Interview by Ceri Wheeldon
We are living in highly unusual times. How do you go about dating in the context of Lockdown/quarantine? Do you put looking for a partner on hold ? I asked Maria Sullivan, dating expert and VP of Dating.com for her tips as to how to approach dating over 50 in lockdown.
How has lockdown/quarantine changed people’s approach to dating?
During lockdown, more people are turning to online dating to make connections. In our recent survey, we found that there has been an 82% uptick in global online dating since early March due to quarantining.
Why should people consider ‘meeting’ someone new at the current time?
Your dating life and the search for your soulmate is important. If you are at home along quarantining, it can get lonely. People should consider online dating and meeting someone new at this time because connecting and chatting with someone will help fill that lonely void and who knows, you might end up really enjoy talking to someone you meet.
We have always said to readers that when ‘dating’ online the objective is to meet online but progress to meeting face to face as soon as possible. What issues does not being able to meet in person create when connecting with somebody new.
There really aren’t any big issues when it comes to being able to meet in person right away. Through communicating online, singles are able to continue to build their connection with a potential love interest. The longer they spend building their relationship will only make the day they get to meet in person that much more exciting and special.
How to date practically and safely during lockdown
How would you recommend people date both practically and safely with the current restrictions in place?
With today’s current restrictions in place, online dating is the most practical and safe option. There are people all around the country and world online looking for someone to make a connection with. Sign up for a dating app and customize what you are looking for and start looking for people that catch you eye. Until after the COVID-19 outbreak, conduct virtual dates over video chat or phone call. Once everything is back to normal, or as normal as it can be, you can move that date to an in person encounter.
How can you ensure your privacy if conducting video calls –for example can you ensure that the calls are not being recorded?
If conducting a video call date, there is no way to make sure the call isn’t being recorded and it is important to be cautious of this. Be mindful of what you say and your actions. You don’t want anything you do or say to come back negatively in the future.
If you do not feel comfortable on the video date, it is more than ok to remove yourself from the situation by ending the call.
What are your three top tips for dating while social distancing restrictions/lockdown are in place?
3 Top Tips for a Virtual Date
My top three tips for hosting a virtual date are as follows:
- Plan an activity while on Facetime. For example, plan to make the same meal. For this activity, you can both pick a yummy meal to try to make over facetime, at the end you can compare whose looks better and if the meals turned out how you thought they would.
- Have a list of questions to ask. Being prepared is essential, so having a list of questions will ensure the conversation will not have any awkward pauses because no one knows what to say.
- Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi connection. While Facetiming with someone you’re interested, it is important that you have a good Wi-Fi connection so your video and sound doesn’t become blurry or lag.
Maria Sullivan is a Dating Expert and VP of Dating.com