As a personal Matchmaker working with singles over the past nearly 9 years, my heart goes out to the single men and women who are facing the Coronavirus pandemic alone. There is truly nothing like a global pandemic as a rude awakening to put your professional life in its place, and focus on what is important: your primary relationship and human connections… aka having someone to quarantine with together.
Aside from the obvious physically at-risk groups of our society, the single women and men of the world are mentally being hit hard. Self-quarantines are a lot easier and less anxiety inducing when you do it with a significant other, boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, or family. For the lone-single-soldiers out there, the upcoming weeks may be tough, but remember: connecting is vital to your mental health. In fact, it holds an even higher importance now more than ever during these uncertain times.
That said, while socially connecting is vital, if you have had any known contact with someone with Coronavirus, experience any symptoms of illness, have traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days, or have travelled domestically within the last 14 days, live with/are in close contact with a person/people in an at-risk group, or fall under any of the WHO’s red flags (see here), we encourage you to follow the suggestions of Option #1: A Romantic Virtual Date. If you are healthy, social distancing on your own, don’t have interaction with at-risk groups, and crave basic human interaction, we encourage you to follow the suggestions of Option #2: A Health-Conscious Date.
Option #1: A Romantic Virtual Date
A virtual date is a fantastic option for those who need to self-quarantine or have severely limited their social contact as a result of the factors listed above. With inspiration from the Netflix hit show, Love Is Blind, non-conventional dating can yield success, and a virtual date can act as a beautiful and stress-free way of connecting with someone. But how can a virtual date be sexy?
Set an actual date/time. When you are setting up a virtual date with a potential partner, treat it like an in-person date. Schedule a specific date and time, and be on time!
Get ready like it was in person. Do your makeup, make sure your hair is looking lush and fabulous, put on your favorite outfit, and wear your favorite heels/loafers. Will your feet be shown on the video chat? No. But everyone knows that when you look good, you feel good, and when you feel your best, you will bring your playful, flirty self to your date. This goes for men too. Take your time to prepare by doing your hair, wearing your favorite outfit, and spritzing your best cologne so that you bring your A game.
Set the mood. Do you love wine? Pour yourself a glass of a good white, red, or sparkling, and have it on hand. Do you love Frank Sinatra? Put some light music on in the background. Test drive your lighting situation with a friend, and make sure that you have a strong Wi-Fi signal, so you don’t miss a beat. People look best when the light shines on them from in front of the computer screen. Avoid backlighting; it makes everyone look less than their typical beautiful self.
Verbally affirm your date. Since you lack physical contact during a virtual date, use your words instead. Verbally affirm your date, and tell her how pretty she looks, how excited you are to be chatting with him, and/or what a gentleman he seems to be. Actively listen, and engage, flirt, laugh, have fun, and ask a lot of questions.
Have a definitive end to the date. Even though you will meet virtually, once you finish one or two glasses of wine, feel free to let your match know that you had a wonderful time, but that you need to run and walk the dog, or get to bed early. A 2-hour date is more than enough time for a virtual date, and maintain your time boundaries, even though you feel comfortable in your own home. You want to keep the option for date #2 open. Maybe by then the government will lift the quarantine suggestions, and you can even meet in person for that!
Option #2: A Health-Conscious Date
If you elect to meet in person, be diligent with the below suggestions. Restaurants will very much appreciate the business, and you can expect even the typically busiest of restaurants to have a reservation open for you and be quieter. While social distancing is important, we still want to do our part in supporting local businesses and the economy. You can help achieve that through keeping restaurants afloat.
Transport yourself. Instead of taking public transportation, take your own car to avoid unnecessary human contact. If you are taking an Uber, be sure to sanitize! Open the windows if possible, and don’t be ashamed to wipe down the seats and car door handle before taking your ride.
Be picky with your restaurant selection. At our matchmaking firm, Matchmakers In The City, we pre-select restaurants that have confirmed enacting an elevated sanitation procedure/protocol due to COVOID-19. On your end, be sure to do additional research on a restaurant before making reservations for you and your date; you can even give them a call to ask about their sanitary procedures. Still feel free to bring a personal hand sanitizer and hand wipes to wipe down surfaces to alleviate any anxieties.
Practice social distancing. While still important for you to have human interaction, you should avoid shaking hands or hugging one another upon meeting. Sit across the table from each other instead of directly next to each other or near each other or others at the bar. For our Clients, we have begun requesting a table away from other patrons, but feel free to reiterate your desire to the host/hostess if he/she seats you near other patrons.
Wash Your Hands thoroughly and frequently. When you enter the restaurant, feel free to head straight to the bathroom to wash your hands before enjoying your date.
In these uncertain times, connecting is more important than ever, so do not let the mass hysteria or supermarket shoppers dismantle your efforts; whether in the safety of your own home, or at a pre-determined restaurant following strict sanitary procedures. Wishing you all health and success during this (hopefully short) break from reality!
Photo Credit: Netflix Love Is Blind