New to Video Dating? Here’s a Quick 101

From Bumble’s Dating 101 in 2021 guide.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, most daters are learning how to date virtually for the first time. While yes, that might seem intimidating, the silver lining is that even if you’re feeling a little awkward about video dates or unsure how to go about doing them, your match is probably feeling the same way. That said, there are ways to make sure that you feel more confident going into a virtual date—here are some pointers.

Get ready for a video date in the same way you’d prep for an IRL date: if putting on perfume or taking a shower before would get you in a more fun, flirty mindset, absolutely go for it! In terms of your outfit, choose something that you wouldn’t mind your match seeing you in from head to toe, in case you have to get up to close the door or move around mid-date—sitting in one angle the whole time to hide that you’re in PJ bottoms won’t be comfortable! (But hey, if you don’t mind revealing that you’re wearing PJ bottoms, why not?).

Pre-date, figure out where you’ll be chatting and find a place to rest your phone, as your arms will get tired if you have to hold it up the whole time. Certified intimacy educator Shan Boodram also suggests taking some time to find your zone. “Invest some extra time in figuring out, “What side do I look best from? Does my camera look better from above or below? Do I look good in front of natural light or artificial light?’” she says. “Find where you feel most confident, most sexy, most cool before the actual date, so when you’re on it, you can focus on the other stuff.”

If you’re feeling a bit awkward about the whole thing, you might want to prepare a ‘cheat sheet’ beforehand by writing down questions for your match or things you want to talk about. Another idea? Plan a video date activity; Boodram suggests something simple like Never Have I Ever. “Those fun games that promote self-disclosure are going to create that fast, intimate bond and bypass all that awkwardness,” she explains.

Most of all, be understanding and kind to yourself and your match during the date. Again, this is new for most of us, so give each other a break! And lastly, remember that dating is supposed to be enjoyable—don’t take it too seriously, and have fun!