Gentlemen, the dating game has changed...
The coronavirus pandemic has shutdown in person dates and made it virtual. The new normal involves text chats, video calls, and DFH (Date from home). To help you survive and thrive in this new age of dating, here are my Top 10 Virtual First Date Tips for Men.
The advice is based on my experience hosting 50+ virtual events, including the virtual dating show The Blind Dating Game. I have personally witnessed what works on virtual dates and I'm here to help you step up your game.
1. Look Your BestNo matter what, dating is still a game about how you look. The more you can take advantage of the tools at your disposal, the more of an advantage you have over your competition.
Bad camera and lighting setup
Better camera & lighting setup
The virtual background is a photo I took while traveling in El Nido, Philippines.
2. Test your setup
You need to check that your camera is working, your audio is clear, and you don't have any software issues. Best bet is to test it with a friend and get their feedback on how you look and sound.
Remember that if you fail to plan, then you're planning to fail.
3. MAKE AN EFFORT!This is the BIGGEST MISTAKE men make on virtual dates. Just because you don't need to dress up to WFH doesn't mean you shouldn't dress up to DFH. You should take a shower, brush your hair, shave, put on a decent shirt, and look like you actually care about your appearance. If you don't care, why should she?
Plus, knowing that you're looking your best will give you a big boost to your confidence during the date.
4. Be prepared
Your date could last anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours. So prepare your setup with everything you may need. Prepare how you would before sitting down for a movie. Show up early, use the restroom, grab a beverage, and set your phone to silent. The last thing you want is to run to the bathroom just as things are getting interesting.
5. Ask good questions
If it's a first date then there will be some awkwardness at the beginning. That's normal and should be expected. However, you should try to get past the awkward stage ASAP. The best way is to have a list of fun icebreaker questions ready. Use these whenever there's a gap during the conversation.
Each of these questions should spark a conversation that can continue for a while. Have a few related personal stories prepared when it's your turn to share.
6. Stay away from bad conversation topics
Aside from the weather, religion and politics, you should stay away from the following topics:
Basically try to keep the conversation positive and fun. If it starts going in the wrong direction then gently guided back to something better.
7. Pick a theme for the date
Just because we can't go to a bar or restaurant doesn't mean we can't go to a virtual one. You can make the date more interesting by suggesting that you meet in a virtual cocktail bar in NYC, or a seaside restaurant in Peru.
The setting provides context clues for how the interaction should go. It wouldn't be weird in a virtual cocktail bar to talk about your favorite drinks or bartenders.
Wouldn't you want to be here instead of your living room? Feel free to use this as your virtual background.
8. Practice active listening
The goal of a date is to allow the two of you to learn about each other. After you ask your interesting questions make sure that you listen to her response. Acknowledge what she said and respond to it after she's done. Don't interrupt and do not talk over her.
9. Plan an activity
Remember that dates aren't just about one-on-one conversations, they are about two people sharing an intimate experience together. You can get creative and come up with an activity that you can both do together.
10. Set an end time
Since you're both DFH, it can be hard to know when the date should end. You should set an end time at the start of the date so both people know how long it will go.
Of course, if the date is going great and you're having a blast then feel free to hangout more. But do ask her if she agrees and don't just assume she's also having a great time.
Bonus tip: End the date strong
How the date ends plays a huge part in how the date will be remembered. Did the date end with sparks flying and both people excited for part II? Or did it sputter with a lot of vague language and uncertainty? It's up to you to make your intentions clear.
For example, you can say: "I had a wonderful time tonight and I would love to see you again. I will use your salmon recipe and show you the results next time. Are you free this Saturday evening?"
This confirms that you had a good time, you care about what she shared, and it gives her something to look forward to on your next date.
By following the Top 10 Virtual First Date Tips for Men, you'll look better on camera, have more intimate conversations, and create a memorable experience she'll look forward to having again. Don't blame me when you have too many virtual dates to handle!
If you are new to the game and want to practice your virtual first date skills, then you should join The Blind Dating Game. This is a game where contestants date and connect without ever seeing each other's faces. Over the course of three weeks you'll narrow down your matches until you find your ideal match. Apply to join the next game.
Mostly importantly, remember that DFH is supposed to be fun! Now go out there and rock your virtual first dates!
THE ❤️ STORY OF RABAB & AARON
Each month we will feature a story from one or more of our members. This month, we take a look at the romantic journey of Rabab & Aaron that started at a pub trivia.
When did you join UAC?
Rabab: January 2017
Aaron: June 2018
At which event did you first meet?
Pub Trivia at Blackthorn Tavern
What do you remember about the first meeting?
Rabab: His cuteness aside ;), I noticed he was very engaging and genuine with everyone in the group. Oh and we couldn’t stop talking.
Aaron: I was working East coast hours and had to wake up at 5 AM, but when our trivia group suggested a late night bite after we won I couldn’t resist joining just to keep talking with her
When did you start dating?
Rabab: A month after we met. We’ve been together for almost two years now.
Aaron: After a few more trivia nights, just about a month after I moved to SF!
Tell us a bit about your first date?
Rabab: Since we were neighbors, we kept it local and casual. We met up at The Taco Shop at Underdog for some Nick’s Way tacos and because it was going so well we headed to Little Shamrock for a nightcap. Best Friday the 13th ever!
Aaron: It was Friday the 13th and we kept joking about how it was an omen. Almost two years later I guess it was a lucky one
Any exciting plans for the future?
Rabab: Lots but not jinxing it for now
Best of luck you guys! We’re very happy for you. 😃🙌