One of the best ways to ease first-date nerves and allow yourself to get excited about your virtual dating experience is to set up your camera a day, or a few hours before. This means agreeing on a video calling platform with your date; for instance, will you use Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts?
It’s important to make sure that you both have an account setup and ready to go on whichever platform you decide to use. It’s also a good idea to decide who will initiate the video call; either you or your date, so that you don’t try to call each other simultaneously, or so that you’re not both waiting around for the other to call.
Other things to consider include deciding whether you’re going to use your laptop, smartphone, or tablet, and where you’re going to put it during the date. Generally speaking, it’s best to position your device at eye-level, as this will allow you to make strong eye contact with your date in a face-on position. You might have a laptop stand, or phone-holder that you can use to achieve this, or you could try balancing your device on a stack of books if not.
At this point, you might also want to think about which room you want to have your video call in, and what can be seen in the background. Is there anything private lurking about that you wouldn’t want a stranger to see? Or is there anything particularly distracting, like a busy piece of artwork that might distract your date?
It can also help to consider the lighting. Where in your home is the light most flattering? Can you find somewhere to sit where you aren’t backlit by a window (as this can lead to your date only being able to see a dark silhouette of you)? It’s also important that the lighting helps you to feel relaxed. You might find that having soft, ambient lighting, rather than a glaring overhead light, helps you to do this.
If you can, try video calling a friend a day or so before your date to check that your camera and microphone are working well. This is also a good chance to experiment with positioning and lighting.
For more tips on how to get started with video calling, have a read of our article here.