Video Dating? How To Show Someone You're Interested Without Touch
The phrase online dating took on a whole new meaning as a result of the global pandemic. Instead of just meeting potential partners through a website or an app, many people are actually attending dates virtually.
A survey conducted by the dating app Hinge, predicts that video dating is here to stay. Out of more than 5,000 participants, nearly half say they have been on a video date since the pandemic, and 52% will continue doing so after it's safe to meet IRL.
Sure, video dating provides a safe, socially distanced way to meet new people. But when it's no longer possible to engage in physical touch (i.e., gently brushing your hand against your date's hand or rubbing the small of their back), the more subtle signs of attraction may be missed.
To make sure someone knows you're interested over Zoom, follow these tips from behavioral adviser Anne-Maartje Oud and body language expert Blanca Cobb, M.S.:
If you're interested in someone, whether it's on video or in person, it's natural to want to draw nearer to them. For a virtual date, Cobb says this can be demonstrated by leaning in toward the camera. "It's as if you're getting physically closer but through a lens," she explains.
Expose your neck.
Because the neck is a vulnerable part of the body, people often want to protect it. So when women, in particular, brush their hair to the side and expose their necks, it may be a sign of flirtation.
Want to add even more intrigue? "Turn your body to an angle, and as you're exposing the neck, you can move a shoulder down," Cobb says. This gives a different appearance of your body frame, and it can be very playful, she explains.
Be more expressive in your movements.
Becoming a bit more expressive in your actions by raising your eyebrows, nodding, twirling your hair, fidgeting with your necklace, or gently rubbing your skin, are all potential signs of attraction among women and men.
"The head-tilt is another big nonverbal communication to show your interest," Oud tells mbg. And while it may seem obvious, a flirty smile can say a lot.
Ask about their environment.
Becoming curious about your date's passions is a good way to show your interest. Asking someone to tell you about themselves is pretty generic, Oud says. Observing a book, poster, or image in the background and asking to hear the story behind it is a bit more intriguing.
On the flip side, make sure your own background feels unique to you. (In other words, don't just sit against a blank wall.) This provides your date an opportunity to get to know you better, as well.
Without the external stimulation from a restaurant, concert, or sporting event, it can be harder to engage in natural impulses or conversation, Oud explains. Adding in these personal touches might create a sense of ease for each of you.
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Video dating may be sticking around, so it's about time we learn how to optimize the experience. Engaging in these nonverbal signs of flirtation and making the environment more conducive to conversation are just a couple of ways to make a video date a bit more successful.
Abby Moore is an editorial operations manager at mindbodygreen. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and has previously written for Tribeza magazine. She has covered topics ranging from regenerative agriculture to celebrity entrepreneurship. Moore worked on the copywriting and marketing team at Siete Family Foods before moving to New York.