Long-distance romance has come a long way. Less than 20 years ago, the best way to bond with your boo from a distance was to call them — but now you have texting, IG, TikTok, and video chat apps to stay connected. Whether you’re in a long-distance relationship, you or your SO travel for work frequently, or you like to vet dating app matches before meeting up IRL, knowing how to plan a killer FaceTime date can definitely come in handy. That's where these FaceTime date tips come in.
According to Fran Greene, a dating and relationship coach and author of The Secret Rules of Flirting, about 90% of communication is nonverbal — which is why she says video chatting is the next best thing to hanging with your partner in person. When you video chat with your date, their facial expressions, posture and gestures provide insightful cues to make your conversations even more meaningful and intimate.
"Video chatting is an excellent resource to help connect with someone emotionally and physically, even though you're not together IRL, through body language, adds Maria Avgitidis, CEO of matchmaking service Agape Match,
Avgitidis also adds that you can learn a lot about someone in their own environment through video chat, which is especially valuable in the beginning stages of dating someone new.
Not all FaceTime dates are created equal, however. The key to making your video encounter feel more romantic is to treat it like a real date — and fortunately, experts have some game-changing guidance on how to do just that.
One of Greene's top tips for FaceTime dates is to think outside the box. There's definitely nothing wrong with a little Netflix and chill now and then, but there are lots of other things you can do over video chat, too.
Why not have a joint dance party from your respective living rooms, or play an online game together? Greene suggests wining and dining each other, either by cooking the same recipe in your own kitchens or enjoying some takeout by candlelight.
The possibilities are honestly endless — ultimately, the idea is to recreate traditional date experiences right in your own home.
Learn something new together.
A FaceTime date provides the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better because you have the benefit of non-verbal communication for some seriously deep discussions. Greene advises taking advantage of that by playing guessing games or telling each other little-known facts. The game "Two Truths and a Lie" is an excellent icebreaker for bonding over FaceTime, not only because you'll exchange intimate knowledge but also because you'll have fun guessing which facts are legit.
In addition to learning about each other, Avgitidis recommends trying to learn a new skill or subject together. For example, you and your partner could start an online class together over FaceTime, or listen to a podcast separately and then use the FaceTime date to discuss your thoughts on the topic. Avgitidis also suggests checking out one of the many virtual museum tours. Who knows? You may quickly realize you have a shared passion for art, history, or science together.
Mind the lighting.
You're probably well aware that lighting is everything when you're trying to set the mood for romance, which means that you'll want to put some consideration into how your environment is lit before hopping onto FaceTime.
Natural light is always ideal because it's softer than artificial light. That said, if you don't have a convenient spot by a window to FaceTime or your date is happening in the evening, Avgitidis advises simply making sure you have at least two sources of light, and that they're pointed toward your face. While a couple of candles might set the perfect vibe in person, it's not enough light for your camera to pick up, and you obviously want your date to be able to see your face clearly.
Ideally, the main source of light will be shining on you at face level, as harsh lighting from above or below can cast some intense shadows. If you FaceTime a lot, it might be worth investing in warmer bulbs to make you look like you're glowing.
Work the angles.
One of the potential pitfalls of a FaceTime date is that video chatting can be, well, a tad awkward. To avoid an unfortunate double-chin situation or an unwanted look up your nostrils, Avgitidis advises taking some time to set up your camera.
Ideally, make sure your camera is just above eye level. If you're using a laptop, Avgitidis says you might want to put a few books under the base to elevate it. If you're on a tablet, use something to keep it in place and secure so there are no awk incidents mid-FaceTime.
"No one likes to be 'shaked around' during a date," adds Avgitidis.
Get ready for your close-up.
Speaking of making a good impression, both Greene and Avgitidis recommend getting ready for your FaceTime sesh the way you would for a date IRL, whether that means putting on a little makeup and styling your hair, slipping into a cute outfit that gives you a boost of confidence or spritzing on your signature scent. There's no need to go overboard and spend 20 minutes on contouring and highlighting if that's not part of your typical routine — it's all about doing whatever gives you a boost of self-assurance so you can feel good about yourself on your date.
BTW — keep in mind that the way your makeup looks on FaceTime depends largely on the lighting in the room. So, before your date, you may want to check out your look on your camera, tablet, or laptop's camera to see if you need to make any tweaks.
Put your best foot forward.
Greene says it's crucial to treat your FaceTime date the way you would an in-person date. That means deciding on a time to "meet up," being punctual, and making an effort to look your best.
If you were inviting a date over for drinks, you'd probably clean your apartment — so before you hop on that FaceTime call, it's worth tidying up the room and making sure there are no distractions around you.
Lay on the verbal affirmations.
No matter what your date's love language is, never underestimate the power of a little verbal affirmation. Compliments not only make the other person feel good, but they can also spark up a little flirtation, which can make your FaceTime session feel more like a date. That's why Greene suggests saying a few nice things about your date throughout your conversation, whether that means commenting on how cute they look, admiring their home, or praising their killer activity planning skills.
Remember that in order for a compliment to have a positive impact for both of you, it has to be genuine — so there's no need to say anything that's insincere just for the sake of flattery. Find small things that are worth applauding, and you may just inspire your date to do the same.
Fran Greene, flirting, dating, and relationship coach
Maria Avgitidis, matchmaker