If you’re a single living through the COVID-19 quarantine, you’re likely well-acquainted with loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still meet your soul mate, or at least, someone fun to hang with, right from the comfort of your own home.
You can even go on dates! While the pandemic may have changed how you date, there’s no reason it should stop you from connecting with someone great.
In fact, dating is still alive and well online. With millions of singles hungry to connect, they are turning to online dating apps in droves, making this the ideal time to take the plunge.
Online dating: How to choose the right app
If you’ve never tried online dating, choosing which app to download can be overwhelming. With thousands of apps out there, it can be hard to know which one is for you.
Start out by deciding what you’re looking for. Are you seeking someone you can eventually have a relationship with or do you simply want some casual companionship? Do you have niche needs? Do you prefer to meet older singles? Are you willing to pay for a better experience? Are you open to dating someone from outside the country?
Once you know what your priorities are, it’s time for a little bit of research. Start by reading some well-researched guides. We’ve seen some great ones from Beyondages.com that help guys looking for all kinds of things from this article about what you need to do to meet a cougar to what guys who don’t really know what they want should do. This will give you a better idea of what is worth your time and money and what you should avoid.
Keeping a list of the pros and cons of each app can help you to compare and narrow down your choices. Whichever app best aligns with your needs is your best bet.
Once you’ve downloaded an app, uploaded some profile pictures and written up your profile, it’s time to start connecting.
While it’s possible you’ll meet someone great right away, it’s not likely. That’s why being patient is so important. It usually takes a while to meet someone you really click with but, once you do, all of that waiting will be worth it.
Now comes the challenging part. Dating from a distance. Let’s take a look at five of the best ways you can have amazing dates virtually.
Dinner and a movie
Who says the traditional first date outing can’t work during self-isolation? With a little bit of coordination, you can enjoy a great first date via FaceTime, Zoom or Skype.
Decide on a restaurant together, choose your meals and have them delivered to your homes. You can take it up a notch by getting dressed up and lighting some candles in your respective spaces for a more exciting and intimate meal together.
You can follow up your dinner conversation with a movie. Thanks to Netflix Party, you and your date can watch a movie at the same time and chat about it right from your browser.
If you’re enjoying your time together, meet back online for a cup of tea or glass of wine and more conversation.
If chatting is getting a bit old, why not challenge your date to a game night. While virtual game nights don’t take a lot of planning, it can be fun to coordinate your game night snacks and drinks.
Once that’s done, hit up an online platform like Tabletopia, that allows you to play classic board games with your date. If you want to make things more interesting, put some conditions on the game outcomes. Have the loser pay for the next dinner and movie night or, if you really want to make things interesting, make a pledge that the loser has to initiate your first kiss when you can actually meet in person.
A get to know you night
If there’s some on-screen chemistry happening between you and your date, you can increase the intimacy a bit by playing a different type of game. Word games like 20 Questions, or Would You Rather? can be a lot of fun and can help you to learn more about your online mate.
You can also give psychologist Arthur Aron’s quiz a try. The 36 questions are designed to increase intimacy between strangers and partners alike. The questions, which are broken into three segments, gradually become more personal, allowing you to open up to your date slowly.
If you haven’t had enough truth yet, challenge your online paramour to a game of Truth or Dare. While being apart may limit the dares you can give somewhat, it can still be a lot of fun and will force you to get creative.
While there’s a lot of skepticism around meeting a potential soulmate online, more and more people end up in happy, successful relationships with people they met on an app. Getting to know each other is a crucial part of creating a strong bond that can blossom into a great relationship.
Take a class together
Many businesses are getting creative by offering their services to people online during the pandemic. This is something you can take advantage of for a fun and unique date night.
Decide on what kind of class you’d both be interested in taking, be it a cooking class or a karate session. Tune in to the class on one device and have video chat running on another so you can feel like you’re learning together.
No matter what you decide on, plan to enjoy each other’s company after the class. With a cooking class, you can simply sit down and enjoy the meal you cooked together. With something more active, enjoy a refreshing beverage and a post-workout rehash of the new skills you learned.
If things are progressing well with your online love, a fun date night can simply be planning all of the things you want to do with your date once you can actually meet in person.
Make a list of all the places you want to visit together and all the types of dates you’d like to go on. Talking about the types of dates and places that interest you will help you get to know each other better and will give you something to look forward to.
Some other great ideas for having fun together virtually are: a digital karaoke night, virtual travel via Google Arts and Culture, creating playlists together or for each other and listening to your favorite music, working out together or trying a virtual wine tasting.
Have you been on some virtual dates? What ideas have you tried to keep things interesting? Let us know your best self-isolating dating tips in the comments below.