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Virtual Dating Ideas For A Fun First and Second Date

couple holding ice cream

Virtual Dating Ideas For A Fun First and Second Date

Struggling with first date ideas? Skip Zoom, and wow your date online with a virtual pool, games, and music.

Nearly everything is online now — including dating. To woo a first date (or a second date) online the key is to get creative, have fun, and stand out with some super original date ideas. 

In this article, a relationship expert shares how to have a virtual date that's so good your date won't be able to wait to meet you in person. 

What are some ideas for planning your own first date virtually? How can you set yourself up for success? And what are some super fun ideas for virtual dates that don't involve Zoom? We turned to professional dating coach Daliya Karnosky, who is also the host of the relationship/dating advice podcast Not Your Therapist, for answers. 

How to set yourself up for success for your virtual date

Plan ahead + bring a game 

Meeting someone for the first time is more often awkward than not, says Daliya. This can especially be the case when it comes to virtual first dates. "I think one of the most important things in this situation is to acknowledge the unnaturalness of it," Daliya says. She recommends having an activity on hand to break the ice right away. 

On TikTok, Samantha Wong aka, @samcity_, recently broadcast her virtual date on a new immersive video chat platform called Kumospace (which happens to be the host of this blog 😉.)  In Kumospace, they checked out a DJ booth, lounged on pool floaties, and played online tag. (Check out Kumospace for yourself here). In other words, there were activities in the platform already. Daliya says that can be super helpful. 

She says you can also decide what kind of beverage you're going to drink together beforehand, make a cocktail (or mocktail) together, or try out Kumospace's virtual wine. Playing a fun and easy game can also help both of you relax, whether it's something like Pictionary, Truth or Dare, or a virtual board game (scope out our own guide to virtual games here). 

"Play Two Truths and a Lie, Never Have I Ever, literally any cheesy office icebreaker, just so you both can acknowledge this is a little awkward, but we're in it together, and then it immediately puts you on the same page," Daliya says.

Planning a date night activity isn't limited to your first date, of course. Putting thought into how you spend time with your date, whether it's your fifth date or your 100th, will always amp up the romance — especially if you're in a long-distance relationship or a couple that is quarantining separately. 

 Keep it short and sweet

In-person first dates can stretch out to two or three hours. But for an online date it's better to keep the date short. Dayila suggests keeping your virtual date 45 minutes to an hour, and committing to being especially present during that time. (i.e. put down your phone, turn off your TV, and limit any other distractions).

"If it's your first date, you want to take it with a grain of salt. Don't expect it to be perfect, over the-top-romantic, we talked for four hours... Put a time limit on yourself, even if you're having a really good time you want to leave them wanting more," she says. 

Another tip? Have somewhere to be, or something to do, immediately after your virtual date so you don't let the date linger too long. "That way you won't feel like you have to linger there all night," she says. 

Having a meeting with a friend or family is always a good way to end the date without making it forced. Even if you're having an amazing date, Dayila recommends keeping it short so you have something to look forward to in the future. 

Freshen up and get dressed (duh!)

Even though you're not meeting up IRL, you still have to brush your teeth and freshen up so you don't pop into the screen feeling like a greaseball. 

"You should get fully dressed. Not like, 'oh I'm wearing a nice top and sweatpants,'" Daliya says. According to the dating expert, looking your best will also make you feel your best — and impress your date. 

Ready for your date? Choose your space and host it at Kumospace. 

Get in vacation mode 

Before your virtual date unwind; it should never feel like a work meeting. Daliya recommends giving yourself at least an hour buffer before your date to relax. Listen to music, call a friend, go for a walk or have a drink (just make sure it's not five drinks). "Put yourself in a different headspace… I call it vacation mode. Your date shouldn't feel like another work thing you have to do. So, do whatever it takes to put yourself in more of a playful mood," she says. 

Try out a 'first date costume'

Stuck on what to wear? Daliya advises her clients, and her friends, to come up with a "first-date costume," which is an outfit that you feel comfortable and confident in that you can wear for every first date. You can vet it with your friends ahead of time to make sure it's flattering. 

"With a first-date costume you don't have to think about it. You can just throw it on, so you can focus on being comfortable and feeling good," she says. 

She adds that rather than get super stressed about setting up the perfect lighting for your virtual date it helps to sit somewhere in your home where you're comfortable — as long as it's not an unmade bed. "Show a little effort, know that it's only going to be an hour, and have fun with it," says Daliya.

 

Ready for a first date? Don't forget to compliment your date

Daliya is a big fan of telling your virtual date what she calls an emotional compliment, which she says are not focused on physical attributes, and make people feel seen. "It's amazing what can happen to another person when you say something nice to them, because everyone starts out a date like a little bit on edge or a little bit on guard… Everyone's in their head a bit thinking about: how do I look? What am I doing with my hands? Did I just say something weird? If you can take your energy out of your head and onto the other person it can really help," she says.

Observe what the person is saying, don't force it. Don't give compliments too early, first learn about the person during your date. 

What are some examples of emotional observations? Here's a few ideas from Daliya for a first date or a second date. 

  • I like the way your mind works (after they something that stand out for you)
  • The way you think is so interesting/unique/unusual. How did you get that perspective? 
  • Wow, you're really good at _____. How did you get into it? 
  • You have a great sense of humor (did you take improv classes?)
  • You're a really good storyteller 

Comment in a positive way on something your date is good at: If they read a lot, mention that (and if you read a lot too, go deep and share what you both are reading), if they ski a lot or any activity that they are master of, is a great way to dig in deeper and appreciate. Any time you like to do a similar activity, double down on it. Explore it, dig deeper with questions. It will help you establish rapport and see if you have connections. We tend to connect on things we have in common. When you are meeting a new person, finding commonalities is very important. So when you find it, explore that further. 

"When you compliment someone say something that you genuinely mean, and it's going to relax them so much," Daliya says. " And once people relax chemistry can actually happen."

That's it, now you are ready for your first or second virtual date! Nab your Kumospace and start spicing up your next virtual date. 

Steal these long-distance (or quarantine couple) ideas for date #2

Daliya knows a couple who were dating while quarantining that threw adorable virtual date nights for one another, including organizing an online scavenger hunt within one another's apartments cooking together, and a virtual wine tasting. One night they ordered take-out surprises for their date and then had dinner together and another evening they found an easy no-bake dessert recipe that they made together. "This obviously works for long-distance couples too, or your second or third date, it just takes a little planning," Daliya says. 

Consider taking one of these long-distance date ideas and adding your own spin for your second virtual date — and don't be surprised things start heating up.

What are your own virtual date ideas? Have you had any virtual date fails or wins? We want to hear them! Send us an email at hello@kumospace.com or tag us on social #kumospace.

Sophia Kercher
Sophia has worked in digital content for over a decade working for brands like Warner Bros. and Google. Her journalism work has appeared in the New York Times, Vogue, Elle, Women's Health, and the Los Angeles Times. When Sophia isn’t writing she loves going to see art, traveling, and spending time with her pup, Lucian Pluto.
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