Right now, going out and meeting somebody face to face for a date is just out of the question.

Why? Because we’re in lockdown.

The question is is how do we date in such a way that we can still build connection?

It’s one thing to be able to text each other and call each other, but eventually, you’re probably going to reach a stage, if you haven’t already, when you will actually have a video date with each other.

Now, for some of you, you are not really confident with being able to do that.

I want to give you some really practical tips on how to actually do a video date successfully so that your love life doesn’t have to be on hold.

1: Choose a method .

Now, for example, a lot of corporate companies out there, myself included, use a platform called Zoom. It is free to use.

It is pretty easy.

All you need to do is download the application on your phone or your computer. Then you  just schedule in a time or you schedule in a meeting, and then you send that meeting link to somebody else.

They click on it and then, voila, at the time that it is scheduled, you have a video date or you have what you’re seeing now, me talking to you, and you would be talking back to me.

Now, there are other more traditional ways, such as Facebook Messenger or Skype, and there are platforms out there like Hinge, Tinder, Plenty of Fish, which have actually introduced live streaming date.

If you’re not confident with using computer software, then just go to one of those apps, if you’re not already on them, and actually use the method that they have actually given everyone out there.

2: Use your computer not your phone.

Obviously, your computer is something that you can then be hands-free. You can then start to pick up a glass if you’re having a dinner date or something like that or a coffee date so that your hands are actually occupied.

If you’re using your computer as opposed to using your phone, you’ve got a much bigger screen.

You’re probably going to be able to put your computer in a position where you can have better lighting, and then your arms aren’t going to get tired trying to hold it.

You’re not going to drop things. You won’t be distracted by people trying to text you or message you whilst you’re on the video date, which is bad manners. Definitely use a computer screen instead, if you can, or a tablet.

3: Treat it like a real date

I know that it’s a little bit weird, right, especially if it’s a first date, like literally a first date that you’re having with someone is through a screen rather than actually meeting in person.

If we can try it and make it as date-like as possible, then you’re both going to feel like, “Okay, we’re on the same sort of page here, and this isn’t as stressful as what we think it’s going to be.”

Now, when I say treat it like a date, what I mean by that is dress appropriately.

You wouldn’t go to a date looking like crap in your pajamas, right, so don’t just turn up when you’re doing the video call or the video date looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed.

Put some effort into it. If it is a dinner video date, then dress up as if you were actually going on out to dinner. If it is a casual coffee date, then dress up casually as if you were actually going to go out for coffee.

Now, the second thing you need to do is you actually need to have a timeframe 

When it comes to a video date, still have a timeframe, but understand that that timeframe might be a little bit shorter purely because we’re just not used to it, okay, and we’re not really in a circumstance where we feel that we can stay a little bit longer to be actually able to enjoy it more.

Don’t feel guilty if the video date only goes for, say, 20 minutes as opposed to maybe a first date would go for 40 minutes or an hour.

4: Check your background

Now, if you’re going to have a video date with someone, then make sure that your environment behind you is actually set up to impress, to make you feel more confident.

Make sure that the windows are closed. If you know that you’re near a noisy road, go somewhere quiet. Maybe have the background so it’s not as distracting.

If you’ve got too much going in the background, what that does, and this is just from a camera point of view which I want to give you guys tips on, is it takes the focus off of you.

Obviously, when you’re video dating someone, you want the focus to be completely on you. If your background is too busy or you’ve got people running around and people sneaking in the door and you’ve got lots of noise, it’s going to be distracting for you. It’s going to be distracting for them, and it’s probably not going to be the best sort of experience.

Ideally, if you can be in a room by yourself, obviously, that allows you to have some sort of privacy, and it means that it minimizes some distractions.

5: Have some  ice-breakers.

If this is going to be your very first experience of meeting this person or just doing a video date with this person, again, it might be a little bit awkward.

A lot of people, in general, aren’t confident just talking to a camera like this even if there’s somebody on the other end.

Some people completely freeze up, in fact, so what I suggest is setting a couple of things up so that you have kind of like safety stuff to go to.

This is why I say choose a computer as well and don’t just do it on your phone because it means that your hands will be able to be free.

Have a cup of coffee with you if you’re doing a coffee date or have a glass of water or a glass of wine if you’re doing a wine date.

Have something that your hands can reach for…  so that, when you get stuck, you can literally take a sip, having just that moment to be able to sip, gather your thoughts instead of just having this awkward silence.

6: Confirm the time.

This is why it’s good to use an application where you actually book in the time because then there’s some sort of commitment to it.

You want to make sure that you both take this seriously, that it is a real date, and that you’re not just going to cancel last minute or you’re not going to leave the person hanging.

7: Get set up properly

Make sure that you have good lighting, that you’ve proportioned yourself so that you actually look most flattering, and that you have strong internet connection.

Lighting is super important.

What you want to do is you want to make sure that the light that you have is facing you forward. Window lights or natural daylight usually works best because it’s a little bit of a softer light if you’re sitting away.

If you have just a full-on harsh lot right in front of you, it’s probably going to highlight a couple of our imperfections, and you may not feel as beautiful or as confident, so sit a little bit away from any lot that you do place in front of you.

Try not to have any overhead headlights because what that does is it actually creates shadows under your eyes and face and just isn’t very flattering.

Try not to have any backlight, okay, where might have a lamp near your head or in the background, because that’s just going to put all your face in darkness.

You want to be able to come across, obviously, as flattering as possible on camera. You want them to be able to see your face. You want to be able to feel beautiful in that moment, so that is why lighting is actually key.

Now, the other tip that I have is just make sure that you’re framing yourself the right way. Again, this is why, if you do it on a computer, it is a lot easier as opposed to a phone screen and you’re kind of going like this and in an out.

You’ve got on a computer, basically, a static screen, and you’re able to portion yourself exactly where you need to be.

What you want to do is you want to really kind of be in this sort of mid range where you can see your shoulders, maybe up to, say, your chest line.

Lastly, girls and guys, try not to do video dates on your bed.

The reason why is because it becomes really casual or it becomes really sexual. Again, you want to try and treat each date as if it was in real life.

The truth is is you wouldn’t really be having a date on your bed. Obviously, if your bed’s in the background because you’re doing the date in your room, totally normal, but try to sit away from the bed.

You want to try and keep things maybe a little bit more formal.