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VR and dating

Virtual reality (VR) has the capacity to transform so many aspects of our lives, from the social to the professional.

But surely there are some areas that will always need to remain face-to-face and rooted in the real world. Something like VR dating would never work…would it?

Despite the inherently personal nature of dating, this, too, is something that VR can change forever. And we’re not just talking about probabilities: the platforms are already here.

What is VR dating?
VR dating is dating that exists purely in a virtual setting through the internet (or, perhaps more specifically, the metaverse). Given that VR exists solely in the users’ displays, this means dating that isn’t rooted in a physical location or real-world setting. As such, it usually boils down to real people interacting through virtual avatars that may or may not represent how they look in the real world.

Interacting through avatars isn’t a new concept, and those who frequent online environments like MMORPGs and virtual reality-based games like VRChat probably wouldn’t think twice about such an idea. Plenty of people have got married after meeting through World of Warcraft, and many more still have met partners, spouses, and best friends incidentally while playing these huge collaborative games.

The notion of using a similar environment specifically for dating, however, is the niche that several apps have aimed to fill.

VR dating platforms may prefer to keep their virtual environments free of any images of their actual users, and ban the use of profile photos in favour of keeping everything based on personalised avatars.

Functionally, the concept is the same as using any other dating app; users specify the basics of who they are, like age and gender, and what it is they’re seeking in a partner.

Where can I date in VR?
As mentioned earlier, there are already apps up, running, and populated that centre on making connections and dating through VR-based interaction.

One of these platforms is Nevermet, which takes its name from the label often lent to people who maintain online relationships despite having never met face-to-face. This could be due to distance and time constraints, and often extends to any form of ‘meeting’—even through video calls.

Nevermet is one platform that does elect to ban profile pictures of their users real selves, instead keeping everything focused on the online avatars. Other aspects such as voice chat are allowed, and are all left up to user preference. People can put as much or as little of their ‘real selves’ into the experience as they like.

Another VR dating platform, Flirtual, aims to achieve the same goals; give people a place to meet, socialise, and grow closer with each other through an entirely virtual experience. Flirtual was actually founded on the idea that people were happening to meet and date on platforms such as VRChat, but didn’t have a dedicated place that nurtured that concept. The site states that it has already helped to make tens of thousands of connections between users, so its ethos has proven itself thus far.

Upcoming VR dating platform Planet Theta makes its intentions clear in every way, set to launch on Valentine’s Day 2023. Like other platforms in the growing niche, it offers a variety of virtual locations for couples to visit, like landscapes where they can enjoy the scenery or places like bars and apartments to socialise and hang out.

For those with the right hardware for VR, there are already several places to date and meet new people without leaving the comfort of home.

Why date in VR?
There are several reasons that people might turn to VR dating in lieu of the traditional way.

It may be a matter of convenience and access, in that there’s no need to leave your home when using virtual reality to ‘go’ somewhere. This means that people can enter a date looking their best without having to change out of their pyjamas, but it also means that people who struggle to get out of the house for any reason can still socialise and enjoy something nice with another human being.

People who struggle with social anxieties can also make the most of VR dating and take some of the pressure off being ‘present’. Even if the VR experience is immersive, the user is safe in the knowledge that they’re in their own home, in a safe, controlled, and private environment that they can escape to whenever they wish. They can simply turn off the app and remove the headset whenever necessary.

Finally, VR dating greatly widens the dating pool for people who have not—or cannot—meet anybody in their local area. You could go on a date with theoretically anybody using VR, giving you the chance to find love quite literally anywhere.

ST Engineering Antycip are experts are virtual rearlity solutions, and when it comes to our wide range of partners and powerful simulation solutions, we wear our hearts on our sleeves.

To find out more about the amazing work we’ve done to put businesses, universities, and countless others in touch with simulation, contact us today.


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