The Hairpin published a very funny post on Skype dates today, which got us thinking about how to perfectly execute a romantic experience on Skype. It really is an art!
Obviously there are downsides to Skype dating (like, you know, not actually being in the same room as your temporarily 2-D significant other). But there are pros, too! For one thing, you always know what you look like on a Skype date (vs. going to the bathroom halfway though and discovering something in your teeth/runny makeup). You can also manipulate various factors to your advantage, such as lighting and (web)camera placement. In terms of vanity, Skype Dating 1, Real Life Dating, 0.
The other plus, of course, is that the second you want the date to be over, it can be over. (Don’t you hate how in Real Life Dating you can be sort of ready to call it a night, but then he orders another drink/you guys get stuck in traffic/the waiter takes forever with the check?)
Look, nothing can substitute actually being with your date, and doing something fun with them. But if you’re stuck in a long-distance relationship (or middle-distance relationship!), you can definitely make Skype work for you.
Some Skype Date Tips
1. If possible, Skype somewhere private! Sometimes people Skype in cafes, which is fine….if you want everyone in the cafe to join you on your date.
If at all possible, it’s much better to Skype somewhere where you can feel free to talk at length, without a room full of strangers listening.
2. But if you are in public, have fun with it! One of my friends used to Skype with her boyfriend in a cafe. They would keep their conversation very PG, but type dirty things to each other in the chatbox to try to make each other laugh. A fun solution to in-public skyping.
3. A strong internet connection is key! Nothing kills the romance like your screen constantly freezing in really unflattering moments.
4. Wear bright colors! You’re basically going to be on camera…so use it to your advantage! Especially considering you’re probably using a crappy webcam, which isn’t the most flattering thing in the world.
5. Lighting The perfect lighting for a Skype date is a light behind your monitor and a light on one side. (Beware of sitting too close to any windows during the daytime, or you’ll be in silhouette.)
6. Angle The best angle is to have your computer level with your eyeline, or even slightly above. If you look down on your computer it’s easy to get a few extra chins.
During the date itself, be sure to look at your camera when you talk, and not at your screen/self. It’s really obvious if you spend most of the Skype call checking yourself out/fixing your hair/preening instead of focused on the other person.
7. Skip Dinner, Have Dessert Skype Dinner Dates are pretty popular for LDRs, but staring at a screen and chewing can be sort of boring/tedious. Maybe instead plan to Skype during dessert, or for post-dinner drinks: much less cutlery and mastication involved, and still participatory.
8. Careful About Skype Sex If you feel like chatting about your day just isn’t going to get the job done, you might opt for Skype Sex. (It’s the new GChat Sex, which is the new Cyber Sex, which is the new Phone Sex…)
The one thing we would caution you about is the little “Print Screen” button on your keyboard that will instantly and silently capture a picture.
It’s really easy to get screengrabs for Skype, so just be aware.
9. The Movie Skype Date This one can be technologically tricky, but if you can figure out how to watch Netflix or Hulu or a DVD at the same time, it can make for quite a cozy night in. Unless you’re one of those people who HATES talking during movies. In which case, maybe watch separately and compare notes after?
10. The All-Nighter This tip comes from Glamour: Leave Skype on all night so you can wake up together, get ready together, and hang out together in the morning.
Kind of voyeuristic (especially if you’re on different time periods because then presumably one person would be awake much sooner than the other and therefore watching them sleep?), but definitely appealing for serious couples.