How do we persevere with dating as the global pandemic turns our lives upside down? Use quarantine as an opportunity to to relearn how to date and discover how to have sex without touching. Here’s my guide to online dating during the Coronavirus.
1. Be creative!
Who were you before Convid-19 and who do you plan to be after?
Don't forget to continue your interests, and why not pick up on a new skill or hobby with all the online workshops available. This is also PERFECT as a conversation starter.
Two weeks ago I would have said that Convid-19 had given us the perfect conversation starter but two weeks in no-one wants to talk about it.....but if you really have to ask them, how are they keeping themselves amused during lock-down?
2. Be clear about - and stick to! - what you really want
In difficult times, it can be tempting to look for a life-raft in unsuitable places. If you have boundaries around how you desire to be treated and the level of commitment you’re seeking - for God’s sake stick to them!
Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself now:
- What values are most important to me that I don’t want to lose sight of?
- Is the person I am virtually dating showing interest in things that matter to me?
- Am I showing interest in things that matter to them?
- Do I want something serious right now? Am I open to allowing myself to have fun in a short term way?
Dating virtually may require more creativity and flexibility, but it’s possible to do it while still maintaining and honoring your standards.
3. Go deeper - and get clear on what you really need
Humans bond deeply during significant shared experiences, amplifying and accelerating the sense of connection between people. This can be a beautiful thing - but just make sure you keep your rational mind on board by making sure your self-care regime is on-point.
Many of us might be feeling more vulnerable and exposed than normal. Keep a clear head by considering how you feel about the way the people you’re chatting with online are tending to themselves and their loved ones during the coronavirus outbreak.
You might have thought you wanted charismatic and sexy, but what you actually need is someone who is calm and caring. We’re all being forced to be really honest with ourselves about what we really want and need - and that’s a beautiful thing.
4. Do a quick “vibe-check” before moving onto a full-blown digital date
Isn’t it crazy to think dating apps like Bumble are only just introducing video chat and voice features now? In the age of Coronavirus it seems like a no-brainer to be able to hear your match’s voice (which let’s face it - can be a huge turn-on or off!) and see a more realistic image of them.
Quick video calls and voice notes serve as what some singles term a “vibe check,” allowing you to gauge chemistry in a context beyond text chat. So vibe away baby!
5. Be up-front about what you’re into - both in and out of the bedroom
When dating (whether digitally or IRL), we spend so much time on chit-chat that doesn’t really tell us whether we’re truly compatible or not.
Mix it up and instead of only asking, “which countries would you like to explore?” be up-front about posing a way more relevant question like, “how many times per month do you think is enough sex” or “what do you consider sex to be?”
If you’re unsure about what sexual compatibility really means, here are some areas to consider:
- definition of sex
- frequency and duration of desired sex
- preferred “environment” for sex
- turn ons and turn offs
- relationship orientation
The time is over for keeping quiet about what you like and hoping for the best. With extended time to get to know someone properly before meeting IRL, I suggest introducing the topic of sexual compatibility fairly early on in your conversations. And if something is a deal-breaker for you, e.g. No sex before marriage or non-monogamy is your bag - consider putting it up front and centre on your profile. That way you don’t need to waste time with people who are never going to give you what you want
6. Take your dates digital
Ok so you can’t leave the house for drinks at the bar, but you very much can indulge in a little digital date via the magic of Zoom, Skype or FaceTime. Here are a couple of ideas when you want to take your chatting to the next level:
Watch a film: Pick a film you’ve both not seen, make some snacks and watch together over video chat simultaneously. You can laugh or cry together, then talk about what you thought of the film afterwards. The classic rom-com can be brilliant to watch together to discover what each of you finds sexy or romantic, too.
Play a game: There are so many fun and flirty games to play over video chat that will keep you and your date entertained. Play games that allow you to get to know each other, such as Two Truths and a Lie or Never Have I Ever or charades and 20 questions.
Make dinner together: Pick a recipe that you and your date have never had before and make it together over video chat. When the meal is complete, compare to see whose dish looks more delicious.
These are great ways to discover if you have a “spark” and share a sense of playfulness with each other.
8. Wear something sexy
Just because we’re at home all day, it doesn’t mean we have to hang out in grungy old t-shirts and jogging bottoms all day.
Go through your drawers and find something that makes you feel confident. Even just putting on a sexy pair of underwear can change how you feel, and that’s conveyed through your communication online.
Dating online can be fun and flirty - if you put the effort in to create a great vibe, just as you would if you were meeting IRL.
9. Did someone say phone sex?
When you’re vibing hard and are ready to take your digital dates to the next level, it’s good to remember the good old-fashioned telephone as a way to get to know every little bit of each other better.
Talking in an erotic way activates the imagination, is a huge turn-on (when done right) and can liberate your sexual inhibitions. So if you’ve ever been tempted to talk dirty but held back, now is the time to try it out.
Instead of jumping straight in and surprising this person you’ve never met with a hot and heavy phone sex session, I suggest taking it slow and dropping some hints to see if they bite.
If you’re both up for it, communicate before about what’s on and off limits (SO good for increasing your ability to be open and builds trust by setting clear boundaries)
Here are some tips to get you started:
- Set the mood with a suggestive text or two before your call
- Turn off all distractions and set the mood at home
- Laughter and playfulness is ok
- Don’t worry about whether you’re saying the right thing
- Describe what you’re doing to yourself using all your senses
- Suggest a role-play scenario
- Use your imagination
- Listen deeply
Phone sex and dirty talk isn’t for everyone, but it can be a brilliant tool for not only getting to know if you’re sexually compatible, but increases your ability to communictae generally.
None of us want to face this crisis alone. The greatest comfort to be had right now is in finding a deep connection with someone who speaks your language. Don’t wait until the lock-down is over to discover if you’re compatible in all the ways that really matter. Use this as an opportunity to discover exactly what you want and need from a potential partner - then go out there and chat it up!