For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing.
For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.
Make a damn effort
Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair.
It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self.
Figure out your camera setup beforehand
Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find.
And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.
Simulate real date ideas
Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.
Trust your instincts
“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”
She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.
Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen
Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.
Stay safe and comfortable
Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.
Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.
And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.
There’s a case to be made about being on a Bad Date.
While never ideal, even in the best of bad date scenarios, oftentimes when we spin the experiences on their heads we can remind ourselves that behind every bad one is a lesson. Whether it’s how to avoid them in the future, or the discovery of a really great new restaurant, sometimes they can have their upsides.
Women on Reddit are sharing one of the ultimate upsides of a bad date: regaining power. From the moment you realize you’re on a date to the second you decide to get up and walk out, always remember you’ve got the power.
“This was a blind date with some guy a friend arranged. We we’re like 15 minutes into our date when he said (in exactly this order) that he ‘likes to eat asses, lick feet and if this is going to be serious you really need to lose weight’. I wanted to leave the date as soon as he said that when he suddenly demanded that I drive him home because he didn’t have a car and used the train to get there. I told him that my car wouldn’t be able to move with 2 fatties in it and drove home.”- bincsi182
“We met at a park for our first date and he was definitely giving off weird vibes. Within a half hour, he asked if I’d give him a blow job. Right there in the middle of the park. I said no, there’s people around and I just met you. His next idea was to go in the men’s bathroom and asked if I’d do it there. I said sure you go in and I’ll follow a couple minutes later so it doesn’t look suspicious. Once he walked in the bathroom, I quickly found my car and left his horny a**.” –CrazyCabinet577
“This was a long time ago before I began dating my now husband. I was about a year into my recovery from alcoholism and went on a dinner date at a restaurant with a guy who I’d warned I was a recovering alcoholic and who had claimed to be supportive.
When the waitress came he ordered a bottle of wine and a Manhattan. I ordered a tonic with a lime wedge. He told the waitress not to bring my drink because he ordered the wine for both of us. I told her “I don’t drink, please bring what I ordered.” He sat back and expelled air through his nose. I was turned off but figured maybe he forgot, so I politely reminded him.
When the drinks came, he poured a splash of his Manhattan into my alcohol-free drink with a smirk and told me to “lighten up.” I put $10 on the table, grabbed my coat and purse, and left while he begged me “don’t do this to me…it was a joke.”
He called me and left phone messages for a couple months, oscillating between groveling and angrily admonishing me for embarrassing him and/or breaking his heart.”- mysticpudding
“A panic attack. It was a month after my dad died, and it suddenly hit me that I shouldn’t be dating. I said I was going to the bathroom, ran to my car, and left. I messaged him and apologized, and he was super nice and understanding. And anyway we’re still together now.”- Sensitiverock85
“I don’t have just 1; I have several. These are all different guys from different dates…
One looked NOTHING like his profile pics. Way chubbier, teeth were awful, and just NO.
One told me he would like to breed with me immediately to save the Arian race (we are both blonde with blue eyes).
One asked me if I was ever with a black guy because if I was, he would not tolerate it “as my vagina is now loose from the sex”.
One brought his 3 year old kid along (his dating app said he had no kids…)
One was texting on his phone the entire time.
One just NEVER showed up so I had to leave.
I’ve been on hundreds of dates so I have way more, but these were the main weirdos I’ll never forget…”-Chuck2025
“You had so much bad luck and more guts than any of us to leave just like that, i would just try to get an excuse to leave then ghost him afterwards. For the first one, thats why i always look if they have pictures smilling, you honestly cant know how a person really is irl until you actually see them smiling. For the 4, god ive seen so many guys literally having their profile pic with their own child it disgusted me, just say you have a kid and move on. For 5 i would say to anyone who does that to you, you should leave.”-mjigs
“I worked at a university summer program and many people were from out of state. They held 10 day programs and I got to know a variety of cool people. This one guy asked me to dinner towards the end of his program and I accepted. I was 22. He was slightly older-30-31? He made a big show of ordering the damn wine and appetizers and being wealthy and I was already regretting it but I thought-free meal-WTF-so I excused myself and went to the restroom and slipped out to catch a buzz. Once I returned he was arguing with the waiter about the oysters and the waiter rolled his eyes and said he would get them fresh and this guy winked at me like he was tHE SHIT! anyway I was chatting away and he interrupted me twice to point out I had said words ending in ” ing” and had not fully pronounced the “hard g” and said ” it makes you look uneducated”. I just stared at him and he asked where I had grown up and where I had gone to school and I said ” Harlem and …” I was about to state my other school in East Manhattan and he dismissed me, saying ” enough said”. Then he goes ” But you’re white, correct? I looked at all of the food and chugged my wine, poured another glass of it and chugged that and slightly belched and said ” enjoy the food.”- Bigfukkendeal
“This is all one guy on the same first date… there’s a part of me that wondered if I stayed the 45 minutes that I did just to see how bad it could get lol. TLDR: he was a very cringey incel.
