With countries across the world asking their citizens to remain indoors, life has temporarily been placed on hold for many. However, lockdown hasn’t stopped some creative thinkers and determined daters looking for love.
What is digital dating?
Digital dating mimics usual face-to-face dates online. In a nutshell, two people meet - sometimes for the first time - over the internet, using video chat apps such as FaceTime, Skype and Zoom.
Some people are using the internet to prevent cancelling dates arranged prior to the pandemic, while others are using dating apps such as Hinge to specifically arrange these unique online dates as a way to socialise during lockdown.
‘It’s made us more in touch with our feelings’
Video call dating has provided welcome relief from the anxiety of the outbreak for virtual daters, such as 27 year old Judy Kwon from Brooklyn, New York.
Speaking to GQ magazine, Kwon said this new mode of meeting has greatly improved the emotional authenticity of her dates.
“I’ve been vocal about how I feel, and I’ve asked him to do the same, because we can’t read each other the same way you would when you’re getting to know someone in-person. It’s made us more in touch with our feelings, for sure,” she explained.
Another perk that comes from dating from within the comfort of your bedroom, is that it allows certain first date protocols to be somewhat relaxed.
Cilla Hope, a 25 year old marketing consultant from Croydon, told the BBC she attended her FaceTime date in her pyjamas.
However, digital dating doesn’t come without its fair share of awkward moments.
It can cause previously welcome gestures go a bit awry.
Cilla’s date attempted to impress her with his generosity by buying her some wine, although self-isolating logistics required a bank transfer and for her to physically buy the gift herself.
Digital dating ideas
Another virtual dater took to Twitter to announce a unique dating game she had planned which involved surprising each other with food from Deliveroo to see - quite literally - if their tastes matched up.
"I’ve got a virtual first date this week. He’s ordering me a Deliveroo, I’m ordering him a Deliveroo. Neither of us know what the other has ordered."
"We both then FaceTime & open them together. We’ll know instantly if we’re right for each other" the post read.
Another popular virtual dating idea is streaming the same TV show or film together while video chatting.
"I had my first virtual date with this guy yesterday and I just texted him and asked him on a second virtual Netflix date and I’m sO ANXIOUS" one user wrote.
While another took to Twitter to explain how her date nights have changed:
"Me and Jack can't see each other so we are having a virtual date on Netflix Party with wine".
Other ideas include using drinking games to remove any awkwardness, taking online quizzes together to test your suitability, and even double dates with friends through group video calls.