The corona virus pandemic is utterly tragic but may in fact be the best thing to happen to your love life. I feel your eyes rolling. OK, you sceptic, I get it, but read on.

Our dating culture has become a little, how should I put it? Fucked up. People are going on dates and in some cases determining within 20 minutes or less whether or not you are ‘their type’.  This is a ridiculously quick judgment and not the type of approach someone searching for love should be following.  Some days it takes me longer to choose my outfit, so hang in there.

What are we judging potential matches on? A hair out of place? A single blasé comment? A distracted demeanour? These things all have context which we need to take the time to understand. It sometimes seems that we have disconnected from the true art of dating—truly getting to know who someone on a deeper level and forming a connection based upon that.

Before we go any further, if your purpose for dating is to find a relationship and a real connection please read on, but if you’re dating to find a hook up, thanks for stopping by and see you after isolation.

For those people looking for the real deal, I have some good news: Old-style dating is back in fashion. Hallelujah! Not before time.

As the world starts to hunker down it does not mean game over for love. On the contrary; dating is alive and well and this is your essential guide for dating during the corona virus pandemic.

Let’s take a moment to assess your current dating style. Has it worked for you so far? Are you creating meaningful connections? Are you kind of hitting the mark in what you are looking for in a partner?

Don’t get me wrong, dating is, and should be, fun. Sometimes that means simply going out on dates. But going on endless dates with the wrong type of person is both tiresome and disheartening—especially if you are looking for a long-term partner. A perpetual cycle of dissatisfying dates wears you down and leads you nowhere.

How many dates have you been on without first determining what the other person is looking for—just flying by the seat of your pants, hoping that maybe, just maybe, this could be the one?

In our current climate, when face-to-face dating is an impossibility, we have the opportunity to give something new a go—even if we’ve been forced into it.

It’s time to flip the switch from hysteria to acceptance and to begin seeing the period of isolation the corona virus has forced upon us as a positive opportunity. As with all new things there will be an adjustment period, but we seem to have readily adapted to dating apps, lock in, and couch life, so why not combine them and make this work?

How does this ultra-modern yet old-style dating work in lockdown?

Be Clear On What You Want

Use this time wisely. What do you really, really want? Get clear on what you are looking for in partner. I’m not talking the tall, dark and handsome checklist; I am talking values. What is important in a partner?

It’s also important that you take the time to know what you bring to the party. Who you are, what your values are, and what makes you a great catch.

Being clear on these things gives you the power to change your dating life. Look for someone with those core attributes and take the time to find them—no snap judgements. Once you really know what you have to offer, don’t settle for less than you deserve.

Reboot Your Dating Apps

Now is the perfect time to ramp up your swiping action. But before you do, take some time to update your profile with your latest and greatest pictures. Tweak your profile and give your matches some insight into who you are. Doing this provides your matches with natural conversation starters and an opportunity to learn a little about you before you chat further.

Getting To Know Your Matches

Just as it did pre-corona virus, weeks of online chatter and messaging on dating apps becomes tedious. Boost your online chat skills. Gone are the inane, “So, what are your plans for the weekend?” or, “What did you get up to last Saturday?” because, let’s face it, there ain’t much going on in peoples’ lounge rooms. Now is the time to ask more in-depth questions and actually get to know someone. Find out how they are spending their time indoors and whether they have a project they are working on. What’s important to them when they have more time for themselves?

Date Night

Who said that you can’t have a date night while in isolation? The corona virus gives you the flexibility of sitting in your tracky pants but don’t let the whole outfit be a testament to your slothfulness; at least have a shower and dress the top half.

Skype, Whatsapp, Zoom, Google Duo, WebEx, MS Teams, Facetime—these video options are the key to your modern corona virus dating. Dating apps are already adapting to the times so they can assist people to find love in isolation with inbuilt options to video chat through the app itself.

Just because you are dating remotely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go to some effort. The obvious ones are to shower, do your hair and make-up, but also apply aftershave / make up or whatever makes you feel good when you normally step out for a date. Invest like you would if you are meeting face-to-face.

Consider the scene you’re setting. Just like any date, first impressions count. So consider your communication and camera positioning.

Insider tips: position your camera so that it’s shooting down. Looking up into a chin is not flattering for anyone’s face. Make sure that you look directly into the camera some of the time, let your date see your eyes.

Also, think about what’s visible in the background. We’ve all seen YouTube videos with some incriminating (or cringe worthy) item in the background. Tidy up, even if it’s just a small area around you.

Sure it’s going to feel weird, but so were dating apps when they first kicked off. Think of the many benefits. You can set your own scene by creating the lighting for your date and pour your favourite drink. Hey, as you progress you can even move to  dating by candlelight.

What Comes Next

If your date goes well, plan the next one. Chat in between dates via text or calls to keep your interactions alive. Make a joke of it—we’re all in this together and could be for quite a while yet. This is your opportunity to make the most of an otherwise bad situation. Share your feelings and listen in return.

Creating a Spark

All great things take time. There is no shortcut to a great relationship. Take the time whilst in isolation to plan how you will meet when this is all over. Where will you meet? What fun things will you do? What will you wear? Create some suspense and excitement around it, but most of all, give yourselves something to look forward to.

At this point you may be thinking, Hold on, what about chemistry? How do you know if you have the magic spark that comes from a face-to-face catch up and getting up close and personal—you know, the fun stuff, touching, flirting, and all that? Firstly, compatibility will always trump chemistry; without compatibility you’re back to the ol’ hook up scenario. Find out whether you have the fundamentals right and then worry about chemistry. It’s just another thing to look forward to post virus.

After we get through this period the world will have been irrevocably changed. Let’s hope that dating also remains changed; that meaningful connections are back in fashion and soulless dating with its endless swiping is all but forgotten.

Go forth and video chat.