In-Person First Dates Are So Pre-Quarantine, Sorry Not Sorry
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I am no stranger to first dates. In fact, I think modern dating apps are a great source of entertainment, and during this quarantine, we all need a bit of excitement. At the beginning of the stay-at-home order, I noticed people starting to couple up, and words like "corona boyfriend" started to enter our modern-day vocabulary. While I didn't believe a "corona boyfriend" was the answer to my quarantine boredom, I did venture into the dating app world for some mild form of entertainment.

I am not the only person to go searching for love during the time of COVID-19. According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, In the U.S., conversations on Tinder increased by 19 percent, while 44 percent of Hinge users report being on a video date, and 85 percent say it's a better way to get to know their date. Bumble even rolled out its video date feature, which allows users to go on video dates without providing their phone number. Social media influencer, Serena Kerrigan, also launched her Instagram live dating show, "Let's Fucking Date," where her followers set her up with men for live dating. (Side note, if you haven't seen it yet, I highly recommend it).

Reluctantly, I went on a few FaceTime dates during this quarantine, and surprisingly enough, I didn't hate it. At first, I was super nervous about being on a "date" in my pink childhood room with my parents only a few feet away. But with my headphones in and a drink in my hand, I called this guy up. Unlike in-person dates, I didn't feel the typical anxiety that comes with standard first dates. I didn't have to worry about whether or not I would need my pepper spray, or who would pay for the meal/drink. I wasn't stressed about choosing a place to go or what to order. I was sitting comfortably in my bed with my two dogs chilling beside me. Although I will admit, it was surprisingly hard to get dressed for the date. On the one hand, I am stuck inside, but on the other, I didn't want to look messy or lazy.

Learning about my dates is always the most exciting part of a first date, and if I find the guy can't hold a conversation then it is an indicator there most likely won't be a second date. FaceTime dating takes the added pressures and stimuli away. The chance of sex or a casual hookup is off the table because we are all stuck at home. You get to know who the person is without the added confusion of sexual attraction. There aren't outside factors causing you are your date to get distracted. Plus, if you can't stand listening to your date, that may be a good sign they aren't the person for you.

My virtual dating has been pretty lax, but I found myself talking to my date for nearly three hours, longer than an in-person date would typically last. Although I chose to keep my dates casual, some experts say one should put the same amount of planning into virtual dates that you would to in-person dates. Maybe you order your date a meal and Postmate it to their house, pick an activity the two of you can do together, or have a mini-Netflix party with the two of you. While the options aren't endless because we are still stuck inside, FaceTime dating means you don't have to put your love life on hold.

While in-person dating is a great way to get a sense of the person through their interactions with others, there's an element of stress that goes into meeting someone for the first time, stress that I haven't missed during this quarantine. Regardless of whether FaceTime dating has worked for you, I think we can all agree, COVID-19 has changed the dating game, and I believe FaceTime first dates are here to stay.

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