With Omicron numbers shooting up in NYC and the rest of the country, it feels like we’re going back in time to the start of COVID-19 in 2020 when many businesses were shut down temporarily or permanently due to the virus. Some normal-day activities are hard to let go of again, but some are for the better. If you’re in the dating scene, you’re probably debating how to go on dates now. Take the Omicron risk and go in person? Or go on a date the good ol’ fashioned 2020 way? Through Zoom?
Zoom dates became the norm for most of 2020 as people were either in lockdown or quarantined (or both!). Instead of going out to a restaurant, it turned into doing takeout for one another and eating while talking through a screen. You could say it was the inspiration for the Metaverse — talking, eating, hanging out, doing activities with your dates in the virtual world. However, since Omicron infections are so high, Zoom dates seem to be coming back with people planning more creative ideas than ever for virtual dates.
Before your virtual Zoom date, make sure your internet connection is good. You don’t want to have a choppy connection, with either one of you catching what the other said. Just a bunch of, “What? Can you say that again? Oh, I didn’t hear you,” is not an ideal way to get a first impression or go through a date together. Clean up the space you’ll be chatting in and maybe even take the time to decorate beforehand! If you’ve been on a couple of dates, then sure, you have a free pass to not clean up, but having a clean room will give you major brownie points on a first date. Make sure your lighting is good too. There’s no point in a date if the other person can’t even see your face. Solely relying on the phone screen or computer screen lighting will make you look washed out and even sickly. Turn on some other lights in the room, to warm up the complexion.
Unlike in-person dating, there’s no definitive end time for a Zoom date, so it is up to you to give each other a time range. An hour, two hours? On a positive note, it is so much easier to end a date via Zoom if you’re not enjoying it. We do hope all the Zoom call dates go well this year, so here are some ideas of what you can do besides the regular takeout dinner.
Try a Virtual Paint Night
If you’re looking for a relaxing date option, that doesn’t require food or drinks, an art night might be the go-to. You and your date can pre-plan to buy art materials, whether it’s canvases, glass, or paint, it’s a great way to learn how creative the other person is. Pull up a Bob Ross video or find an art idea through TikTok. There are so many possibilities with art, it could even be hard to choose what you want to create with your date. Share a screen with the intended video/art idea and start creating! Show each other your progress every half hour or so. And since this is supposed to be relaxing, talk to each other. Learn about each other’s lives, careers, and family. If you’re competitive, well let’s hope the other person can roll with that.
Bring On Nostalgia with Online Board Games
Instead of just talking and asking questions, first date tensions can be relieved with some board games! It would be hard to pull out the same game on each end and play like that, which is why online board games are a thing (thankfully). Websites like Board Game Arena and Tabletopia are the perfect options if you and your date decide to go this route. No need to download anything, because these websites that host board games can be played right through the browser. It just makes everything easier and less confusing. Play a childhood game that resonates with both of you, or challenge yourselves to understanding and enjoying a new game.
Gaze Up At Stars Together
This is a romantic option for the ones looking for meaningful dates. If the weather calls for it and you can find an open space to do this in the city, grab a blanket, a drink, and your device. You can lay down or get a chair that allows you to look up comfortably. In this quiet space, you and your date can talk and ask each other life questions.The idea is romantic and sweet, that even though you’re far apart, you are still looking up at the same night sky. If you both happen to be near Times Square, it can be hard to see stars, so looking at the bright lights flashing from the LED screens can have the same effect.
Flirt and Learn
If you’re both in the mood for learning, doing a Masterclass together would be so fun. Learn some science and problem solving while simmering in nostalgia with Bill Nye (the Science Guy), make beautiful flower arrangements for each other after a class with Maurice Harris, cook a delicious meal with Gordon Ramsay, or even learn how to be in a band with Metallica. You and your date are bound to find a lesson you’re both interested in, and the next time you’re able to have a date in-person, you can show off your skills.