Distance Dating

07 Apr

Self-isolation and social distancing doesn’t stop the need for romantic connection. How to do it best? Set up a killer profile, be creative, be romantic, be safe and embrace your situation and make the most of it.

Mature woman is in her modern apartment using a laptop to create her online dating profile

Since COVID-19 forced most of the world into isolation, dating has taken an interesting turn. Self-isolation and social distancing doesn’t stop the need for romantic connection, and so having an online profile and virtual dating, once tainted with apprehension, is now the vehicle for hope and romance. 

How to do it best? First get the boring stuff out the way – set up a killer profile. Unless you are a key worker or need to work from home, you should have plenty of time to do this. Revisit any old profiles and give them an update and make-over.

  1. Make sure your online dating profile is a true reflection of you and what you are looking for in dating. Update your photos, make sure they are in focus and at least one of you smiling.
  2. Where you have the opportunity to write a bio, add something that reflects your values and actual interests. If you are serious about dating, refrain from using any of the following words: sports, travel, music, restaurants, culture, fun, out with friends, night in, theatre, movies. Instead be specific about what you enjoy – otherwise your profile will just blend into oblivion.
  3. Do your due diligence. When you connect with someone, make sure they are real and they are genuinely interesting to you. Gauge this through your chats and take things ‘visual’ sooner rather than later. That’s what Instagram, WhatsApp, Facetime etc are there for.

Then the fun stuff. Virtual dating. Remember the initial phase of dating is to get to know one another. You are not considering marriage. You are considering whether you and the person click. The healthiest relationships are the ones where the partners are really good friends. Make this your starting point. Can you be friends with your match?

  1. Use humour. Send each other memes, jokes and gifs.
  2. Be creative. Order a deliveroo for each other and open your dinner boxes at the same time over video. Create mini videos about each other’s lives, using the app ‘1secondeveryday’.
  3. Share moments. Agree to watch the same Netflix movie or iPlayer series at the same time. Or read the same book, perhaps even aloud to each other. Play games together on the app ‘houseparty’.
  4. Send gifts. Order something on Amazon that your date might like. Celebrate your time together.
  5. Be romantic. Share how you feel about one another. Give each other compliments. Find out what your partner’s love language.

But keep safe. Don’t give out your home address to someone until you have had a few video dates with them. Try not to get sexual, as difficult as it may be in some cases. Remember some people will have multiple dates and you don’t necessarily want to be ‘just a number’ in someone’s entertainment repertoire. The true test of whether your relationship is authentic and genuine is when you meet up in person and spend time together, so try not to do something you will later regret. You could be filmed or any intimate images screenshot and shared. If the fun and connection you have built up online is still there ‘offline’, then you are on to something. Feel free to be physical.

The danger with digital dating is that our fantasies might get the better of us and we think we know someone and you put yourself in a position which you otherwise wouldn’t, had your dating been analogue. If you can bear this in mind and keep yourself safe, I don’t see why you can’t find an amazing partner. Embrace your situation and make the most of it.

If you need any help, feel free to contact me for date coaching and together we can make this work.

by Madeleine Mason Roantree

Psychologist

Madeleine has over 15 years of experience in psychology, where she is trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Applied Positive Psychology. She is currently undertaking a PhD in Counselling Psychology, and is member of the British Psychological Society, the International Positive Psychology Association & Dating Industry Professionals Network.More by this author

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