LOS ANGELES -- For some, dating during the pandemic felt impossible with the stay-at-home order in place. Others turned to social media to get to know potential partners.
Laurel House, celebrity dating coach and host of the “Man Whisperer” podcast, said people who are dating virtually are getting to know each other on a deeper level than they would have if they were dating in person.
“People, interestingly, feel more comfortable and vulnerable when there is this idea of the protection of a screen between you,” House said. “People just drop their guard, and they reveal so much more about their deepest darkest.”
People are reassessing what they value during the pandemic. Since most people have decided that family, health, and safety are some of their top priorities, dating is less superficial.
“All of the sudden it's I want something real [and] I want someone who makes me feel safe. How do I do that? I’m going to show them who I really am. I'm not going to hide my true colors. I’m not going to wait for them to earn information about me. I’m not going to wait to trust them before I reveal my truth. I'm going to tell it to them,” House said.
The most basic date is a conversation on Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, etc.
“If you want it to feel a little bit more like a date, then you might have a glass of wine. Now you're sitting across from each other at a bar having some wine. If you want to do something more interesting like an active date, you can paint and sip, where you guys decide on a painting that you're going to paint together,” she said.
Once couples get to know each other, House said they can show each other their living spaces or introduce them to family members. Couples can also virtually cook dinner together.
House said video calls can get tricky for some couples at the end of a date.
“There’s an opportunity to do some sexy time - to start with the sexy Skyping, the sexy FaceTiming, and maybe one person isn't comfortable to be physically revealing over video and the other person is pushing for that,” she said.
Virtual dates can also be awkward when there’s spotty internet connection.
“You’re in the middle of this deep conversation and suddenly they cut out and you feel abandoned,” she said.
House said it’s still important to dress up for dates.
“It’s good to be able to feel comfortable in front of the person you're with. It’s good for them to see that true side of you,” she said. “[But] there's an element of romancing and wanting to look your best that you really should continue even when you are video dating.”
House said this pandemic has brought people together, but it’s also torn couples apart.
“I'm predicting at the end of this pandemic, there’s going to be some real deeper, enduring relationships that come out of it, and there’s going to be a lot of breakups because people are realizing, you know what, I didn't really know you and now that we've been talking so much, I don't like you. And so they are splitting now.”
Couples are being so open about what they need and want in a relationship that it’s easier to figure out if your partner is the right match for you. If it doesn’t work out, House said you can play the “It’s not you, it’s COVID-19” card.
“Put the onus on the pandemic,” House said. “This is not my fault. It is the fault of the environment, of the situation, and we have been put into a position where we're spending so much time together, and what I realized is that we're different people now. Maybe we have a lot of superficial things that we have in common, but at our core, I don't feel like we are an enduring match.”
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