Online dating starts with an element of virtual dating, you are messaging back and forth, trying to create enough of a connection before you meet in person, there may be a phone or video call before that, but usually some sort of online interaction.

With matchmaking that bit is usually bypassed, unless of course you have been set up with someone further away (at Maclynn we offer international searches), and you are establishing a connection. Then there are times when dating occurs ‘online’ or virtually, where you will be unable to meet due to circumstance, typically distance, but also on the rare occasion of a pandemic lockdown and social distancing rules.

The initial moments of connection can feel exciting, daunting or some variants thereof, and there is plenty of advice on how to deal with that, see this blog with our expert first date advice or what to wear.

Once you have decided that your first, second and third virtual dates have gone well, you have kept a decent connection going for a few weeks and things are beginning to feel ‘serious’ but you can’t meet, that’s when it gets really tricky.

How do you keep the momentum going? You may like each other, but you can’t be sure as you haven’t met yet. How do you progress the intimacy when you haven’t met yet? Is it even wise to?

dating in LA

A matchmaker’s view

These are difficult questions to answer, and some we have been posed over the past year especially. In order to even think about keeping a momentum going, you have to ensure that you and your virtual date actually agree that there is a momentum – that it is romantic and with the purpose of getting to know each other in that frame.

I think many make the mistake and think they are on the ‘same page’ as the other person; but one person’s ‘frequent texting’ is their ‘passing time’ while for someone else it’s a sign of a romantic spark. We tend to ignore the assumptions we make about the connection. Get that clarified first! (This is usually bypassed in matchmaking, but you still need to do your own due diligence).

Once you have had this conversation, the conversation whereby you agree that there is mutual and reciprocal romantic attraction, you will find that keeping the momentum becomes a more natural progression. So I guess if there are any ‘steps’ in this, that would be ‘step one’! Gain clarity on the nature of your connection (i.e. this is romantic, and yes we would like to get to know each other better).

Maintaining long-distance interest

So the question is, how do you maintain that excitement and interest in each other when you cannot share the same physical space? The answer lies in psychology.

Think about what people do and need in order to foster and maintain a connection: shared experiences, something to talk about and engage in that is ‘private to them’. This unlocks a myriad of ideas.

You may start with things that are somewhat benign, such as watching the same movie at the same time, sharing a virtual drink (i.e. seeing each other on FaceTime and you each have a prepared drink), reading books or articles out loud to one another, playing games and quizzes on House Party App and then venture to sending gifts (hoorah to online shopping!).

You can then begin to introduce more personally intimate activities perhaps starting with ‘the 36 questions’, the questions that allegedly help you fall in love. It’s then about getting to know one another at a deeper level, such as discovering what love languages or arguing styles you have, check out a variety of fun ‘couple’ psychometric tests here.

Build up a connection and keep the contact frequency that you would if you were a steady couple. Remember to share your mundane life with each other, the daily things you do ‘I’m heading to that meeting now’ or ‘how was your lunch?’.

Another way to keep momentum going is working towards a sense of progression. As in, you both feel that the relationship is ‘going somewhere’. You would unlikely have declared a love for one another, but you need to be talking about plans to meet and thinking about future activities and actively setting those plans in motion when possible (searching for flights, places to go, how to meet, keeping an eye on restrictions etc).

The personal touch with Maclynn

At Maclynn (formerly Vida), we remain distinguished within the industry of love (and increasingly, virtual dating) by providing our clients with a unique approach, combining psychological principles and assessments with character-driven profiling and business expertise, creating a personable and warm framework in an increasingly cold, impersonal world.

A matchmaker is a friend, a concierge, a therapist, a coach, a counsellor, a confidante, a person who can make your dreams come true, find you that special someone – and help heal that broken heart.

Contact us today and see that, whilst futuristic technology is all very well, you cannot beat the human touch.