Digital dating: The Facetime Era

Turns out isolation when you are single can get a tad lonely at times, go figure?

There have been copious amounts of commentary on how couples are handling isolating together. Some (including my own friends) have agreed that a proposal will be imminent if they make it through this period. They believe if they can get through this, marriage will be a breeze… they might be right.

But what about us single people, the ones who were actively dating before all of this? The single people who don’t necessarily have an intimate relationship to rely on in what is quite honestly the strangest and scariest period of anyone from our generation’s existence on this earth.

I read an article recently on a woman and a man in NewYork who moved in with each other after two dates. The two were not sure when they would get to see each other next as their city was going into complete lockdown.

The hopeless romantic in me melted.

Imagine feeling that passion and genuine desire to get to know someone in those circumstances. Imagine letting someone you barely know move into your life in such an extreme and confronting way. Imagine though, what if they are soul mates? What an incredible love story. It would be one for the ages and one that Netflix will most certainly turn into a romantic comedy.

However, the pessimist within me won the argument I was having in my head.

I think I would rather cop loneliness than moving in with a stranger after two dates, like a lot of my girlfriends I often confuse lust for love, wouldn’t that be a mess thinking you have found your soul mate and then the rose-colored tinting begins to fade, and you realise things like he prefers cats to dogs? Or eats salad willingly? The horror.

With a record player, bottles of Malibu and 3 cases of Pepsi Max, I’m set for a little while. I don’t wear pants, and I dance around in my oversized band t-shirts shoving digestives and Easter eggs into my mouth. I Facetime friends in between watching stand-up comedy at night when I feel my mood flattening. It’s a nice routine, and it works and will hopefully continue to so I stay sane.

However, if there is one thing I learned from being alone in Melbourne (like really alone) if you do not push yourself out of your comfort zone on your own accord, it is incredibly easy to retreat into your own company. While enjoying your own company is something that took me a long time to start appreciating, it’s not necessarily healthy if that’s all I’m doing. Pushing yourself into complete self-isolation with little to no contact with friends and the like doesn’t usually do wonders for emotional wellbeing.

I genuinely believe this is the most exciting time of this decade (yep all four months of it) to be single. Comfort zones can well and truly be left, and experiences can be had that maybe would have never been explored as we are now in completely unchartered territory. So why not just give the unknown a go.

So with that, I say a warm welcome to digital dating, where the sky is the limit. Well actually your mobile data is the limit, but I’m sure you get the point.

I wholeheartedly believe the dating world will never be the same after this. It might actually be for the better not just for the lessons we learn about dating but ourselves as well.

Now we have a genuine shot of actually getting to know people without there being ulterior motives and hopefully minimal mind games.  I’m not naive in thinking that dating will be a walk in the park now that it’s digital. There are several major cons. With one being no physical interaction. My Great Gran used to say, “always try before you buy” and while I thank her for those pearls of wisdom, we now have to learn to adapt. We have to try and navigate the unknown as the physical elements of seeing someone are just not an option for a while, god help us.

We are in completely unprecedented times (how many times do you think that word has been used in the last two months). Now is the time to be bold, now is the time to do the one thing you would probably never do. This includes sliding into THAT guy or girls DMs asking for a facetime date.

I have spoken to my girlfriends at length on facetime dating. Some are completely for it (usually the extroverts) and others shrivelled into a ball at the prospect of the thought of it.

However, facetime dating doesn’t need to be romantic and can be purely platonic. Having this discussion with a girlfriend, she likened it to a “virtual hang out” if you didn’t want the pressure of the word date. Has anyone called it that since the early 2000s?

Whether it is a date or a “virtual hang out” or you are just checking in on a friend (especially one that you might not have that type of relationship with) via facetime. Never devalue the importance of face to face communication. You have the chance to learn a lot about someone over facetime, and you might surprise yourself with what you learn about yourself along the way.

Plus you can wear pajamas and drink copious amounts of alcohol from the comfort of your own bed.

As in most of the blogs I write, I can’t stress enough the power of kindness. If I have learned one thing from the facetime dates both platonic and romantic I’ve gone on is that whether it be yourself or the person you’re talking to,  being the reason that someone smiles or has a laugh in these times or even has an outlet that is maybe outside of their immediate circle to talk is just an incredibly cool and kind way to be there for someone.

I set myself the challenge of facetiming at least one person I know or distantly know that I’ve never facetimed before each week. I am doing this so I get to know people in a different way than what I’m used to and learn a thing or two about them, all while getting myself out of my own comfort zone.

Sure it can get a tad awkward  (he wears a suit and you wear pajamas) but those moments are fleeting. There is no pressure and no one is asking for a commitment. So far I’ve finished pretty much every call with sore cheeks from laughing and more impressively I’ve even learned how to cook fish using a camping appliance…yes, you read that correctly. 

Whether you go for it or not by asking someone new for a chat. Please remember that its okay to feel lonely and sad, especially at this time, but we are all in this together, and I am always here for a chat.

As always never be a stranger.

– M xx


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