A lot of us have reconnected with our inner homebody over the past couple of weeks. We’re ordering essentials on Amazon instead of going to the store, “social distance delivery” is now an actual thing when we order from our favorite take-out restaurants, and sweatpants or workout gear has become the go-to when deciding what to wear in the morning.
But even though the usual routines we’re used to have been shaken up, it’s still nice to keep as many things normal as we can—and socializing with our family, friends and yes, the people we’re dating, is part of that.
If you’re committed to maintaining some physical distance and still trying to date during this uncertain time, there’s no doubt that you’ve tried video dates with your phone, tablet or laptop. And while it seems pretty simple—call your date and start a conversation—there is always a way to improve your virtual time. Read on for some tips on how to be completely ready to rock your next video date!
Set a Scene
Unless the Property Brothers recently stopped by to update your home, you might not have a living room that looks like your favorite talk show TV set. There are, however, a couple of tricks that will make the most of your space.
- If you’re using a laptop or tablet to conduct your video date, you’ll need to find a suitable place for the device that shows you and your home in the best light. Coffee tables don’t exactly offer the best camera angles, so consider moving an elevated surface—a console or sofa table would be perfect—closer to where you’re sitting to get that perfect angle!
- Speaking of rearranging furniture, try some feng shui with your pieces to produce not only the right energy, but also the right vibe. If you’re still in the early stages of dating, showing off your home shows your date some of your signature swagger and style. Bring your favorite nightstand and lamp into your living room and set it next to your seat, swap the art on your walls with pieces that will look better in the video shot, and try to avoid walls with busy wallpaper or paint that’s either too light or too dark. These are all easy fixes that require minimal time and energy—so putting everything back will be a breeze.
- If your living room lighting game isn’t producing the results you desire, consider bringing in additional floor or table lamps. Play around with the variety of lighting to get exactly the illumination you want. Test it by video calling a friend or take a few videos and play them back for yourself. This sounds like a lot of work, but what else do we have to do in quarantine?
Have the Essentials Handy
Depending on what kind of virtual date you have planned, chances are you have a few items—set pieces or props, for the theatrical-minded—that will be used while you’re enjoying the company of your date. We highly recommend having everything within arm’s reach before you launch your video call.
- Having a movie night with your sweetheart? Pop that popcorn beforehand and have the bucket of buttery goodness at your side. If you’re streaming, add your movie suggestions to your queue before you call. Going the DVD or Blu-Ray route? Have the movie loaded and your TV set to the right mode. No one wants to wait for technical difficulties—or for you to burn that first bag of Pop-Secret.
- If you’re simply having some nice conversation and getting to know each other, a solid beer, fabulous cocktail or glass of fine wine isn’t just liquid courage—it’s also social lubrication! Have some freezer-chilled beer mugs ready, pre-batch your cocktail and have the pitcher ready for refills, or chill your white or rosé hours before your call (and get an ice bucket prepared). Again, nobody likes waiting—especially if they can’t enjoy that luscious libation with you!
- There are all kinds of fun date ideas to choose from when deciding how to spend your time on video. Whether it’s preparing a meal together in separate kitchens, playing a board or video game from afar, or working out together, it’s important to have your ducks in a row to ensure the date goes smoothly. Have your meal ingredients ready and the oven preheated, set up the board game or be ready to log in to your game console, and have your yoga mat rolled out with bottles of water on the side. The more you prepare, the more time you’ll have to spend that quality time with each other!
Dress to Impress
You’ve always employed this tactic when dating IRL, so why would you not use it when you’re dating in the digital space? Sure, the usual rules apply: Look clean, put-together and stylish. But beyond the usual dressing standards for dating, there are some video-centric ideas to consider when picking out the perfect outfit.
- Dress from head to toe. Especially during this quarantine, we’ve all heard the jokes (or real-life accounts) of people doing work conference calls with business dress up top and pajamas down below—don’t be that person on your video date! What if you need to get up and grab something from the other room? What if your date flat out asks if you’re wearing pajamas? Don’t be caught in your underwear! Plus, studies show when you look good, you feel good.
- Avoid intricate designs like busy patterns, stripes or plaids. This is time-tested advice that every television wardrobe department follows, as those clothing options aren’t exactly camera-friendly. Instead choose solid colors that pop on camera and highlight your complexion and features.
- Jewelry can be a great addition to your look. Just make sure that whatever accessories you decide to wear don’t produce much noise. Chances are your microphone is sensitive, and you don’t want to be muddling the conversation with the clanking of your wristwear.
Know the Technology
Whether you’re using Google Hangouts, Zoom, Skype or Facetime, be sure to test drive the technology you’re using to conduct your virtual date. Each platform has its own unique features and they all work slightly differently. Depending on the platform of your choice, here are a few things to try out before the date:
- Filters can be fun! Call up a friend and try a few that might be a blast to use with your date. Distorted faces, magical makeup and cowboy hats might sound childish, but we all could use a lighthearted laugh right about now!
- If you want to share your computer screen to show your date some photos you have uploaded on your laptop or a website or two that will spark some conversation, figure out how the sharing feature works beforehand. Also, have those photos and links ready at the go!
- If you’re completely new to this, remember some platforms—specifically Zoom—require a download. Be prepared!
What To Do On Your Date
There are all kinds of activities that you can experience from afar. Two of our recent blogs curated a number of fun virtual dates to “go” on, complete with details, tips and tricks of how to really make it a fun and fantastic time. Go check them out (here and here) if you need some fun ideas! Here’s a taste of what you’ll find on those posts:
- Karaoke Night
- Show and Tell
- 20 Questions
- Game Night
- Cooking Together
- Truth or Dare
- And many more!
So, do you have a virtual date set for tonight? Get to work! Actually, all of these tips are easy to accomplish even if you only have limited time. Move some furniture around, put on a fresh shirt and get that laptop/iPad/phone camera ready. You’re going to rock this!
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