Thanks to the magic of technology, couples in long-distance relationships can still have some quality face time.
Before you Skype your love interest, however, here are some things to know:
1. Get [Well] Connected.
Before you Skype your significant other, make sure your Internet connection is great. Few things are more stressful than a Skype conversation that gets frozen and cut off over and over again.
2. Timing Counts.
Consider your busy lives — and respective time zones — before scheduling a Skype date. Some couples need to schedule a defined Skype-date window that has an end time, too, as chatting online can someone go on without end. Once scheduled, treat the online date with the same respect you would an in-person one and be ready to chat on time.
3. Location, Location, Location.
Consider where you’re going to be when chatting over Skype. A private location is often best, as your significant other might be self conscious about being seen and heard by strangers in a coffee shop. (If you must chat in a public space, use the chatbox to reveal any personal details.) If you’re Skyping from home, make a little effort and clean up the place. There’s always a chance your date will ask for a bit of a virtual tour of your space, so don’t just shove your dirty laundry barely out of view, either.
4. Lighting Matters.
Keep in mind that your date is equally as excited to see you as you are to see her. Make sure you’re lit well so she can see your face — and so you look your best. The best lighting setup is to have two light sources, one coming from behind your monitor, another coming from the side.
5. Angles Matter, Too.
If you’re hoping to avoid double chins and other awkward angles, keep the computer’s camera level with, or slightly above, your eye line. It’s the most flattering angle. When you’re chatting, don’t stare at yourself on the screen. You’ll look distracted and noncommittal to the conversation.
6. Dress Appropriately.
You’d dress up for an in-person date, so why not put a little effort into a Skype date? You don’t need to wear a shirt and tie, but looking like you just rolled out of bed — in a sloppy way, not a sexy one — seems lazy and disrespectful. Wear color if you want to stand out from your backdrop.
Don’t multitask while you chat. Close Facebook. Don’t eat breakfast. (Sipping a beverage is fine, but chewing on camera is rarely appealing.) Refrain from Googling witty responses. Ignore text messages. Give your date your undivided attention, as you would on a dinner date.
If you’re in a long-term, long-distance relationship, Skype is a way to introduce your partner to the things and people in your life that matter. Let your roommate say hi. Introduce your cat. Show off that paint job in the bathroom. Let Skype provide visuals that phone calls and text messages can’t.
Without the ability to reach out and touch your love interest, be intentional about sharing your feelings for him/her. Flirt and compliment. Smile a lot. Send visual signals that you’re smitten.
10. Consider Chemistry, Privacy and Long-Haul Issues.
Skype dates have their own unique set of challenges and it’s important to address them early on. Online chemistry is no guarantee of real-world chemistry, so be careful about any emotional attachment that develops before you meet in person. It’s also hard to sustain an online-only relationship, so consider the consequences of Skyping over the long haul. It will get harder and harder to maintain regular Skype dates if there’s no possibility of closing the distance gap in the near future. And finally, Skype in the nude might sound appealing to some, be warned that your partner has the ability to capture a screen shot at any moment without you knowing it. You may trust him/her now, but if the relationship doesn’t last, those images might — and come back to haunt you.
How has your experience been with using skype as a “date?”