“I hope this email finds you well during these trying and unprecedented times.” How many iterations of that line have you received since the national lockdown began? And how many times did it actually find you well? Many of us are not well, we’re lonely, isolated, likely a bit bored, anxious and…did I mention lonely?
Just because you’re quarantining doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. One exciting way to break the repetition and mundanity is to get into the dating game and embrace the current physical constraints as a creative exercise. It’s entirely possible to meet Your Person without meeting them in the flesh at first, in fact, it might be better this way.
It’s imperative that we be responsible citizens and stay inside and social distance out of respect for everybody, especially the elderly and immune-compromised but that certainly doesn’t mean we can’t date! Getting to know someone online definitely has its charm – its an opportunity to get to know each other intimately without…physical intimacy. Sound like a bummer? Well it so happens that developing emotional intimacy with a person before exploring the physical side has a higher chance of building a strong foundation for a lasting relationship. Usually, couples rush into the physical side of the relationship until the relationship crashes and burns down the line because emotional intimacy is lacking. Take my word for it – the vast majority of people (especially females) deeply crave an emotional bond with their partner, and this is the perfect time to practice the art.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m guessing you saw the crazy reality TV show Love is Blind. While the premise of proposing after only talking for hours is wildly extreme, something unmistakably effective about the show was how quickly people bonded when they got to know each other by voice only. With that as a starting point, I’ve devised your first few steps of online dating that are guaranteed to set the sparks flying.
First Few Dates:
Just audio! We saw how well it worked on the show, so why don’t you give it a go? If you’re not a natural talker, prepare some questions and let the conversation flow from there. Try to go beyond the surface questions. Ask what made them happy today. Or if they were anxious and upset, ask them about it and open up yourself. Better yet, let some really insightful online questionnaires do the asking for you, and guarantee a conversation that will last for hours.
Try doing the Meyers Briggs test together. One person asks the other the questions and fills out the survey for them, then switch. The result will be a detailed picture of your respective personality types and the process will give you so many meaningful topics to talk about. The next time you talk (still no video!) try this questionnaire put out by the New York times that promises the result will be love, or at the very least, friendship. One of the final steps of that questionnaire is to look in each other’s eyes for two minutes, but you can practice that terrifying step when you have your video dates!
Now that you’ve developed a strong sense of each other through voice only and have bonded through these series of creatively personal questions, I’m confident you will already feel deeply comfortable with each other and very excited to finally video chat. For your first video date, it’s a great time to again break up the monotony of your quarantine endless-day by cleaning your house and getting gussied up. Pour yourself a glass of wine, set a nice mood. You can give each other virtual house tours, introduce them to your pets, show off meaningful objects you keep. You’ll be amazed at how much easier and less awkward it is to talk after you’ve spent hours getting to know each other by voice alone. Think of this as old-fashioned courtship – a slow build to eventual physical consummation is a very hot thing, akin to very extended foreplay. Oooh-la-la!
When quarantine lifts – seeing each other in person – having already developed a strong emotional bond will be so incredibly rewarding. I’d love for you to try this out and let me know how it goes. While online dating during quarantine has fallen flat for many, this approach is guaranteed to create those butterflies and to shake things up to the extent that business email will find you well!