As we grapple with the upheaval created by the coronavirus, I’d like to offer some much-needed good news: you don’t have to put your love life on hold while everything around you gets postponed or cancelled. Virtual dating makes it easy to stay on track with your love life without setting foot outside your house. 

As a professional matchmaker and dating coach, I am all about getting people together in person. But I also see several positive sides to online and virtual dating. First, it’s an efficient way to screen out all those “hard passes” without taking the time and money to meet them in person. Just think of all the money you’ll save on Uber rides, meals, and drinks. It is so much easier to escape from a terrible date when freedom is one click away on FaceTime. 

Of course, I have higher hopes for you. I want you to meet someone online who you’re excited to get to know. As much as you’d like to meet in person, a Zoom, FaceTime or Skype call may be your only options these days, so make the most of it. You can still create an intimate and emotional bond through virtual dating. 

We are all struggling right now. Let’s be vulnerable, especially in our virtual dates, and see what happens.

You will actually benefit from taking things more slowly and really getting to know each other without the mixed messages that can come from physical intimacy on the first few dates. I call it the “Love is Blind” effect. If you’ve watched the Netflix show, you know what I’m talking about. The participants have to get to know each other solely through conversation, and it’s amazing to watch people create strong bonds while still being physically disconnected. 

We are all being forced to slow down these days, and we might be surprised by some of the unintended consequences of this forced sabbatical from our social lives. My hope, and my prediction, is that many of you will discover that virtual dating is an easy way to form authentic emotional bonds that are strong enough to bridge the gap between two screens. The date may be virtual, but the connection is real.

In my work as a matchmaker, I am constantly helping my clients learn how to “be themselves” so they can attract the right match for their true selves. This is sometimes much easier said than done. However, I see a fantastic opportunity in our current environment. I see the chance to be vulnerable with each other. And I know from my professional and personal experience that vulnerability is the best way to connect to others. We are all struggling right now. Let’s be vulnerable, especially in our virtual dates, and see what happens. Let’s be honest about the uncertainty we feel. It will only bring us closer to the people we love—and the people we have yet to love.