Showed up 10 minutes late to what was supposed to be just a short coffee date
Tried to make a joke about how he hoped we weren’t related when he found out both our moms are Japanese but the delivery was real awkward
Boasted about how he was in the military during “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” and would have proved to a military court he wasn’t gay by eating out one of the female officers on the spot
Randomly launched into a completely unprompted story about how when he was in his early teens, his friend’s older sister and her friends pressured him into jerking off into a pill bottle in front of them. He sounded proud about it.
Made comments about how if he couldn’t find a girl to realise what a good guy he was and marry him, there’s just no point in living in a city with women with such low IQ
Followed me to my car and stood behind it so I couldn’t leave and then asked me to rate how badly the date went (I was honest)
And to top it all off, the next day, he text me (I honestly thought I was clear about how bad the date went and just deleted his number but didn’t block it) saying “do you like Vietnamese food? We could get PhoKing!” with a winking face.
I blocked him at that point. I swear it was like he watched some guys with natural swagger and charm use joking lines or cocky comments and still get girls and then figured he could get away with it too.”- dragons_and_sandals
“He texted me from the bathroom “sorry babe, I’m still stuck at work but I’ll be home ASAP”… obviously for his girlfriend. I was gone before he got back to the table.”- mediumsizedbootyjudy
“When I (27F) was about 22 I went on a date with a guy that was a few years older than I was. We went out to a bar and the conversation very quickly became about his career and his father’s career (both doctors). He started to talk about his fathers belief that Australia should medically disable Aboriginal women from having children as they are not fit for parenting and would be a good way to phase Aboriginal people out… He strongly agreed with his fathers ideals and as soon as I realised he was not joking I grabbed my bag, slapped him across the face, called him a pig and left… Mind blowing that there are people out there like this that exist.”- Bec_Drayton
“Once had guy walk out on me, shouting “I can’t listen to this!” when I said to him that I thought he was racist for saying “child abuse is part of Aboriginal culture.” I now low key regret not slapping him….”- sarahgrey64
“Smdh Dude I have been there except he asked me to sum up all my details in a quick spew, I did and then said alright now you go! He dead ass said, “well there’s not much to tell ya kno?” When I tried asking individual questions he just tried to change the subject… after the 4th question I picked up my Starbucks and started walking away. He asked where was I going, and I just replied “there’s not too much to tell ya kno” and left.”- MsBlis
“I was 20 & went out with my boss, who I’d had a crush on for a while. He was twice my age, funny, tall, and the general manager of a pizza restaurant where I waitressed. It was a casual hang out without expectations on my end. I was not very experienced and I always have been a time taker in relationships.
While driving me home after what must have been dinner that Ive now forgotten, he shared that his wife, the mother of his four children, had died in a car crash. Also that he was the driver & was found to be at fault…he was intoxicated and drove them straight into a wall. He said his entire face had been reconstructed and that he was dating because he needed a mom for his four kids. I was like, ‘I am 20, how old is your oldest kid?’ He was like ’17.’ If I could have vanished right then I would have. We pulled into my driveway and he wanted to make out. I didn’t dare say I wasn’t into it, so I gave him a nervous kiss and said I was tired and done for the night.
He asked to use my bathroom. I was sitting on my futon waiting for him, when he came out and plopped right down next to me. My normally sweet, friendly cat suddenly growled and hissed at him defensively. It was so strange and out of character for the cat that I started paying closer attention to my surroundings.
