So, let’s say (hypothetically of course) one is at a work conference and at said work conference one meets an attractive man. Because one is a mature career woman, one refrains oneself and only talks to said handsome man, even though he is very cute. Well, let’s say that this man is also interested in said woman. What are they to do? Just part ways and never see one another again?
Uh no. Thanks to the wonder that is modern technology, this situation isn’t so dire. Trust me, I’ve been in this sitch on more than one occasion and have learned that you do have plenty of options for getting to know said gentleman – the best of which is Skype.
I heart Skype because it is just so much better than an old school phone call. Skyping lets you test the waters on chemistry. When you look into the other person’s eyes and you see their facial expressions and mannerisms, you learn so much more about that person than simply hearing them talk. It gives you a much better sense of how you would jive together in real life.
But with these benefits, also comes some pitfalls. A perfectly executed Skype date takes practice and after a couple of these, I realized we could all benefit from a set of rules. So read on for what will now be known as the 10 official rules of a skype date.
1. Establish a time and place for skyping – Like a real life date, the Skype date should be planned out so that both partners can be prepared and have adequate time for Skypage. I’d plan on at least a half an hour, although I have had Skype dates go on as long as 3 hours.
2. Check your lighting - No need to sit yourself under a fluorescent beam. That is pretty much guaranteed to make you look pale and ghastly. It also isn’t helpful if the room you are in is so dark that your Skype partner can’t see your face. To find the perfect balance, be sure to check the preview before you accept the chat. If you look pretty and visible, you are in the right place. And once you find a good Skype area, use it routinely.
3. Wear something appropriate - Ok sure, you aren’t actually leaving the house, but that doesn’t mean you can look like complete crap. Even if I am in my jammies, I try and make sure I am wearing a cute sweatshirt and that my hair and make-up are still semi-done. If you look like shit, just pick up the regular phone.
4. Set your computer at a flattering angle - If you are on a laptop, putting your computer on your lap is NOT flattering. Can anyone say double chin?! I like my camera to be just a little bit raised above eye level. If I am at my desk, I put it on a stack of books. The arm of the couch also seems to work well.
5. Make sure to clean up behind you – It’s just polite. There is only a small section of your room that your date can see so move all the shit out of the way if need be. Although, it is best to be prepared that your date may ask you for a tour in which case your true messiness will be exposed…
6. Don’t drink and Skype – This is how you wake up with a ticket to Minnesota for the following Friday. True story. After 3 hours of Skyping and just as many glasses of wine, you may be positive that you really have no other choice than to hop on a plane and go visit your Skype friend. In all fairness, I had a blast in Minnesota, so it worked out well for me. But it could have been disastrous and it certainly wasn’t the smartest financial decision. It’s best to limit the imbibing while Skyping because temptation to visit your date will be high enough without the drinks.
7. Don’t mistake Skype chemistry for real chemistry – So two years ago I met this guy at a conference and talked to him for like 2o mins. We became Twitter, Ichat, FB buddies and eventually progressed into phone and Skype buddies. Before I knew it, he was breaking up with his girlfriend and singing me songs he wrote on his guitar.
In all honesty, I thought I could really like him. But when we went back to the conference the next year, he took me on a date the first night and it took me about 7 minutes to realize that Skype chemistry just ain’t the same as real life chemistry. You can’t really predict how you’ll feel when that person puts their arm around you until they actually do it.
8. If appropriate, introduce your roomie or your dog – While it can be awkward if your roomie is just hanging out, listening to your date, it is totally acceptable to bring them over to meet the person on the other side of the screen. I am always making my roomie say hi to my Skype dates and I appreciate meeting their roomies and/or pets as well. It somehow makes it feel less dorky, I dunno.
9. Try not to multi task – It can be difficult, especially when you are on your computer which is ripe with distractions, but try and avoid ichatting with other people, or creeping on Facebook, while you talk. Being present is a skill we could all master more in life – not just dating.
10. Be extra flirty - The guy is hundreds of miles away, this is no time to play it coy. This isn’t to say you should start professing your undying love, but feel free to be more flirty than you might otherwise be. You aren’t going to be able to make out with this guy, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some quality flirting. That way, should you ever actually meet up in real life, you won’t be in the whole “friend zone.”
So there they are – the 10 official rules of a Skype date. Now my friends, go forth and skype safely.