Online dating has jumped in popularity as our lives are filled more and more with work, after-hours events, networking, obligations with friends and family, and hopefully finding some time for you. Unfortunately, it leaves less time to find Mr. or Ms. Right.
I have always been attracted to great conversationalists. How much sense, then, does it make to try and meet someone at a place you can’t hear due to the volume of the music? My friends and I left the loud bar scene years ago, and when I finally took the plunge into online dating, it was the perfect way for a girl with a hectic professional and personal schedule to find potential dates.
Of course there were a few missteps as I started out. The old phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” rings especially true for online dating. After a few back and forth conversations with guys who sounded like they would be a perfect fit, our first real-life dates lacked chemistry, or worse, I had to keep the conversation moving the entire evening – something that potentially could have been avoided if we had chatted over video before meeting in person.
Face-to-face conversations – even over mobile devices or computers – help you get a more holistic view of the person you’re interested in, which can help you decide if you want to move the relationship forward or connect with others. With that in mind, here are 3 ways to boost your online dating prospects with video chatting:
If both parties have an iPhone, iPad or a Mac computer, FaceTime is an easy way to see the person you’ve been chatting with online in real-time. Aside from being able to confirm they look and talk in the manner they’re portrayed in their JDate profile, if you live in far off locations, getting in some regular FaceTime can strengthen your connection or let you know if the chemistry is just not there.
FaceTime can also help grow your budding relationship. Instead of sending emails back and forth, or making phone calls with just a voice on the other end, a video chat with FaceTime lets you catch all the nuances in their facial or body expression. Small nuances can help foster a budding attraction.
Before FaceTime and Google+ Hangouts appeared on the scene, I was Skyping to get to know my potential dates better before we had our first in-person meeting. In fact, Skype saved me a 2-hour trip for a date that would have been a disaster. I planned to meet someone who lived within driving distance, but after a quick (and somewhat awkward) Skype chat, I realized that we had zero chemistry. He was distracted during our conversation, and I wondered if he really was interested in something more than online chat. Plus, I’m pretty sure I saw a pennant for my alma mater’s rival on his wall.
If you don’t have an iOS device, you should consider Skype. Although it’s not as easy to use, or as convenient as Facetime, Skype gives you the opportunity to video chat with your potential date on the computer through the voice-over-IP service. If you’re new to the video calling scene, a few Skype tips will have you on your way to virtually connecting with your potential match in no time. To get started, all you need is:
- Broadband Internet connection
- Speakers and a mic
- Free downloadable Skype app
3. Google+ Hangouts
Google hasn’t quite cornered the market on video calling, but if you’re one of the few people with a Google+ account, you can still manage to get a look at your potential love interest. I once added someone to my circles and was impressed with the things he posted – quotes from some of my favorite authors, photos of his 5-month-old kitten, check-ins at some delicious-sounding sushi restaurants.
And while Google+ Hangout might not seem like the ideal virtual meeting place – compared to a coffee shop or wine bar – you can connect to Hangout through Apple and Android devices and send pictures while you’re both in Hangout. It’s an easy way to chat in real-time and stay in touch with each other through everything the social media platform has to offer.