How to Go on a First Date During Quarantine
Being alone is tough. Here are some ways to go on a first date in isolation.
The new face of restaurant hospitality (N.Y. Times)
Hosted by Priya Parker, produced by Magnificent Noise
If you want to go on a first date, take advantage of what you can uniquely do in this moment. For starters, you can now see into other people’s houses without the expectation of hooking up. You can see so much of their actual lives before meeting up.
Rather than pretending you’re in a restaurant or struggling to connect over an awkward video call, lean into this new medium as a way to get to know your date better. Here are six things you can do to have a tolerable virtual first date.
Start with cameras off.
Take a cue from the Netflix show “Love Is Blind” and turn off the camera, for the first six minutes as you chat. By taking the focus off your appearances, you can hopefully let your guard down quicker.
Have a structure to the date in mind.
Prepare for the date by gathering some key information about the other person: their job if they have any pets or have gone on any recent vacations, said Kavita Ajwani, the C.E.O. and president of Dashing Date, a speed dating service.
But don’t dive too deep into an Instagram hole. Once you’ve hit their cousin’s girlfriend, you’ve gone too far. “There’s a balance between being prepared and leaving room to be pleasantly surprised,” Ms. Ajwani said.
Whereas before you might have met your date at a local coffee shop, you’re not going to revisit that same coffee shop on your second, third, fourth and fifth date too. You’d mix it up.
“Similarly online, I find that a lot of people are just going on one video date after the next, after the next, and it can fall flat,” she said. Engaging in different activities together and sharing different stories, or creating an environment where you could share unique stories, will help you get to know each other better.
That’s why it’s important to have a loose plan of how the date will go. “You do need to have a few extra tricks in your back pocket while at the same time letting things unfold naturally so that you do leave room for romance, surprise and hopefully an authentic connection,” Ms. Ajwani said.
To get into the first date mind-set, she recommends engaging in the same predate rituals you’d usually do. For her, that means sipping a glass of wine, applying makeup and playing music in the background.
Prepare with a couple of questions.
Some are more intense than others: Choose from these or create a version you’re comfortable with.