Dating during the COVID-19 quarantine requires some big changes. But, there’s an upside for anyone looking to find a ‘real connection’, a dating expert for Match.com told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.
Match’s Chief Dating Expert Rachel DeAlto has a message of hope for anyone looking for true love on-line in the midst of this pandemic. “I do believe that this time period is going to allow those people who are looking for a relationship to really have the potential to meet that person. I think it can benefit anybody who’s looking for a relationship,” the dating coach, who was featured on seasons 4 & 5 of Married At First Sight, told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY.
“I think it’s difficult for the people who are looking for casual encounters right now,” she added. “But for people who are actually looking for something significant, they’re going to be able to get to know each other better and they’re going to be forced to kind of extend that courtship period before anything gets physical.”
Since most of the country is sheltering-in-place, face to face dates are just not an option right now. The next best thing? Video dates. According to Rachel it’s super important to take advantage of this high-tech solution during the pandemic — otherwise you may end up wasting your time. “We need to actually see people as close to 3D as possible.” Rachel told HL. “I’ve have never met Matt Damon in real life, but I’m pretty sure from seeing him on screen I would be attracted to him. So we want to make sure that we have that physical attraction. I don’t want people wasting their time. So, get on video.”
But how long should you wait before the first video date? “I think it still kind of follows the typical dating trajectory,” Rachel told HL. “It goes from message, to texting, to possible phone call, to video date. The video date should be in place of the first date. So I think you message a little bit back and forth. You see if it’s worth getting ready from the waist up, and then you should go on your video date.”
It’s also important not to let the video date drag on too long said Rachel. “I don’t think anybody should be going over 45 minutes on their first video date because you don’t want it to get awkward.”
Another important tip – don’t overdo the virtual dates, she recommended keeping it to “a couple of times a week,” the way you would date IRL.
When it comes to getting ready for your video chats, you can skip the fake lashes — but don’t totally give up on your glam. “Putting yourself together like you would be going on a regular date is how I would approach it,” Rachel told HL. “Wear something cute. All you have to worry about is from the waist up, so that’s helpful.”
Although the coronavirus is a topic on everyone’s mind right now, Rachel suggested steering the conversation to other topics when you’re on a virtual date. “You can definitely start out talking about it,” Rachel told HL. “Because otherwise it’s the elephant in the room, and we’re all going through it, so it’s definitely a bonding point. But the only thing that I would caution against, is I do see a lot of people getting overly negative or using this as a venting session or talking about their fears about finances and all of the stress that they’re under. And while that is valid and understandable that they’re going through that, that is not what the person that you just started talking to is here for. So you can acknowledge it but then try to change the subject to getting to know them.”
If you struggle with making small talk on dates Rachel shared a great solution. “The New York Times did a series years ago called 36 Questions To Fall In Love, and those are still valid,” she told HL. “They’re about increasing the intimacy and there’s some great jumping off points if you’re like, ‘Wait a second, what do I ask this person?’ And, they even have an App now.”