Dating while distancing?

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New Delhi–Dont let the lockdown keep you from finding a meaningful relationship. With a majority of the worlds 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.

Dating app OkCupid has witnessed a 26 percent increase in conversations and a solid 12 percent increase in matches in India. A whopping 91 percent 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 shares these 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 in real life, 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.

Don’t limit love to a pincode

Compatibility isn’t restricted to a geographic area. Especially during the quarantine, where a distance of a kilometre 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 neighbourhood.

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.

or 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 percent 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 – at a 41 percent preference rate – for a meal and drinks connected by technology.

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!

While virtual dating is fun and exciting, please steer away from setting up any physical dates, for now. 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.

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 in real life, 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. 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.

Finally, no �ghosting’, please. 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 them. Either way, you never have to see them again but you might end up gaining respect and a friend.

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