Virtual Dating 101

Young women leading against a bean bag while she smiles at her laptop screen

Welcome to virtual dating 101, your guide to romance online! The truth is, you should look at online dating like any other dating. This means that you’ll need to prepare for virtual dates and do something fun to make it a great experience for both you and your date. There are some online dating rules and tips that you’ll need to keep in mind so let’s start from the beginning:

1. Get to know each other over messages

It’s important to stay safe during online dating, and the best way to make sure that you do is to get to know your date over messages first. This way, you’ll be building the connection before seeing each other on video. You can even have a few phone calls before you chat over video, and this will give you an idea of what to expect. You’ll feel more comfortable once you get to the video part, and you’ll have a much better understanding of who your date is, so you’ll enjoy virtual dating much more.

2. Put as much effort into getting ready as you would for a live date

Young woman sitting in her room looking at a standing mirror

You should treat virtual dates the same way as an in-person date! Just because it’s online, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make an effort!

Take a shower and put on a nice outfit before the romance online starts. Do something with your hair, do your makeup, get a manicure, or anything else that you would normally do before a date in person. This will make all the difference, not just in the way your date perceives you, but in the way you perceive yourself as well. Present yourself in the best possible light, and you’ll feel like you’re really dating, not just having a chat with a stranger online. After all, virtual dating is real dating, it just feels different when we treat it differently than dating in person.

3. Set up your camera before the date starts

Young guy with black hair happily working on his laptop

Finding the right angle during virtual dating could kill the mood, so make sure to get your camera ready before the date begins. Are you going to use your computer or your phone? Whichever you choose, make sure that it’s at eye level, and don’t forget about the lighting. You should also make sure that you have a good background, preferably one that shows something related to your interests, so that it could be a conversation starter. You don’t want your online dating experience to be ruined by your date commenting on the dirty socks on the dresser behind you, so check what they’ll see during the date.

4. Make sure to have easy conversation starters ready

When you’re dating in a restaurant or a bar there are plenty of topics to discuss that are right there around you. You can talk about the things on the menu, the look of the place, the waiters, or anything else. Going on virtual dates doesn’t have this option, but you can easily create it! Talk to your date and agree to get a drink or prepare a meal before your date. You can create an atmosphere of dating in person and discuss the foods and drinks you chose for the date. If you were dating in person, you’d probably go to a movie after dinner, so why don’t you do that? Watching a movie together while you’re on a video call could be a fun and casual date. You’ll still get to talk about the movie and see your date’s reactions to the scenes!

5. If you’re interested, show it

Young woman with black hair laughing at her laptop

Unfortunately, online dating doesn’t leave you with the possibility to use physical touch and body language to let your date know that you’re interested. This is something you should keep in mind because you’ll need to show your interest in some other way. Be positive and playful and tell your date that you’d like to chat with them again sometime or even meet them in person eventually. Compliment them and let them know what you like about them to show your interest and start an unforgettable romance online. Don’t just focus on their appearance though, and make sure to compliment them on something related to their personality too.

6. Be prepared for awkward moments

There are always awkward moments in dating, and online dating is no different. Awkward moments don’t have to ruin your virtual dates though, because you can always laugh about it instead of feeling uncomfortable. You’ll spill something, your camera will freeze, your pet will jump on your lap… These things happen, so don’t let them ruin your online dating experience.

7. Make your expectations clear

Are you looking for something casual, or you’re searching for the love of your life? Online dating rules aren’t really that different from any other dating rules, which means that you need to make your expectations clear from the start. You and your date need to be on the same page when it comes to your expectations so being open and clear about this before going on virtual dates is important. Maybe you could even discuss this through messages before your romance online begins.

8. Keep in mind that things can get steamy

Virtual dates can be sexy (if you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you might already have experience here). You should never do anything that you’re not comfortable with, but if you’re both on board with it, there’s nothing wrong with turning the heat up and showing your sexy side.

9. Have fun

Young black woman smiling at her laptop

The most important one of all the rules for online dating is to have fun, just like you would if you were dating in person. Talk about your likes and dislikes, play a game, learn more about each other, and simply have a good time. Virtual dates are supposed to be fun, so be brave and act as if you would if you’ve met your date in person.

10. Relax after the date

A lot of people don’t take virtual dates as seriously as in-person dates, and this is a mistake. Maybe you haven’t left the room, but you have been on a date, and you should do whatever it is that you would do after IRL dating. Call your friend to let them know how the date went, vent, and decompress. Who knows, you might also need to change your relationship status after one of these virtual dates…
Good luck!


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