Virtual Dating 101

Social distancing sounds like a wet blanket for singles, but many Kelleher International clients are finding success with virtual dating. So, while we’re all forced to nest at home to protect our communities, we invite you to welcome in a necessary twist on discovering love in the age of the coronavirus.

Reimagine the getting to know you process through virtual dating.

“We are in a constant state of change as human beings. But the thing that remains the same is our desire to experience love and belonging,” explains Kelleher International’s CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews. “Feeling alone in a crisis can deepen the desire to be coupled. That’s why we’re motivated to keep making matches and setting our clients up on virtual dates.”

If you’re single and eager to explore connections but can’t imagine virtual dating, our Kelleher matchmakers are here to help you adapt.

It’s short-sighted to think that you can’t find connection if you aren’t sitting across from your potential match. 

So the first key to virtual dating is to dismiss the idea that just because you can’t go to a restaurant or meet up for a drink means you can’t date. The coronavirus is ushering in a forced slowdown. When it comes to dating, we think that’s a benefit for singles. There’s no pressure to rush into anything. There’s one speed, and that’s slow. 

Slow dating provides the opportunity for real connection before jumping into the physicality of romantic pursuits.

“We have clients successfully engaging with their potential matches through video chat technology, and they have positive experiences,” says Kelleher matchmaker Molly Davis. “It’s very encouraging.”

During a post-date follow-up, Molly received this feedback, “I had a great chat with her. We’re going to try having “virtual dates” frequently. We started today with a one-hour video call through WhatsApp. She seemed to enjoy it. I did, for sure. Thank you for making this connection.”

There are so many platforms – like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Whatsapp, Facetime, or Skype – offering the “in real life” connection from a distance. That said, how you show up on your virtual date matters.

Here are some “Do’s and Don’ts” to set yourself up for success.

  • If part of your apprehension of virtual dating is that you’re technologically challenged, have a test date with your matchmaker or a close friend. Make sure you understand how to use the video platform.  They can also help you test locational backdrops and make sure the connection is crystal clear.
  • Consider your space and lighting before beginning the virtual date. Find an inviting backdrop that shares a bit of your personality but also frames you in a good light.  
  • Make sure you’re in a private enough place that you can be yourself, speak freely, and be present without distractions.
  • Nothing can kill the mood like a bad internet connection. Make sure you have a strong wifi signal. If not, plugin and use your ethernet connection.
  • You can’t blame traffic, so there’s no excuse for tardiness. “Confirm your virtual date ahead of time and be mindful not to keep your date waiting,” advises Kelleher’s director of matchmaking, Kimberly Colgate. “Send a text message when you’re logging on as a back-up to ensure there are no technical issues.”
  • If you have lighting challenges in your space, purchase an inexpensive selfie light ring that can make the lighting wherever you are perfect. The light ring clamps directly to your phone or laptop and can help create atmosphere in an instant.
  • Go for short and sweet on that first virtual date. “Don’t chat too long initially, but make the most of your time,” Kimberly suggests. “The goal is to discover potential connection and attraction, so have fun! Dive in with an engaging question and see where it goes. It’s good to have a set end time and leave a little mystery for virtual date number two.” 
  • If you hit it off, propose a time for that second virtual date before you hang up the video chat. Perhaps suggest a virtual dinner or happy hour where you both show up to the date with your favorite meal, bottle of wine, or cocktail. “Our clients are meeting over Skype, breaking bread, and enjoying a nice bottle of wine,” says Amber. “It’s a clever way to go on a date without leaving the safety of home.”

Virtual dating provides an opportunity to develop deep connections by slowing the courting process.

“Take turns making plans,” encourages Kristine Givas, national director for Kelleher International. “Maybe choose date themes of destinations you’d like to explore with your new match when the social distancing advisory ends. And if things are going well and you live close, discuss meeting up for social, outdoor “distanced fun” like playing tennis or going for a hike. Or catch a movie together using the NETFLIX Party feature. Work within your comfort zones to stay creative in building the connection.” 

The important thing is to continue to get to know one another with each interaction. Just like with good old-fashioned dating, you’ll only get out of virtual dating what you put into it.

Do you have some adapted dating tips that are working for you? Or fun virtual dating themes to suggest? Share your thoughts in the comments section below and help spread the love with our KI community.

Kelleher Matchmaking will continue to share clever and safe ways for you to carry on your dating adventures while respecting social distancing.

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