Finding your special someone while self-isolating is all about forming an emotional connection — well, that and masturbating on FaceTime. Although you can't meet your crush in-person (or investigate their medicine cabinet when using their bathroom for the first time), consider these quarantine relationship milestones a roadmap to going the distance, from a social distance.
Don't be dismayed by ancient tales of "first dates" and "doorstep kisses": A digital love affair comes with its own set of perks. Gone are the nights of scouring Yelp reviews, trying to find a date spot that's close to your office, not too expensive, and has "Paleo" appetizer options. Bid farewell to awkwardly wondering who's going to pay for drinks, and doing the "I'm happy to split!" wallet-grab. So long, awkward "Is this a kiss? Is this hug?" when you lean in to say goodnight.
You're home alone, lounging in in your sweatpants, and you just poured yourself your fifth glass of wine. Are you gearing up for a cozy night of self-care? Or a virtual date with your cyber sweetie? These days, the two are one and the same!
If you and your new online lover have checked off these 11 boxes, your relationship is on the right track.
1. The Match-Cute
There you were, snuggled in a fresh tie-dye sweatsuit, waiting for the next episode of Too Hot To Handle to load, when you came across their dating profile. You can't remember who sent the first message, but your conversation flowed seamlessly. Though you don't want to rush into anything, you think you're ready to take it to the next level — messaging outside of whatever app you met on.
2. Realizing They Don't Have An iPhone
When you exchange numbers, you see they don't have an iPhone and instantly panic. Aw, your first relationship conflict. You stress out for a moment about how you're ever going to video chat without FaceTime. You take comfort in knowing you'll never have to worry about read receipts. Compromise is key! You get into a texting rhythm.
3. Finding Out They Haven't Saved You As A Contact
They send you a screenshot of a funny text from their mom. Cute! But at the top of the picture, there's a notification — it's an incoming text from your whole phone number. They haven't saved your contact information. This is the quarantine version of running into your date's friends and realizing they never mentioned you. You send a screenshot of their screenshot back to them with a message, which reads: "My name is _."
4. Fear You're Getting Catfished & Asking To Video Chat
Listen, relationship doubts are totally normal. Is this person who they say they are? Will the sound of their voice make you want to crawl out of your skin? You decide it's time for a video chat date. You wonder how to do this because they don't have an iPhone, and frankly, sending a Zoom meeting request seems like a lot.
5. Pretending You Didn't Already Find Their Instagram Handle
You remember that you can video chat them using Instagram. You use this as an opportunity to casually ask for their Instagram handle — even though you found it weeks ago. You pretend to be surprised when they tell you about their older sister, who had a "steampunk" themed wedding last spring.
6. Having A Surprisingly Complicated (But Productive!) Conversation About Your Schedules
All you're doing is watching Vanderpump Rules in your bathtub, and yet, you're still busy all the time. You talk through when you're going to be able to have another date, you learn more about each other's priorities, like your weekly family Zoom dinner, the IG Live yoga class you've been loving, and of course, marathoning Vanderpump Rules in the bathtub.
7. Bonding With Their Roommate Who Unsuspectingly Walks Through The Video Chat
You decide to video chat as you make dinner. You see their roommate in the kitchen behind them. The roommate is upset because your date put an open container of bone broth back into the fridge, and it got everywhere. You proceed to bond with the roommate about the benefits of leak-proof Tupperware. You give yourself a bat on the back for killing it with the roommate.
8. Attempt A Sexy Photo Shoot & Get Frustrated With The Lighting In Your Bedroom
How come they when they send you a picture of them all red-faced and sweaty from their indoor CrossFit they literally look so hot, but when you put on a good outfit and prance around your room for 20 minutes trying to take a good pic, you look like swamp gremlin?
9. End Up Talking About Your Childhood Trauma Until Sunrise
After finally snapping and sending a cute picture, you 're exchanging some steamy messages and decide to talk on the phone. While you intended to get hot and heavy, you end up having an incredibly emotional conversation about your deepest fears, family dynamics, and the best flavors of Pop-Tarts. You realize the sun is starting to rise. You continue to video chat (in both a sexy and emotional way).
10. Giving Each Other Your Various Streaming-Site Passwords
The shelter-at-home version of getting a key to someone's place may just be getting their roommate's sister's boyfriend's HBO Go account info. You could really see a future with this person. You're happy to share your parents' new Hulu account password.
11. Seeing Their Desktop When You Screen-Share On Zoom
You decide to have a Zoom lunch together as you work from home. One thing leads to another, and you end up screen-sharing. There is it: their whole desktop. You see that they have 38,451 unread emails. You discover a desktop folder labeled "Acoustic Covers." Their computer background is a picture of Aang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. You have no more secrets. (You make a mental note to discuss all these things at a later time.)
So, there you have it: The 11 steps to falling in love as you flatten the curve. If you've made it this far, congratulations! You're basically quarantine-engaged. All that's left is to actually meet in person — one day.