Tempted to try your luck in the Metaverse? Sonia Samtani offers tips for modern lads looking for love in virtual reality.
Dating in the Metaverse seems to be a natural progression to online dating. We’re now buying homes and hanging artwork in virtual reality, so why not date? There even are dating apps such as Nevermet specifically for the Metaverse.
For many people who are over 30, the first thing to do is wrap our heads around what exactly dating in the Metaverse looks like. In a nutshell, we will be entering a three-dimensional universe via VR headsets and gloves, where we can take on digital avatars to engage with each other, and be in any chosen landscape, from an enchanted forest to a secluded beach. Much of this is exciting as the possibilities are endless, and our dating pool is truly global, which is great during the pandemic era. This will appeal to men that are into gadgets but also offer a safer space for men that are shy to be seen, with the caveat that they do not lose touch with physical reality. Here are a few things to consider:
Non-Verbal Communication is Key
Many studies have shown that 93% of communication is non-verbal. The VR experience gives you the opportunity to receive non-verbal messages from your dates through this multi-sensory experience where you can see their body language and expressions, and even ‘feel’ their touch with a virtual glove. It mimics physical dating much more than the 2D online dating of today. We can initiate touch, grab your partner’s hand and buy them a drink as we would do naturally. This can expedite the results of online dating by allowing you to filter out what doesn’t work and move closer to what does.
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Physical Safety When Going on the Initial “Blind Date”
A Metaverse date can be a ‘safer’ option than a physical blind date. It avoids the risk of meeting people who you could feel threatened by, and if you sense a case of ‘crazy eyes’, it also makes saying no and getting out of Dodge easier as you are at a distance.
Avatars can be Created to Give a Perfect Body Image
Wearing an avatar still means wearing a mask, and it can prevent people from putting their true selves forward. You can imagine a person in their sweatpants and greasy hair sprawled on the couch, while it looks like they’re in a sexy bikini lying in an enchanted forest. There is a greater chance for catfishing, and you don’t really know what you’re getting. It will come as close as it gets to being intimate with someone with a perfect body (if that’s what you want).
However, you may set impossible standards where physical experiences fall short. If it is so easy to have the most beautiful sunset, perfect bodies, afford the best clothes, you will find it even harder to accept the fundamental truths of who you are and embrace the shadows.
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A Very Real Risk of Tech Dependency and Losing Your Sense of Reality
There is a risk of getting so caught up in VR that you lose sense of physical reality and become less grounded and functional. You may start believing that you are in that environment, or that your avatar is your body, or expect the person to look like their avatar. The more time you spend there with a full sensory experience, the more you will need to ground back into your actual physical body to make up for it!
If you are already spending most of your waking hours using technology, this can increase the very real possibility of technology burnout.
As with anything there are two sides, and we just need to know how to introduce “meta-dating” into our lives in a way where we reap the benefits and reduce the risks.
Here are some tips:
Understand What You Want to Get From the Metaverse Dating Experience
It is important to understand your purpose for being in the Metaverse and what you are looking for. Keep things real by choosing an avatar that is as close to who you are as possible (not a fantasy). It is easy to choose from a wide range of avatars and be tempted to choose “Superman” or a hotdog. Whichever avatar you decide on, make sure there is still a sense of “you” so you can remain authentic.
Remain Grounded IRL (In Real Life)
Whilst dating in the Metaverse, it is still essential that for a “real” relationship to take place, you need to make sure you have conversations about the physical reality and feelings (instead of focusing on talking about the virtual landscape or your avatars) Remember why you are there; if what you want is a ‘real’ relationship in the physical world then keep in mind that this needs to eventually transition to physical reality.
To help with this, do not rely on interactions exclusively in the Metaverse; mix up the means of communication so it is not such a shock. Have it all: the 3D Virtual experience, the 2D video calls, normal video calls with no background, and keep chatting until you can meet physically. It may sound silly, yet we all need reality-checks. Before your VR date, look in the mirror, connect to yourself by having a good look at your physical body and acknowledge simple truths about who you are. Mentally say your name, your age, your profession and your intention to yourself.
Remember, it is easy to isolate and remain in the virtual world. Balance your day by doing outdoor physical activities and see the beauty of your physical surroundings.
The Metaverse is not just a concept, it is very much real and here to stay, so embrace it and have it add to your real-life experience instead of replacing it. Just remember to create a hybrid experience of virtual and physical reality so you can appreciate the best of both.
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