Been invited on a Zoom date but no idea how to prepare? Fear not, dating expert Karen Mooney is on hand with everything you need to know.
With infection all around us, dating can seem impossible right now. It is time to acknowledge the beauty of Zoom as your new way to get to know someone. Forget office Zoom fatigue, using Zoom for dating feels closer to the “in-person” encounter: it’s just two individuals coming together for a chat, to get a sense of each other and make that all-important eye contact.
Zoom is a great screening tool
Zoom dating is the ideal screening tool, far better than the phone call or texting of pre-pandemic times, when typically, one call or text would lead to another and you could find yourself ping-ponging back and forth for anything from a few days to weeks before you actually met.
Using Zoom, once you’ve sent your invite you can go straight to the heart of the matter without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Via Zoom you will be able to gauge energy, spirit, attractiveness, intelligence, style, humour, listening skills, interest, empathy—oh and table manners.
For an initial encounter across the virtual divide that’s quite a range, all of which will enable you to work out whether or not the other person would be interesting to get to know.
…And it’s super affordable
Going on a large number of in-person dates can be costly and not only in financial terms—psyching up for the event, plus those inevitable expectations, especially when they are dashed, expends far more energy than sharing a chat and dinner via Zoom!
Confidence is key
How you come across is important right from the start of your Zoom date. Confident people take their time and don’t over react if the other person says something that jars with them.
If this is your first contact, there are bound to be some sticky moments, so take a breath, acknowledge the comment and ask a question of your own. Keep smiling—you’re both a little nervous.
To change the subject you could say, “OK, maybe we could save that for another time… now, what kind of films do you watch?” This is gently authoritative, keeps the tone light and could lead to a proper date later.
Be yourself—remember that the other person did want to meet you via Zoom, otherwise this wouldn’t be happening!
How to Zoom date
It’s all in the preparation:.Beforehand be sure to:
- Check your background—simple is best and tidy is vital
- Adjust your lighting, so that it flatters you and doesn’t shine on the screen
- Dress appropriately (at least from the waist up…) in something you feel confident in
- Tidy your hair. Wispy bits show up and make you look as if you don’t care
- Order/cook your meal and pour yourself a drink
- Turn off your phone, there is nothing more important than your Zoom date for the duration of the call. If you are using your phone for the Zoom call, turn on Do Not Disturb
- Shut the door so that there are no unplanned interruptions
What to expect
- That the call will start on time
- To make eye contact
- To smile and be smiled at in return
- Good conversation
- Good table manners
- To listen more than you speak
- To ask questions that show you are paying attention
- If it’s going well, to find common ground
- To make and accept compliments
- To enjoy yourself!
What not to expect
- Love at first sight—it is SO rare
- Chemistry. That will happen if it’s going to when you meet in person
Slowly, slowly, get to know me
One of the lovely things about Zoom dating is that you’ll have the opportunity to chat without the distractions you would normally have to deal with in a public place. Even a romantic dinner for two has to bear intrusions from the waiting staff.
There’s an old fashioned aspect to all of this, which is rather charming. We know that mid 20th century dating consisted of an initial period of getting to know each other and often a declaration of commitment before that first kiss. The anticipation must have been extraordinary. Nowadays there is a rush to physical intimacy before trust is established and that can leave both parties disappointed and vulnerable.
Zoom dating gives you time and space before you make your move.
Zoom is a lot safer than meeting strangers right now. Anyone who wants to meet face to face at the moment is a risk taker and unlikely, ultimately, to make a reliable partner.
The space between you protects you both, yet you can still enjoy all the benefits of getting to know someone really interesting in a slow and satisfying way. It’s well worth trying out—even after the pandemic it will still be here to stay.