Expert shares advice for those terrified to jump into virtual dating

Dating has always been hard. Doing it without restaurants, theaters or public meeting spaces may seem impossible.

If you’re uneasy about looking for love in the time of social distancing, you’re not alone. Everyone is a little bit out of their element right now.

Luckily, technology is on your side. Video chats have never been more popular, and you won’t even need to leave your house to make a connection with someone new.

Serena F****** Kerrigan, a dating expert and the self-proclaimed Queen of Confidence, shared seven of her best tips for singles entering the brave new world of virtual dating.

1. Jump right in

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

Kerrigan told In The Know video chats are underrated — they’re the most “stripped down” version of a date and a great way to get to know a person for who they truly are. She urged daters to “go for it” and stop worrying about how unconventional it may seem.

“Don’t get bogged down with the specifics. Be like, ‘Hey, wanna FaceTime in an hour? I’m about to make myself a drink, would love to chat with you.’ Why not?” she said.

2. Dress the part

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

Dress for a virtual date the same way you would for an in-person one — by putting on whatever makes you feel confident. That could be a formal dress or head-to-toe tie-dye.

“They want to see the best version of you, and you will only be the best version of you if you feel good about yourself,” Kerrigan said.

3. Hype yourself up

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

Before any date, virtual or not, look in the mirror and tell yourself that your date is going to love getting to know you.

Kerrigan also offered words of wisdom to those worried their dates won’t end well.

“If they don’t vibe with you, cool,” she told In The Know. “There will be another one. There always is.”

4. Initiate the conversation

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

Kerrigan recommended skipping as much small talk as possible. Don’t be afraid to ask your date deep questions — chances are they’ve spent quite a bit of time in quarantine thinking things through.

5. Value your time

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

The most magical part of a first date is the anticipation of a second one, so cap it at one hour or two drinks. Don’t let the fact you could stay longer take away from that magic.

Kerrigan said it’s best to lower the stakes and leave your date wanting more.

6. Rate the date

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

Now for the dreaded question — how do you even know if there’s going to be a second date?

Kerrigan’s advice was simple: You’ll know. And on the off chance you don’t…

7. Take the next step

Credit: Serena Kerrigan / In The Know’s AmiLin McClure

If you had a good time, let your date know.

“Don’t be afraid to just go for it. Life is too short,” Kerrigan said, succinctly.

Through every part of the date — before, during and after — just be you. In these uncertain times, we could all use a little confidence.

If you enjoyed this story, you might also like reading about S’More, the dating app equivalent to ‘Love Is Blind.’

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