Social distancing and looking for love aren’t exactly the best bedfellows. And since going on a date in real life now falls foul of most countries’ rules around Coronavirus, singles are following these New Virtual Dating Rules to communicate with their matches, from dinner dates over Zoom to watching Netflix together – in their own separate homes – or simply finding time for an online wine.

In large cities most people are use to dating in urban bars and restaurants, but now they are finding themselves discussing things like toilet roll availability and what are the do’s and dont’s for self quarantine.

Here are some New Virtual Dating Rules to keep your love life on track during the lock-down:

1. Order your date a bottle of wine

You might not be able to get your date a drink at the bar in the traditional sense, but there are ways around this, in anticipation of a virtual date you can order a bottle of wine using a delivery app. Subtly ask what is a favourite before hand and have it delivered to your date.

2. Thanks to Netflix Party, you can Netflix and chill remotely.

There’s nothing better than snuggling up and settling into a nice film together, and while the physical element of this modern dating classic has been removed by the virus, a handy Chrome extension will make it as close to the real thing as you can get.

3. Netflix Party

This allows multiple users to watch movies and TV shows together in real-time — i.e. if one person pauses the show, it will also pause for everyone else.

4. Use Houseparty, a video chat app with built-in multiplayer games

Like Netflix Party, Houseparty’s popularity has surged amid the coronavirus crisis as people explore new ways to talk to each other.

Houseparty allows you to chat with up to eight people — double that of WhatsApp’s video call function.

What sets Houseparty apart from the rest, though, is its built-in games, which you can play with other people in the chat.

5. Make an effort for each other

Even on a first virtual date, you should get dressed up for the occasion, even though you are only seeing each other through a screen.

It will set the date apart from a normal evening of lounging around in comfy clothes and made it feel more like an in-person meet, which you would, hopefully, not turn up to in joggers and a hoodie.

6. Make a shared Spotify playlist

Sharing music is actually an incredible way to get to know someone. A chilled music playlist can help to calm us.

7. Send food to each other’s houses

Restaurants may be closed for walk-ins but there are still a tonne of great takeaway options out there, which also allows you to support struggling local businesses.

Many food delivery companies like Uber Eats are offering contactless delivery so that you can receive your meal without any risk of passing on germs.

Virtual Connections

But whether you can actually fall in love without meeting in person remains to be seen.

People use all of their five senses to assess whether there is genetic compatibility with a potential partner. Visually, you can assess facial symmetry which is the indicator of strong genes and you can read body language. You can hear voice tone and listen to what they say which is an indicator of intelligence, that’s good news for those who choose to go virtual.

Dating apps have been blamed for encouraging a culture of casual hook ups, so effectively forcing people to get to know each other first might mark a return to more traditional courtship, thus making a real connection.

We remain hopeful that despite the turmoil, there will be positive side effects from the current crisis – that we can rediscover our flair for conversation and getting to know someone over time. Many people will self-reflect more and consider what they really want for themselves.

The emotional impact of the virus could encourage people to take dating more seriously, maybe it makes you think that in a crisis like this really all you are left with are those you love, so it might have made some people ramp up their search for someone.