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How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker

Insider spoke to Rebecca Shipp, a matchmaker for elite matchmaking service SEI Club, about the best tips on having a successful first video date.

How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker

By Canela López, INSIDER

  • Now that restaurants, bars, and public gathering spaces have been shut down due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, people are turning to video dates.
  • Insider spoke to Rebecca Shipp, a matchmaker for elite matchmaking service SEI Club, about the best tips on having a successful first date via video.
  • Overall, Shipp told Insider her best tips for lighting and camera angle, and how it's best to develop a connection with your date over text before calling to make a first video chat go more smoothly.
  • Shipp said video dating can be great for a first date because you're in the comfort of your own home.


Dating has changed dramatically in the last few years, but it has been thrown into a new paradigm in the era of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the vast majority of people around the world, meeting new people in-person is no longer possible, driving many people to contemplate video dating.

Without ambiance, physical contact, or the buffer of a movie or concert to ease nerves, Zoom, FaceTime, or Skype may seem too daunting for a new relationship.

But according to Rebecca Shipp, a professional matchmaker for elite matchmaking service SEI Club, you may just need to shift your mindset and see it as an opportunity to be confident in the comfort of your own home while you're meeting someone new.

Shipp told Insider there are a number of ways to ensure a great first date via video.

Developing a connection with your date over text before video chatting could make the date feel more comfortable


How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker
© Iryna Inshyna/Shutterstock

Shipp told Insider one of the biggest benefits to video dating is that is often forces people to put more effort into developing an emotional connection with someone over text before they meet face to face.

"Then, when they meet in person, it's not awkward and they already know each other," Shipp said. "It's like you're meeting your best friend on a date."

If the date goes south, and you realize you don't connect with someone, you could always just round out the conversation, and when you hang up you're already home, rather than having to stay through dinner.

"You're in the comfort of your own home and that way you don't have to say, 'ok I have to put on this date for two hours,' you can just do it for 15 minutes," Shipp said.

Lighting is key, so make sure you're well-lit and choose camera angles that will make you feel the most confidence


Though staring through a computer screen or phone rather than across a dinner table when you first meet your date might feel a bit awkward at first, Shipp said video dates can be a great way to make yourself feel confident.

"Online, you're in the comfort of your home," Shipp said. "You can make the best lighting happen for you and you can look your best. You can angle your phone or your computer or laptop to what suits you the best before you even start the date." 

How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker
© Shutterstock

Before getting on the call, set up your camera in whatever way will make you feel the best and clean whatever area of the room will be in the frame. Lighting can also help set the mood, so perhaps try replicating some of the romantic candle lightings you'd find at a restaurant by dimming your lights.

If you're unsure about how your set up looks, FaceTime, or Zoom a friend to have them check the frame and lighting for you.

Video dating could be a welcome distraction from the stress of dealing with a pandemic

Overall, Shipp said, while video dating may be unconventional for many people accustomed to going out for drinks or events, it can be a good way of staying connected with other people during lockdowns and quarantine.

With all of the day-to-day stress, people may be dealing with, casual video dating could be a "very welcome distraction."

"To take your mind type of things, it's a great time to get into this," Shipp said.

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Love Magazine: How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker
How to have a great first date via video while you're in quarantine, according to an elite matchmaker
Insider spoke to Rebecca Shipp, a matchmaker for elite matchmaking service SEI Club, about the best tips on having a successful first video date.
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