Social-distancing, self-isolation and quarantine – the new guidelines that have entered our 21st century vocabulary. What has become our new normal can be lonely and for those who are single and looking for a relationship, they may be feeling pangs of loneliness to a greater degree than those who are in relationships. But eharmony has found that over half of singles (57%) are using virtual dating to ease these feelings, so clearly practising social distancing doesn’t mean your dating life has to take a back seat.

Relationships on Female First

Relationships on Female First

People are cottoning on to the idea that distancing yourself physically from society does not mean rejecting those around you. There is still the chance to meet people. In fact, one in five singles are planning a virtual date over the coming weeks. So, how do you use virtual dating to ease feelings of loneliness and use this time to find someone with whom you are compatible?

At the stage when you’d organise a date, arrange a video call

During uncertain times people yearn for deeper connections and a sense of stability in their lives. Virtual dating means that singles can still build meaningful relationships and get to know each other in a safe space. Video calls are currently leading the way for virtual dates with 64% of daters relying on technology to get to know a potential partner better. Use a video call as an opportunity to measure compatibility with this person and understand if there is a connection that is worth pursuing.

Dates online don’t have to be dull - be creative

If you feel like you’ve exhausted video calling and in ‘normal’ circumstances at this stage of dating you’d be getting to know someone through shared interests, now is the time to be creative and invent activities that you can do together. Why not visit a virtual gallery? According to eharmony research one in eight daters have said this has helped them spice up virtual dating and a similar number have become culture vultures and have joined a virtual bookclub. In other words, learning about your potential partner’s interests and passions doesn’t have to be put on hold.

Don’t compare “virtual apples and face-to-face oranges”

Clearly virtual dating isn’t an exact like-for-like replacement for its face to face counterpart. However, remind yourself that this is a transient period and make the most of building connections with others using the technology on offer to you. Make the most of having a little more time on your hands to really get to know somebody. Use this time to find out more about their personality, goals and values. Ask how they’re coping during the crisis; it might be beneficial to hear about how other people are dealing with it and may also give you a safe space in which you can discuss how you are feeling.

Written by relationship expert Rachael Lloyd at eharmony:

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