Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School. These are great books for both women and men to read. I’m in the process of writing up reviews on both that will soon be available. Julie is a professional matchmaker. Her website has some excellent content and is available here: https://www.julieferman.com/

It’s imperative to quickly move off the dating app messaging interface and on to a phone conversation. The phone call is crucial for weeding out the pretenders. Just by asking the other party if they’re open to moving your text conversation to a phone call, you can eliminate half the pretenders. Those who are not serious will immediately ghost you. Those that are honestly interested will agree to a phone call.

Here is where you have the option of making that first call into a Zoom meetup. Keep your Zoom call to about 45 minutes max. Why so short a time? The longer you talk, the higher the probability of you putting your foot in your mouth. This is key to a second date.

With virtual dating, you’re stuck between the phone call and the first face-to-face. Attraction and the unpredictable happen when you are face-to-face, not screen-to-screen. By the time you get face-to-face, the ability to recapture that magic is pretty much gone, and you probably won’t get another chance. You’ll wind up with many an awkward moment on that first face-to-face after one or more virtual dates. So the goal is to get that phone call or Zoom meetup as quickly as possible and keep things brief. If it flows well, ask for a socially distanced meet-up over coffee or a glass of wine. I call it a mask-to-mask.

This is not to say that virtual dating does not have a silver lining. It does, in that it makes for great dating practice. We all need practice for face-to-face dating conversations, and the more you work at it, the better you’ll get. So as long as you understand this, I say move forward with virtual dating and get ready for when you can start meeting people again face-to-face. You should be using this COVID downtime to work on yourself, personal and physical. Get into shape. Practice, practice, practice so you’ll be ready to meet a great potential match when the opportunity presents itself.

– Paul [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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