Video Chat Online Dating_Header

Online dating has jumped in popularity as our lives are filled more and more with work, after-hours events, networking, obligations with friends and family, and hopefully finding some time for you. Unfortunately, it leaves less time to find Mr. or Ms. Right.

I have always been attracted to great conversationalists. How much sense, then, does it make to try and meet someone at a place you can’t hear due to the volume of the music? My friends and I left the loud bar scene years ago, and when I finally took the plunge into online dating, it was the perfect way for a girl with a hectic professional and personal schedule to find potential dates.

Of course there were a few missteps as I started out. The old phrase “you can’t judge a book by its cover” rings especially true for online dating. After a few back and forth conversations with guys who sounded like they would be a perfect fit, our first real-life dates lacked chemistry, or worse, I had to keep the conversation moving the entire evening – something that potentially could have been avoided if we had chatted over video before meeting in person.

Face-to-face conversations – even over mobile devices or computers – help you get a more holistic view of the person you’re interested in, which can help you decide if you want to move the relationship forward or connect with others. With that in mind, here are 3 ways to boost your online dating prospects with video chatting:

1. FaceTime

If both parties have an iPhone, iPad or a Mac computer, FaceTime is an easy way to see the person you’ve been chatting with online in real-time. Aside from being able to confirm they look and talk in the manner they’re portrayed in their JDate profile, if you live in far off locations, getting in some regular FaceTime can strengthen your connection or let you know if the chemistry is just not there.

FaceTime can also help grow your budding relationship. Instead of sending emails back and forth, or making phone calls with just a voice on the other end, a video chat with FaceTime lets you catch all the nuances in their facial or body expression. Small nuances can help foster a budding attraction.

2. Skype

Before FaceTime and Google+ Hangouts appeared on the scene, I was Skyping to get to know my potential dates better before we had our first in-person meeting. In fact, Skype saved me a 2-hour trip for a date that would have been a disaster. I planned to meet someone who lived within driving distance, but after a quick (and somewhat awkward) Skype chat, I realized that we had zero chemistry. He was distracted during our conversation, and I wondered if he really was interested in something more than online chat. Plus, I’m pretty sure I saw a pennant for my alma mater’s rival on his wall.

If you don’t have an iOS device, you should consider Skype. Although it’s not as easy to use, or as convenient as Facetime, Skype gives you the opportunity to video chat with your potential date on the computer through the voice-over-IP service. If you’re new to the video calling scene, a few Skype tips will have you on your way to virtually connecting with your potential match in no time. To get started, all you need is:

  • Broadband Internet connection
  • Webcam
  • Speakers and a mic
  • Free downloadable Skype app

3. Google+ Hangouts

Google hasn’t quite cornered the market on video calling, but if you’re one of the few people with a Google+ account, you can still manage to get a look at your potential love interest. I once added someone to my circles and was impressed with the things he posted – quotes from some of my favorite authors, photos of his 5-month-old kitten, check-ins at some delicious-sounding sushi restaurants.

And while Google+ Hangout might not seem like the ideal virtual meeting place – compared to a coffee shop or wine bar – you can connect to Hangout through Apple and Android devices and send pictures while you’re both in Hangout. It’s an easy way to chat in real-time and stay in touch with each other through everything the social media platform has to offer.

Michelle Smith is a freelance writer with a focus on love and relationships. She loves hearing online dating success stories and is constantly encouraging her single friends to look for love online. She welcomes your feedback in the comments section below.                                .
  1. It makes sense to do a face to face meeting via the internet. However, it can be quite difficult to keep up a face-to-face conversation for more than a few minutes if you have never met someone. Talking about how your day was or sharing a joke or two are fine, but there are experiences you miss out on via the computer that potentially occur meeting in person. For instance, shared experiences like inadvertently winding up at a gay dance club on a first date. Strange as it seemed, the girl and her date certainly had a memorable experience that never would have occurred online.

  2. I prefer getting to know someone through emails and maybe a regular phone call first, before moving to a video chat, despite the fact that men have told me I’m more attractive in person than in still photos. I don’t want someone who seems to just be judging me on appearance before getting to know more about my interests and beliefs. I’ve ended up dating several men over the years who I wouldn’t necessarily have looked twice at if I’d met them at a bar, but who won me over with their minds and their effort at non-visual communication.

  3. Its not a bad idea to Facetime but not at my age. I wont even Facetime with my sister or friends. Its not very flattering and I am afraid I would scare off any potential dates. I happen to be nice looking but that said, I look super bad on Facetime. Thoughts?

  4. At first I thought “Hey what another modern way to meet!”, when I was asked to have our first meeting via Skype. After two very brief emails, my prospective date announces me he has to go on a month trip and that therefore would only be able to see me the first time through a computer camera. Now, I use that method in my work, and it’s a fine method for teaching grammar… but to date, I seriously do not recommend. First, since we are such visual creatures, if you are not in an environment with a good source of light, you will look very different than if you had to meet at a local café. First impressions are very important. Also, there are all those little details, such as the feeling that the person is truly present there. People staying at home or in their cozy habitual environment are not putting themselves in a position of full attention towards you. No, really, avoid that type of first meeting. After having met, yes, it is a fine way to keep in touch.

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