For many people currently navigating the dating world in their 20s and 30s, it isn’t hard to look back on a time when online dating was still taboo. Pre-Tinder, meeting up with someone you met online was more closely associated with murder than marriage. Fast forward to April in the year two-thousand and twenty and virtual dating has become the only viable option for those looking to find a connection, regardless of age, tax bracket or tech savviness. 

Between the array of options we now have to connect, match and interact with people via technology and our collective deprivation from social interaction during isolation, now is an ideal time to find love without having to leave your home (also, to reiterate, it is your only option). From matchmaking Instagram accounts, to vows exchanged via Zoom and even The Bachelorette’s preparation to deal with Covid-19, quarantine dating is booming and we’re here to help you navigate the algorithmic amour. 

How to Meet

In real life, meeting a potential match can be the hardest part, especially after you realize your friends aren’t the genius matchmakers they make themselves up to be. If you’ve been side-stepping the apps in favor of more traditional methods, now is the time to join the dark side, guilt-free. Tinder recently made its Passport feature free for all users which gives you the ability to swipe on users around the world, not just those local to you. This is a great feature if you’re just looking for a casual chat but obviously decreases your chances of meeting IRL should you hit it off on your virtual date, so use with caution. 

Once you’ve exhausted your patience on the apps (read: used all the free swipes), your next bet is, of course, the DMs. Be respectful and be sure not to burn any bridges you may have to cross post-quarantine but on the off chance the world is actually ending now is your time to shoot your shot. You can’t win the raffle if you don’t take 100% of the shots you miss, or something like that.

How to Prepare

It is currently easier to get alcohol delivered to your apartment than groceries which is great news for virtual daters. Just be sure not to go overboard as the same rules for consumption on real life first dates should apply here. However, during a virtual date you don’t have to risk standing up to go to the bathroom and colliding with a waiter carrying one of those big food trays so feel free to indulge a bit (responsibly). If drinking isn’t your thing you’re probably miles ahead of the rest of us on this but if you’re in need of a shot of confidence to take the edge off, watching one episode of Love Is Blind on Netflix should be enough to make you realize that every human being is painfully awkward and the act of finding love is arbitrary to begin with so you don’t have a whole lot to lose. 

Whether you’re using Facetime, Zoom, HouseParty or Chatroulette to connect make sure you’re staged in front of the most presentable part of your apartment. Hopefully the void of not having guests over for the past month hasn’t completely destroyed your cleaning habits but if it has, a well-lit corner should be enough for this situation. Make sure the lighting is good, your upper body is all you have to make a good first impression visually so make sure the other person can actually see you. If you typically avoid harsh lighting and need a quick supplement, check out this selfie light available on Amazon, it should arrive some time within the next 64 days. 

How to Dress

Dressing for a virtual date might not seem important but when it comes to making a connection online, the key is making the most out of the few variables you have to work with. Your mood lighting is set, your confidence is high, your personality is unfortunately unchangeable and therefore a great wasit-up outfit is all you have left to wow your date. Below are a few great options depending on what type of love you’re hoping to find. 

Undercover Clockwork Orange Open Eyes Jacket

What it says: Let's talk about movies! (I call them "films", btw)

Amiri Wolf Pattern Sweater

What it says: I’m the leader of the pack

Aimé Leon Dore Kaiki Knit Sweater

What it says: I know there are more fish in the sea but I’m only trying to catch you

Junya Watanabe Fitted Biker Jacket

What it says: If I had to choose between you and my motorcycle, I'd choose you (I don't own a motorcycle)

MoMA Champion Hoodie - MoMA Edition

What it says: Our first date IRL will be at MoMA. Our second date IRL will be at MoMA PS1.