Are you in a long-distance relationship? Or are you just dating around, looking for “the one”? Either way, VR is poised to be the next big tool for dating and relationships. Here’s what it may mean for you.
From Face-to-Face, to Facetime, to VR
Dating has come a long way. In the past, people met their future partners face-to-face, at work or church. Then came the Internet and cellular technology, and suddenly people could communicate over longer distances.
Now, virtual reality seems to be the next logical step in dating technology. It’s already making waves:
– Dating groups are setting up virtual blind dates between members
– Adult entertainment companies are exploring VR porn
– VR simulation apps are helping men develop their dating skills
For those of us in long-distance relationships, the advantages of VR are fairly obvious. Studies show that using apps like Skype and Facetime result in greater trust and satisfaction compared to just talking over the phone [R]. Does it follow that VR dating – which lets you share environments and experiences with your long-distance partner – will result in even greater trust and satisfaction?
It remains to be seen, but it sure looks that way. According to a report by eHarmony, we’ll be able to go on full-sensory VR dates by 2040. Imagine strapping on a VR gadget and be able to feel your partner and smell their perfume, even if you’re thousands of miles apart – that’s quite something.
What VR Dating is Like Today
Today, VR dating lets long-distance couples create virtual dates in exotic locations and situations. Want to watch the sunset on a beach? Want to chat under the night lights of Paris? The possibilities are endless with VR, and it’s bound to ease the struggles long-distance couples go through.
“VIRTUAL REALITY IS PAVING THE WAY TO A NEW DATING SCENE”
In her article, Samantha Rhodes of CNET wrote about her own VR dating experience, where she sat with a few other daters in a satellite floating above the earth. It was a great view, and the date was pleasant, though she did admit it felt a little “weird” after she took off her Oculus.
For single people, there’s a growing number of virtual dating apps out there that lets you meet and interact with new people from across the globe. It can be used as a tool to build your dating and conversation skills. There are concerns about it being exploited as a way for men to “virtually” abuse women, so obviously there are some serious kinks to work out.
What it Will Mean For You
At the moment, though, VR can seem to be overkill for most casual daters and couples, who are used to staying in touch over Facetime and Skype, or meeting new people via Tinder and Bumble.
In this writer’s humble opinion, VR dating will probably be just like all the other technological advances that preceded it. Just like the telephone, the Internet, and mobile technology, VR will be a tool to enhance the dating experience, and not replace it.
“LIKE ONLINE DATING WAS ONCE TABOO, VIRTUAL REALITY DATING WILL BECOME THE NORM”
Meaning, if you’re bad and/or clueless about the opposite sex, chances are VR won’t increase your luck or skill by much. Dating still relies on the basics – dating skills, relationship skills, people skills, conversation skills, and so on.
If you don’t work on those skills, VR won’t save you – and in fact, it might even make things worse for you, judging by how technology tends to “isolate” people from one another.
But if you DO develop those dating skills, then VR will probably help you get more of your desired results in less time. It doesn’t matter what your desired results might be – a date, a relationship, a marriage, a family, or anything in between – if you have the skills, then technology will only help you get those results more easily.
1. Know what you want for your love life
2. Develop the skills you need to be successful in dating and relationships
3. Use the right tools to help you get your desired results with less time, money, and energy
Will VR be one of those tools? Most likely. But if you don’t have the right skills, it probably won’t matter.
Resources & References
Would you like some additional information on the impact VR will have on the dating game? Here are some additional sources and references:
1. Interesting talk by Phil Kauffold on TEDx on the power and excitement of VR and its future
2. NerdAlert’s panel discuss the pros and cons of VR dating based on their experiences
3. Patterns of communication channel use in the maintenance of long-distance relationships by Taylor & Francis