As California is approaching nearly 2 months of shelter-in-place, Linx has transitioned to the reality of quarantine with mostly reasonable ease and we have been grateful at the number of people not holding back on signing up for memberships during COVID-19.
While clients are very much wanting to meet each other in person, they know that this is not the time for that and have accepted the new normal of virtual dates – and some very creative ones at that.
Approximately 75% of our premium clients are wanting to keep their searches going and try to continue to meet people during quarantine, while the remaining 25% are waiting for this to pass and “freezing” their memberships in the meantime. Many are very open to long-distance dating, especially during this stage, and finding it such an easy way to explore chemistry without the hassle and expense of having to hop on a plane for an in-person date.
Virtual dating is proving to be a very quick way to determine if there are some sparks, all while in the convenience of your own home.
We are seeing a small handful of our clients venture outside to gardens and parks for their first and second dates. Our couples are being safe by placing a large blanket down and sitting at least 6-feet from one another and bringing their own drink and food to enjoy. While this is not the same of getting to dine at a fabulous restaurant with crisp table linens and a well-trained staff, this is our new normal – at last for the time being. Furthermore, there is something old-fashioned and quite romantic about setting up a picnic and slowing down from our days to enjoy fresh air and conversation at a distance.
I’m getting a lot of clients and members of Linx asking advice on how to be successful at their virtual dating. My general advice for virtual dates is to treat them just like any regular date. Always put your best foot forward and remember that just because you are on Zoom or FaceTime, the age old expression “first impressions are lasting ones” does play a very important role during quarantine.
Some more specific advice when planning your virtual dates… Wear a pop of color (forget wearing white) and for women, do some tasteful makeup. Guys – clean yourself up and put on a dress shirt, or frankly anything but a sloppy t-shirt and shorts. Most of us feel our best when we are freshly showered and dressed for the occasion. Imagine you are going to an upscale lounge or restaurant for a meal….you wouldn’t wear a t-shirt and flip flops so the same principles apply when dating during quarantine – especially in the early stages as you’re getting to know one another.
Once you are dressed and looking fresh and vibrant, set the stage for potential romance and create the right ambiance. I have one client who keeps doing his virtual dates at his office. This is a buzz kill for his dates. Why? He is not separating work from pleasure and also not taking the virtual dates seriously. You need to separate your work and work environment from your dating life. So find a location in your home that is appropriate for this – and that definitely doesn’t mean your bedroom either. Think living room, dining room, or family room/den.
Light a candle, order a “ring light” on Amazon for optimal warm, ambient lighting or if you don’t have the budget for that, read what Tom Ford suggests for looking good on Zoom. Timing is everything. Do the Zoom date when the house is quiet (if you have kids, they are snoozing or in another room doing their homework ;-)) so you’re not distracted. If you drink, pour a cocktail or glass of wine, and if you don’t drink, pour a bubbly water with some citrus fruit or fresh mint leaves to feel festive and start your virtual date! Smile and keep the energy of the virtual date upbeat, happy, and chill.
What if the first virtual date goes well and you’re wanting to get a little more creative for the next series of virtual dates? For out-of-the-box date ideas, I am sharing the following ideas with my clients including:
1) Be a chef. Open your kitchen, show him/her a favorite recipe you like to make and vice versa. Do this using your favorite tech platform.
2. Be romantic. Flex your brain muscles and read him/her poetry or a chapter from a book you’re reading, or share your screen with some of your favorite YouTube tv or movie clips or music (make sure to select “share computer audio” when you share your screen.) Use it as a launchpad for further conversation. You’re showing him/her a new dimension of what makes you incredibly unique.
3. Be an artist. Even if you’re not going to be the next da Vinci, become your own individual artist! Each buy an inexpensive paint set online, schedule the date for when your respective sets arrive at your homes, set up your Zoom and have a painting date. Use it as an opportunity to giggle at one another’s art work, once canvases are complete.
It is also interesting to me that many clients are immediately removing the superficial layer of first dates and delving very deep in the virtual dates by asking one another intense questions. One recommendation is accessing the The New York Times “36 Questions on the Way to Love” interactive quiz and quickly sizing up if there are long-term foundational values in alignment or not. It’s proving to be a powerful way to determine if there is enough in common to keep virtually dating or rather to move on. This is yet another approach to incorporate.
With the curiosity and excitement of virtual dating, you might be wondering the risks and downsides. I think one of the major drawbacks is that some people just feel plain awkward dating virtually. It feels weird for them and simply not natural. Also, many people want to see what someone looks like in the flesh, smell their perfume, see the glistening of the gloss of their lips as the sun hits them a certain way, hug them, maybe kiss at the end of the date to test that important chemistry. Clearly you can’t do this with virtual dating, so this is a significant downside.
That said, the upshot I keep telling my clients is to keep exploring the virtual connections and when restrictions are lifted, to be able to imagine how exciting it will be to finally see their love interest in person. I think the potential of how magnetic the chemistry could be at that moment could be life-changing.
COVID-19 has placed each and every one of us in a vulnerable place and sharing that vulnerability with someone else could not only forever bond that couple but catapult them into a love that can be tested through time.
With that said, though, it is important not to force the transition to meeting in person – we are all (including our government) trying to figure the right time and pace to begin re-introducing social contact, and it will probably come down to each person’s comfort and tolerance for different types of risk. Please be tolerant as we each are dealing with this in our own way and in the meantime keep staying healthy and safe.
If you are on Instagram, I do daily simple inspirational posts to which many folks have responded very positively. If you would like to follow me, please do so at “Ms.LinxDating.” Thank you so much!