Dating has just become a whole lot more difficult thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t start something new even though you’re housebound right now.
You may be surprised to hear this, but a global pandemic isn’t all bad news for your love life. If you’ve been wanting to have a go at online dating or have a habit of rushing into relationships, then social distancing could provide you with the opportunity to drastically improve your dating life.
Not being able to meet face to face other than a walk at two metres doesn’t sound like it’ll do your love life any favours, but that might not be the case. According to some recent research, more and more singles are signing up to dating sites, with users spending an average of seven hours a week dating online. So your Mr or Mrs Right could be out there just waiting for you to swipe right!
It definitely seems like social distancing hasn’t done much to dampen people’s desire to meet and connect with others during this time. If anything, our need for human (virtual) interaction is even greater at this time. And although you may not be able to meet them right now, dating slowly and getting to know someone before you meet actually has some real benefits.
For example, if you feel like your good qualities are often overlooked, or you’re somehow always picking the wrong people to form relationships with, then going back to basics and spending time getting to know someone over a period of time will help you to form more meaningful connections.
So, for today’s post, I thought I’d share some of my top tips for successfully dating online during a lockdown. I hope you find it useful:
01. CHOOSE A REPUTABLE DATING APP
With over 1,500 dating apps and websites to choose from, how do you choose the right one? Well, in my experience, you can’t go far wrong with word of mouth. So ask your friends if they’ve been dating online recently. And, if so, do they have any specific sites they’d recommend?
It’s also important to know exactly what it is you’re looking for before signing up to any dating sites. For example, if you’re on the lookout for someone you can potentially spend the rest of your life with, go for a reputable site that has a large user base — particularly if you live in a regional area. Apps that ask you to create a detailed profile will help you to connect with people who are just as serious about starting something real as you are.
But don’t worry — if you’re not really looking for someone for the long-haul, and just want a casual hook-up once things start to go back to normal, then there are plenty of sites out there for that too!
No matter which app you choose, it’s important to stay pro-active once you’ve signed up. Make sure you create a great profile, upload at least three pictures of yourself and don’t be afraid to message someone first. That way, you’ll soon start to see the rewards.
02. PUT TOGETHER A STELLAR BIO
Let’s face it, when dating online your bio is the make-or-break factor on your profile, so it’s super important that you fill it in! Without this additional information, it makes it tricky for people to tell if you’re being sincere and offers very little in the way of conversation starters.
However, there are some dos and don’ts you should be aware of when filling in your profile. Try to avoid online dating clichés such as, ‘Not quite sure what I’m doing on here!’ and make sure you keep it light-hearted. Complaining about previous bad online dating experiences or aggressively warning off anyone who isn’t prepared to commit to a full-on conversation won’t portray you in the best light.
Try to write your profile in a conversational tone, as if you were speaking to someone who was sat in front of you. And don’t forget to include at least one sentence about what you’re looking for. This will help you to save time on matches you’re completely incompatible with.
03. DON’T BE AFRAID TO START THE CONVERSATION
As I mentioned before, you’ll soon reap the rewards of using a dating site if you’re not afraid to message someone first. But it’s important to choose your words (and emojis) wisely. When you’re starting a conversation online you want to avoid doing either of these two things:
Firstly, don’t send a half-hearted, ‘cut and paste’ first message. ‘How are you?’ or ‘Lovely smile!’ are not only hard to respond to but they come across as very generic and imply you haven’t put a lot of thought into the message.
And secondly, avoid going to the other extreme of sending a very long message about who you are and asking someone out right off the bat. Your first goal is to get a response, and you don’t want to ask someone on a date (or video call) before you’ve had the opportunity to connect on a deeper level.
It’s always good to pick up on something specific in the other person’s profile to respond to. And try to use some humour if you can — this is a good way to show off your personality — which can be hard to convey through words alone.
04. ARRANGE A VIRTUAL DATE
Since we can no longer meet up with matches for a drink, or suss them out over dinner, we need to get creative with our next steps.
Video dates, if you’re comfortable doing them, can be a great way to build a connection with someone whilst you can’t meet up in person. They’re the closest you will come to a real date without actually meeting face-to-face but are less pressurised as you can get to know someone from the comfort and safety of your own home. I shared 10 virtual date night ideas here if you fancy taking a look.
But if the mere thought of FaceTiming the stranger you met while dating online makes you cringe — don’t panic! There are a few other ways you can get to know someone. If it’s the video part of a FaceTime call that makes you feel uneasy then you can of course just have a traditional phone call. And lots of messaging apps allow you to send voice notes which are more personal than a text, but they’re not as high pressure as a call.
Just remember that anyone worth dating will be respectful of your boundaries and will be happy to get to know you at your own pace, so never feel forced into a date. Even if it is virtual.