Dating apps and websites have changed a lot about how we get to know someone new these days. Going to a restaurant and exchanging hobbies and interests over a meal is no longer the standard first date. Texting, online messaging, and video calls have, in a way, taken over that role.
There are a lot of advantages to having a first date take place over video chat. It’s a safer, more authentic way to get a feel for someone’s appearance and personality before you commit to meeting up in person. Plus, when you finally do get together in real life, it will feel more comfortable and natural to spend time together.
If you’re about to have your first video date, you might be a little nervous and unsure about how to make sure it goes well. Luckily, our dating experts have a few tips to help you have a smooth and memorable first virtual date!
Dress to impress.
Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should show up to your virtual date in sweats. Get ready for a video date the same way you would an in-person date. You don’t have to go over the top, but a nice outfit and a little makeup or hair gel will show your date you care enough to make an effort. It will also help you feel more confident too. Think cute, but casual. Remember, this is still your first impression.
Perfect your camera setup ahead of time.
Lighting, background, and camera angle will be key in setting the tone for your date. Choose a spot that minimizes potential distractions. You’ll want somewhere quiet and with a relatively clean backdrop. After all, you don’t want the sounds of a noisy common area or an underwear pile in the background to kill the mood.
Natural light is ideal for lighting. If it’s not possible though, just make sure you have enough light to illuminate your face but not wash it out harshly (go with task and ambient lighting vs. overhead, for example). Lastly, you’ll want to set up your camera at eye-level for the most accurate and direct picture.
Have something to do.
Coming to your video date with props and/or an activity planned will help curb both of your nerves and give you something to talk about. While you may not want to watch a movie or play a board game on a first date, something simple like a drink to sip on can make any potentially awkward moments less awkward. You could even coordinate to have a meal together from the same restaurant—just be mindful of not chewing into the microphone.
If you’re worried about having nothing to talk about, write down a few topics or facts about yourself you want to share and keep the paper handy (but out of sight). Try not to write down specific questions, as reading them might come off sounding too rehearsed, but rather a few points of discussion to keep the conversation flowing. Just remember to be thoughtful about what you say and that, if you need it, it’s okay to take a minute to gather your thoughts (a perfect time to sip on your cocktail!).
Close out strong.
Plan to wrap things up with your virtual date after about an hour or so. This will help you avoid letting the conversation dry up or drag out and leave you searching for an excuse to log off. You can tell them you have to go do something or have an early day tomorrow and need to get going to bed. It’s also a good idea to mention that you had a nice time and are looking forward to connecting again and learning more about them. Since it’s still the first date, you want to save some topics and information for the next one. When you end the call on a strong, positive note, you’ll leave them wanting more.
When you register for a membership with My Safe Dating, our secure text, voice-only, and video chat tools make it easy to get to know someone safely and at your own pace. Our chat features are convenient, easy-to-use, and included in every membership level.
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