These are strange times – but it is our present, our reality. Many who are seeking their bashert are choosing to date even in these times, albeit from a distance. But it isn’t for everybody, and that’s OK too.
Here we share some ideas for dating in Corona times.
Note: The links provided are just one example of ideas in that category; you can Google for other ideas. Additionally, the links have only been skimmed and analyzed for hashkafic appropriate.
If you have any ideas, pls add in the comments below or email to [email protected]
How this might work
- Start off dating from 2 locations. via Phone and/or Computer.
- If things go well, you can figure out how/if to date social distancing style. (the convos about this can help you learn more about each other).
- Of course, you cannot commit to marriage until you have seen each other in person.
- Some people might feel more comfortable starting with a few short phone conversations before a ‘Zoom Date’. Discuss with the shadchen so both have the same understanding of the objective of the call and how long the call will be.
- You might intersperse computer-based and phone conversations.
Long Distance ‘date nights’
BTW, it doesn’t have to be a Zoom date. Google hangouts, Skype, Whatsapp Video also works well. In addition, you can play multi-player games or other screen-share activities. Or do something and be on the phone, rather than video.
Be aware that looking at a screen for an extended period of time can be more tiring than a face-to-face conversation. This is partly because it takes more focus to have such a conversation (to o process non-verbal cues like facial expressions, the tone and pitch of the voice, and body language; paying more attention to these consumes a lot of energy) and screen fatigue. This affects people differently; so no one should be insulted if the other wants to cut the video call short.
As possible, use a setting where you don’t see your own face. It’s also very hard for people not to look at their own face if they can see it on screen, or not to be conscious of how they behave in front of the camera.
Don’t be afraid of silences. Many times, silence is a time when the other (or both of you) are thinking about what was just shared. Silence is only as awkward as you make it. A benefit of long distance dating is that you can have a ‘cheatsheet’ of topics if there is a silence. NOTE: the silence really may be an indication of a tech issue, so do pay attention to non-verbal cues to get a sense of what is going on.
Video date conversations can feel stiff; you are just looking at a 2d pixelated image of the person computer screen. Ideally, you’d be doing something else from time to time. Change it up. Here are several ideas. try those that seem comfortable to you.
Via Video Call
- Cooking same recipe at same time
- Walk around the neighborhood – show highlights of your neighborhoods (shul, park, favorite stores. Tell stories/ anecdotes about these spots)
- Paint Night (you can work with instruction websites)
Do simultaneously and chat about it (or screen share)
- Watch a video/movie (Airtime for youtube videos, Netflix party)
- Online escape room
- Virtual tours / virtual hikes (museums, google maps)
- Board games – ex: battleship, Pictionary, triva
- Armchair traveling
- Build ‘model [airplane] (buy 2 of same thing – each does in their own house)
- Paint mug/ plate (using Sharpie oil based paint markers)
- Word puzzles
- ‘Window’ shopping
- Poke around Pinterest in areas of interest
- Show family pics
- Virtual board games, Mad Gabs, list of ‘Multi Player games’, Scategories, card games
- Fancy dinner (order/make same food, candlelit, etc.)
- Lego competition (create ‘something’ from lego kits or just lego)
- Create [something] from random stuff in the house
- ‘Show and tell’ of things that are meaningful to you.
- Drawing/ creating challenges
- Doodling on each other’s digital doodles
- ‘Read my lips’ – mute yourself and talk. See if you can understand what the other said.
- Online JIgsaw puzzles (multiplayer)
Doing & Discussing
- Read same book/article – discuss
- Watch Ted talk – discuss
- Take same course – discuss/ do ‘homework together’ skillshare, coursera
- “Date-In-A-Box” – popcorn (microwave), cool drink, snuggle blanket, DVD (or link to a movie); candles, flowers, music CD (or link), cloth napkins, wine
- Send ‘sketchtoy’ handwritten messages
- Read Laffy Taffy jokes. (order a box of Laffy Taffys for each of you). Make up your own puns.
- Play ‘road trip games’ – ABC game (words in certain category that begin with each letter of alphabet), 21 Questions, Endswith (words in certain category that begin with the last letter of the previous word)
- Mad Libs style stories
- Dating Ideas in the time of Social Distancing (YU Connects)
- Pleasant Activities & their Social Modification (YU Connects)
Meeting in person (in a more or less safer way)
Sitting in your own cars parked near each other – so you can see each other, but talk on the phone.
- Watching the sunset
- Overlooking a scenic spot (NYC skyline, Palisades, water)
- Sit in a busy parking lot and people watch
- Playing a game like battleship
- Playing whiteboard games (ex: hangman) – each bring your own whiteboard/markers
Coming in your own cars and …
- meeting in the park, public garden
- window shopping
- meeting on private property rooftop or backyard deck (with permission, of course)
- hiking (beware of dinei yichud)
- meet at a certain spot and follow each other to drive to a location – can talk about the view along the way
- having a picnic or a tailgate date (make a bbq)
- walking around an expensive neighborhood (see the luxury homes) or marina (see the yachts)
- playing outdoor lawn games (bring your own – bowling, horseshoe, mini golf, large scale checkers)
- HAVE ALL THE CONVOS YOU NEED TO HAVE. Just because this is a new mode of dating, don’t lose sight that it is real dating for marriage.
- Talk about the mode before.– ‘where you are going’ so you are in the same mode. Casual, popcorn, watch a movie together. (dress accordingly)
- Discuss in advance how long the meeting/call will be.
- Shower, get dressed, prepare – get in the mindset.
- Notice what is in the background – behind you.
- Create a list of what you want to talk about.
- These are new times, new types of convos.
- For calls, plan bathroom and stretch breaks (don’t shut the connection, just come back.)
- Dates don’t only have to be at night; perhaps another time of day works better.