I was messaging with a guy from Match.com. I asked him if he wanted to do a video chat later that afternoon or the next day. Crickets. Should I suggest a phone call instead?
Ugh. No. No phone calls. Phone calls are The Worst. Most people suck at making small talk. Plus, taking on the phone nowadays is usually reserved for family, close friends and work obligations, That's it. People don't even use voice mail anymore.
A lot of people feel uneasy doing video chats from their home. They might feel embarrassed that they live in a small place or feel their home is disorganized and not clean enough. Others fear they will be rejected in person, an understandable concern.
Mostly, though, the people that pass on video chatting are ones you probably were never going to meet anyway. The connection was always going to fizzle fast because your match is an ambivalent time-waster or avoidant.
It's my opinion that video dates are here to stay, even when the pandemic is no longer a threat. Singles must become accustomed to the popular video chat platforms and learn the ins and outs of conducting a successful video date.
ONLINE DATING DURING COVID
Believe it or not, some online dating apps have seen a surge of downloads and swiping since March. Contrary to what you might think, people are looking to connect. Don't assume dating is on hold because of Corona. As such, you should probably make some adjustments to your dating app profile.
ACKNOWLEDGE THE OBVIOUS...BUT DON'T GO OVERBOARD
I recommend to my online dating coaching clients to include something in their dating profile that implies they're aware that the current dating climate has changed. There's no need to dwell on the obvious - that we're dealing with a virus that has killed hundreds of thousands of people - but you should mention you're willing to adjust to the new normal. It could be as simple as closing your Tinder or Bumble bio with "Let's video-chat!'" Updating your profile to reflect the current state of things will also let people know you've been active recently.
AVOID PICTURES WHERE YOU'RE WEARING A MASK
Dating profiles are about transparency. That means we want to see what people look like. To be blunt: it's not nearly as funny as you think it is. It's great that you're adhering to social distancing rules, but you're not going to catch the virus by swiping. Take it off.
SETTING UP YOUR VIDEO DATE
POP THE QUESTION EARLY
You're going to want to move things to video-chat fairly quickly. The goal is to get them off the app in some capacity. Give it 4-5 messages between each of you, then ask if they want to take things to video some time in the near future, say later that day or the next day. You can suggest a direct hop from app to video, but don't hold it against someone for not being ready to move to that step immediately. Allow people some time to prepare,.
AVOID THE FLAKES
It their enthusiasm for the initial conversation seems low or doesn't mirror yours, don't be surprised if they reject your invitation to meetup via Zoom. If there's long lags between responses or they don't ask you much about yourself, take the hint and disengage. If they're interested but just awful at small talk, they'll follow up with you.