My date definitely seemed weird now. I had just one room and a bathroom so I went in the bathroom to think of how to get him out of there —my bathroom smelled like burnt plastic. My cat was going ape shit so I used that excuse to ask him to leave, which he did. Later I found out that smell was crack. We didn’t go out again.”- spandexcatsuit
“I was on a date, and while we were just meeting up and talking, he was still on Tinder looking at other future women. Rude! I literally left a few minutes after talking.”- coimas
“I went out with a guy once and things went really well. afterwards, we were sitting in my car talking and i mentioned that my dad was gay. he told me that i ‘should’ve disowned him.’ i told him to get the fuck out of my car and never speak to me again.” –nopenonotatall
“Right after he went down a dark and spiteful rant about how women in the city were shallow and petty for not wanting to date him (5’5”). He was so smart and so charming and women just couldn’t understand him. Major red pill, ‘woe is me,’ misogynist vibes. Told him we wouldn’t work out, grabbed my coat, and left.”- takemeup-castmeaway
“Roofies. I got up to go to the bathroom mid-(first) drink on a first date in a casual bar I’m familiar with close to my apartment at the time. Date was fine, nor great, but not terrible. When I got back, he told me to “finish my drink and order us another round” while he went to the restroom. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but had a couple sips of my beer and motioned to the bartender to order another round. Bartender then gives me a glass of water and tells me I should leave. When I asked why, he said a girl nearby just approached him and told him she saw my date put something into my beer. I totally panicked. I handed him a $20 (which he didn’t want to take but I was so freaked out) and left. I barely remember anything after that. It was 3/4 of a beer at most. I blocked the guy the next day when I woke up to 17 missed calls and about 40 texts asking why I felt the need to leave when “we were totally vibing”.
LADIES- watch your drinks on dates. Even when you are an older 20-something meeting for a “quick drink” after work, this can happen. Thank god someone was looking out for me that day.”- CHRGON_FEF_NYC
“This guy was a total catfish, but I was nice about it. He kept cussing during the first twenty minutes and it made me uncomfortable, so after the first drink, I decided to go… he asked me for feedback on his dating profile, and I told him all of his pictures had other people in it and it was hard to discern which he was. So. He asked me to look at a picture his friend sent him. He pulled up the conversation in the iPhone, then clicked the media and there were a bunch of vaginas. Like an endless thumbnail stream of vaginas in different sizes and colors. I was like, ‘yeah, I’m gonna go…’”- Allupinyourface
“Went on a brief date with a guy I met at work. It went ok until he told me that he has a demon that lives on his shoulder, and if he can picture someone’s face perfectly in his head after they meet, it meant they were evil. He said he could sorta remember mine.. I said I had to go, but he asked for a ride home. When we got to his house I dodged a kiss, and he still had the balls to look me in the eye, put a hand on my leg, and said we should have sex. It felt like he was trying to fucking hypnotize me. Dodged those calls for a while.”-CeladonToast
“It started when he said that any adult should be able to buy any type of gun. Machine guns and all. Reason? Farmers need to shoot them wild pigs. From there I tried to gently guide him to realize how insane that is. I kept the conversation pretty reasonable. But I was thinking that I was never going to talk to this guy again. It came to the point where I could tell he wasn’t listening to me, lights on no one home. I stared him down in silence for about 2 seconds and then zoomed my ass outta there. No goodbye. I left him there with our drinks/bill so he couldn’t follow me. At that point there was no reason to stay. He texted me on my way home and said, “had a good time we should try this again sometime”. I was surprised he didnt get the glaring hint. But also not too surprised because he obviously lacked any critical thinking skills.”-ghostofaflower
“I left* a date after he dumped his full beer over my head as “a joke.” *I didn’t leave the bar, because I was already out, looking cute (before he dumped his beer on me) and DTF. So I went solo for the rest of the night and wound up having mine with a different guy who was better looking than him anyways. His loss.”- supersarah1010
Since the very beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been overwhelmed with stories about people being kept apart by the virus. But despite the challenges that so many of us have faced during this pandemic, we find a way to make things work. And that’s exactly what this grandfather (who lives near the U.S-Mexico border) did to make sure that we was able to spend time with his grandson as he celebrated his 4th birthday.
Thanks to travel restrictions they couldn’t be together but they found a way to celebrate.
A heartwarming video is trending on Mexican social media showing a grandfather making his way to the U.S.-Mexico border to wish his four-year-old grandson a happy birthday. Although they couldn’t be together because of travel restrictions thanks to COVID-19, the grandfather managed to sing the traditional Mexican birthday song Las Mañanitas to his grandson, who listened from the other side of the Rio Grande in Piedras Negras, Coahuila.
The user who uploaded the video to YouTube identified the man as Isidro González and his grandson as Santiago.
With microphone, keyboard and speakers in Eagle Pass, Texas, Grandpa asks about his grandson. “Santiago, where are you? He raises his hand” and the video shows Santi. “I love you. I love you very much ”, you can hear the grandfather shouting and the grandson replies that he does too.
“Congratulations, Santiago. He is turning 4 years old ”, says the grandfather and the singing begins.
For many families residing in Eagle Pass and Piedras Negras, the pandemic restrictions imposed by the United States have meant they cannot cross the border to see family. González did not let that stop him from wishing his grandson a very happy birthday.