So I Went On A FaceTime Date & It Wasn't As Weird As I Thought
As someone who considers themselves to be more of a transitional dater, I always imagined the first pages of my love story to start off as, "I was picking up a bundle of bananas when our eyes met across the aisle at Trader Joe's, and the rest was history." But "traditional" and "normal" feel more like a fogged and distant dream since the start of 2020. As a pandemic has forced us inside, it's taken the course of our day-to-day human interactions from in-person to an in-app experience. But thanks to technology, just because we've been forced into domestication, doesn't mean our love life has to lie dormant.
Begrudgingly, I've begun online dating. To speak candidly, this is a space I've had my fair share of run-ins with in the past; there's definitely been a swipe-initiated date or two in my pre-Rona life, but at least that felt like my choice. Now, this dystopian-esque dating style just feels like a means to an uncertain end in hopes to communicate with other humans in my area. But before we ever agree to a socially-distanced date, there's one qualifying call that must take place: a FaceTime Date.
I know, just the thought of having your first conversation with your online pen pal over FaceTime may seem awkward at best, but I assure you that it's not as intimidating as you might think. FaceTime dates have become more of an essential process to the initial courting process in this new normal we're in, but there's a way to approach this process that will make a seamless transition from matching over the net to mingling in front of your phone screen: here's how.
First, let’s make the introduction.phone scrolling GIF by WaleGiphy
As women, we're intuitively inclined to know when the vibe is just right between us and a potential prospect. Thank the gift of divine femine energy, because with little to no in-person connects, that's all you have to go off of, babe. When you feel like you've hit a sweet spot in the flow of your conversation, ease the exchange in a direction that will take things off the app. Let him know how much you've been enjoying your conversation and that you'd like to continue things "face to face". Slide him your digits and introduce the FaceTime date to him. If he's down, allow him to set up the time, and then the real fun begins.
It’s all about the glow.
Since you'll only be focusing your attention on the top half of your body, this is your chance to highlight the details and accentuate your assets. For starters, lighting is key. I had a date compliment me on my lighting set-up days after our chat simply because I utilized all the light in my room and knew how to work my angles. If you have an overhead light, turn it on. A ring light? Illuminate it! You want to make sure he sees that inward light and outward glow of yours in full HD!
What to wear.changing yara shahidi GIF by grown-ishGiphy
Since you're at home, there's no need to go full cocktail dress attire, unless that's just your flair of choice. Your FaceTime date is a great opportunity to wear an item of clothing that makes you feel most comfortable, most confident, and the most like you! My items of choice: a linen button down with a bold print, a cool graphic tee, and with gold accessories to set it off. For the face, this all depends on if you're into a natural look or love a full-beat. In either case, you want to accentuate the attributes that you're most proud of. For me, I love throwing on some playful lashes, a glossy lip, and a bit of highlighter to set my face off. (Oh, and don't forget to lay those edges!)
Break the ice.
The best way to break the ice is by picking things up where you left off on the app. From there, the conversation should naturally flow into what you would ask on a normal first date, but without the candle light dinner. Keep things chatty and casual by diving into each other's personal interests, how they've been spending their time during quarantine, and even exchanging binge-worthy shows and new music that's been getting you through these extended days indoors. You want to keep it light as you test out the compatibility between you two.
Remember, no pressure.
At the end of the day, remember that dating at its core is just as much about learning about the person on the other end of the screen as it is about learning about what yourself in the process. Pay attention to how you feel when you're on the phone with this person, do you feel like you can easily be yourself? Did the conversation flow easily? Since this is your first chance at seeing them in-person, pay attention to their mannerism and tone of voice; what quirks do you notice?
Learning about new people is a fun experience, but there's no pressure to force anything to work out of fear that you'll never meet another nice human again until 2022. If the vibe is there, continue to get to know one another and maybe even set up a park or hike date in the days to come. But if not, let it fly; at least you tried something that your 2019-self would be proud of.
Happy Quartinine Dating!
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Aley Arion is a writer and digital storyteller from the South, currently living in sunny Los Angeles. Her site, yagirlaley.com, serves as a digital diary to document personal essays, cultural commentary, and her insights into the Black Millennial experience. Follow her at @yagirlaley on all platforms!
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports