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 Wale Giphy
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-ish Giphy
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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