Dating While Distancing? OkCupid Tells You How to Get Virtual Dating Right!

Don’t let the lockdown keep you from finding a meaningful relationship. With a majority of the world’s population under isolation, an increasing number of quarantined singles are dating virtually from the safety of their homes, leading this generation to rediscover the joy of courtship. OkCupid, a dating app designed to help you find a serious relationship with a partner of your kind, has witnessed a 26% increase in conversations and a solid 12% increase in matches in India! A whopping 91% of the app’s millennial users have said that they’ll continue to date, albeit virtually. But what is virtual dating and how do you navigate it?

OkCupid has some simple tips and tricks for you to keep your dating lives rocking while you are locked in. 

Be Yourself

With connections moving to longer conversations and dates over calls and video instead of IRL, make sure you’re being your real self. At the end of the day, you deserve to meet someone who will love you for who you are. Pretending to be someone you are not will only complicate your dating situation if you are really looking forward to meeting this person.

84% Indians on OkCupid want to have an emotional connection before a physical one. 

Don’t Limit Love to a Pincode

Compatibility isn’t restricted to a pin-code. Especially during the quarantine, where a distance of 1KM is as good as being on another continent. Experiment a little and set your distance preference to global. Match with somebody on your wavelength – not just somebody in the same neighborhood.

Those who do expand their location to a global setting on OkCupid have 5% more conversations than those who don’t.

Dress Up for Date Night

Date nights are special, let your clothes reflect that. As much as you are looking forward to seeing your match at their best, the person on the other side of the screen is also expecting the same. Don’t let the quarantine keep you from the joys of putting together that perfect date outfit. For a start, it will add to your confidence which will show in your conversations. Most importantly, it shows that you were looking forward to that (virtual) date and are willing to put in some effort. But hey, if the theme of your first date is pajamas – right on!

Over 73% Indian millennials on OkCupid said they dress up and wear something nice for a date

Do something fun

Think about your ideal date – watching a movie? Sharing a meal? Now translate that to the virtual world for a date to remember. Activities, like watching a movie together or setting up drink dates, could be a fun activity as it will also help you know the fun side of your match, and also their choice in entertainment.

When asked what their ideal virtual date activity is, India showed a clear preference for a meal and drinks (connected by technology!) – with over a whopping 41% of Indian Millennials choosing this.

Take your Time

There is no time like the present to match with somebody interesting or pick up that long-forgotten conversation. Life is a little slower than usual these days, so take this time to actually figure out your kind and look for a mental and emotional connection. If there is one thing the quarantine has done, it is to make time for you to truly get to know somebody and make sure you’re compatible before taking it to the next level, virtually!

On OkCupid, 38% Indian millennials said that they have been able to get to know their matches better through virtual dating. With the pressure to meet and physically impress someone off, it is truly easier to connect and jump right into the conversation.

While virtual dating is fun and exciting, please steer away from the following. 

Restrict it to online only – for now!

We’re as excited as you to know that you have found the right one! Use this time to really get to know each other- long phone calls, shared activities, the list is endless. Please stay inside for your, your match’s and everyone’s safety.

COVID-19 obsession 

While the pandemic is our reality and we are tuned to new conversations around it all the time, try going beyond this topic. You are more than the current situation and it’s important for your match to know and recognise that.

Don’t rush it

Exactly like dating IRL, take your time. Text each other and build a rapport before exchanging numbers and hopping onto video calls and virtual dates. There’s no time like the present to dial it back and relearn slow dating.

Don’t lose your spirit

Technical glitches or awkward silences, especially on your first date, making you lose confidence? Please don’t! These slips ups could happen even in person and may not be in your control. Hey, these moments have the potential to be fun stories for you to share with each other in the future. SO keep your cool, laugh a little and stay patient.

No ‘ghosting’, please

So, you had the first experience of a virtual date with your match but you really don’t feel your heart racing or butterflies in your stomach? Be honest with your date and tell/text them. Either way, you never have to see them again but you might end up gaining respect and a friend.

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