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How to Have a Successful First Date on Video Chat

Antonia Greco - Writer for Top10.com
Woman having a successful video chat date
Dating is tough. It's often a time-consuming and expensive journey to find that special connection. That's where video chat dating comes in—your new ally in the quest for love.

Video chat dating isn't just for online dating apps. It's an all-around practical solution to modern dating dilemmas like who should pay or what to do if things go south.

Whether you're talking to someone long-distance or looking for convenience, video chat dating can be ideal for having rich interactions. It also offers you the opportunity to get a real feel for someone before taking the next step.

Let's explore how you can leverage video chat dating to make your search for love more efficient and enjoyable.

What's Video Chat Dating?

Video chat dating is the lovechild of online dating and meeting up for a casual, no-strings-attached coffee date—but without having to put on pants. I first encountered it during the COVID-19 pandemic when I was working as a matchmaker and had to quickly adapt to setting up dates online instead of in person.

It's a pretty simple concept. You and a lucky individual agree on a time and platform like Zoom or FaceTime. Next thing you know, you're on your laptop or phone, having a virtual first date in the comfort of your own home.

Virtual first dates offer a cozy, cash-free middle ground between app chatting and face-to-face meetings, and you won't even need to share your number or address. Plus, getting out of a bad date is much easier this way.

And if you're happy with your video chat trial run, you can discuss whether an in-person meetup is on the cards.

Top Tips for Nailing a First Date on Video Chat

Keep Your Camera Game Strong

While no one should tell you what to wear, you may want to try to resemble your dating profile picture. Throw on a cute outfit (or just a presentable shirt and PJ bottoms—I won't tell).

Position your phone or laptop camera at eye level or slightly above, and light up your face so there are no shadows. It helps to face a window or lamp.

Remember, First Impressions Matter

Make sure your background's not screaming chaos. You never know; you might end up giving an impromptu tour.

Oh, and if you've got furballs roaming around, keep them contained unless you're planning on introducing them.

Gather Your (Liquid) Courage

Don't be afraid to join the chat with a cup of tea or glass of wine—maybe even a light snack. It'll put you and your date at ease and make the video call feel a little more like a date.

Research indicates that people perceive others more positively when holding warm beverages. You can also consider a virtual sober date to help you make a more authentic connection.

Be Clear on Your Dating Goals

The secret sauce is to have some talking points ready. For that, you need to know what your targets are. In other words, understand what you're after in the conversation.

Are you just scouting their looks or diving deep into values? And what exactly are they looking for? This is your chance to find out if they're second-date material.

Master the Virtual Banter

Let's face it: awkward silence on a date is the absolute worst. To keep the conversation flowing, place something interesting in your background that you could use as a talking piece.

And should a tech issue come up, I think it's important to be communicative. Utilize whatever contact info they gave you to say, "Hey, sorry I froze. I'm signing back in".

Have Fun

Keep the conversation light, and show that you're curious about the person on the screen. Get to know each other, but don't spill your life story in one go. They've likely prepped just as much as you, so make it worth their while to be online with you.

That said, time management is important. Aim for at least 45 minutes. In my experience, that's the sweet spot to figure out if there's a spark.

» Ready to give video chat dates a chance? Reach out to singles on Zoosk or Match.

How to Keep the Conversation Alive

No one likes dull, boring small talk. Here are some simple examples to help you out of any silent, sticky situations.

Break the Ice with "This or That" Questions

Engage in classic icebreakers, like asking whether they prefer coffee or tea if they're a morning or night person or enjoy staying in or going out.

Tailor these questions to the situation, seizing opportunities to delve into their beverage choices or evening relaxation habits. A word of warning: This may expose a few red flags.

Prepare for Awkward Silences

Confront potential awkward silences by playfully acknowledging them.

A light-hearted remark such as, "We just got quiet. What do you want to talk about next?" can ease tension and spark a new conversation.

Work on Deepening the Connection

To foster a deeper connection, ask thought-provoking questions like: "What do you like talking about?"

This direct inquiry allows you to discover topics that genuinely captivate and engage your conversation partner, enhancing the richness of your interaction.

Find Romance on Video

The key to any successful first date is to be authentic—and that's coming from 90% of Americans. Let your personality shine through, but be attentive and genuinely interested in getting to know the person on the other side of the screen.

Whether through witty banter or insightful questions, every interaction is an opportunity to discover something new and exciting about your date—and yourself.

» Still not sure what to say? Keep these first date questions close by.

Antonia Greco - Writer for Top10.com
Antonia Greco is an IDCA certified personal development coach, relationship expert, author, and communications graduate. For almost 15 years, she has helped clients reach their goals in life and love. Antonia has written for several leading publications, including Elite Daily, Bustle, Seattle Weekly, and Top10.com.