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Tips and Tricks on Virtual Dating From Bumble’s Favourite UK Influencers

First, we couldn’t go into the office, so we worked from home. Then they cancelled family visits, so we became lowkey IT technicians to get our parents on video calls. And, of course, we couldn’t meet, touch, kiss or hug — but that didn’t stop us from getting out there, digitally of course. It’s officially the year of the virtual date.

The events of 2020 have ripped up the rulebook when it comes to dating. So together with Clara Amfo, the Radio 1 DJ (and everyone’s dream best mate) we got some familiar faces together to rewrite those rules for right now. Much like the sourdough you’re probably baking, it’s a learning curve. So here’s a starter kit to get you on your way. 

Your guides:
Maya Jama
Ovie Soko
Leomie Anderson
Fred Sirieix
Paris Lees
Come Curious 

1. Choose pics that show your vibe, not just your angles

What’s your recipe for profile pics? One part selfies, two parts pet shots? Now’s the time to switch it up. Love Island legend Ovie says it’s about photos that show what you’re into. Add your running/baking/{insert lockdown hobby here} pics to make a match. 

2. Make the first (small) move

It’s hard enough remembering to wear trousers on our Zoom calls, let alone coming up with witty conversation starters all the time. The dating gurus behind F**s Given podcast Come Curious suggest starting simple, like bringing TV shows to the table. Nothing like the fire of Netflix’s Tiger King to break the ice. 

3. Send GIFS, then get on a video call

Swapping memes is fun and all (“you can judge a potential partner by their GIF use,” as Clara Amfo says) but a video call is where you’ll really get to know someone. Plus on Bumble you can use the Video Chat function in the app without ever trading your phone number – flirty AND safe.  

4. Make your background your best friend

So it can’t be a cosy pub or dimly lit bar. That doesn’t mean it can’t be cute. Pull your plants into the picture, light a candle, and get that sunshine on your face, says Leomie Anderson. If there’s anyone we’d trust for tips on #curatedbackgrounds, it’s a supermodel. 

5. Don’t be late

You wouldn’t be late to a date IRL, so there’s no excuse when you’re at home (especially when you can’t blame it on the traffic). So show up to your video calls on time. Because if it’s a deal-breaker for pop star Mabel, then imagine who else you could miss? 

6. Do be yourself

Just because you’re behind a screen, it doesn’t mean this isn’t real. Fred from C4 fave First Dates – who has watched hundreds of couples meet for the first time – reminds us that you don’t need to try to be anything else other than yourself. 

7. Stay open

We’ve all got that checklist of ideal qualities in a partner, and it can feel easy to dismiss a virtual date before it’s even begun. Give it a chance – you never know who you might find, says transgender rights activist Paris Lees. 

8. Keep post-lockdown plans alive

How about dreaming up some adventures for when lockdown is over? A pub garden afternoon, a weekend break, or a night of dancing so hard you forget what time it is (…or is that just us?) Presenter Maya Jama’s advice is to stay positive.

Got some rules of your own? If you’ve been virtual dating and have some tips and tricks to share then let us know on in our Instagram DMs, @bumble_uk. We’d also love to hear what you’ve been watching on Netflix. Because – well, we’ve got time to kill.