What Exactly Is Metaverse Dating?

It's 2022, and we're in the metaverse. Or near the metaverse? Or is the metaverse coming for us? Or, more appropriately, WTF is the metaverse? Naturally, the word "meta," having existed before Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook and Instagram with the term, means to be aware, or at least have an understanding of oneself (via Merriam-Webster). But once you throw "verse" in there, things can get muddy. Are we talking "verse" as in poetry or music? Or "verse" as in "universe?"


"The metaverse is a 3D version of the Internet and computing at large," venture capitalist and angel investor Matthew Ball tells VICE. "When these two technologies (internet and computing) first emerged, all interactions were primarily text-based (emails, messages, usernames, email addresses). Then they slowly became more media-based (photos, videos, livestreams). The next elevation of user interface and user experience is into 3D. Secondly, if we think of [a] mobile [phone] as placing a computer in our pocket and the internet being available at all times, think of the metaverse as always being within a computer and inside the internet."

So, it's real, but not real. It's sort of like a video game, but not really, because it's bigger and more vast, which for those of us who have a hard time with such concepts, it's basically best to call it cyberspace. Huh. If that's the case, then how does one date in the metaverse? 


What's a metaverse date?

While the "real" world has dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, the metaverse has its own dating apps — Nevermet, for example, is one of the most popular ones (via Forbes). To date in the metaverse, you only need a pair of VR (virtual reality) goggles and an avatar — yes, you have an avatar as you can't physically leap into the metaverse on your own — and a person who wants to go on a date with you. But on a date with you where the physical ceases to exist.


"To me, the metaverse is simply another platform for people to connect with one another across the world," licensed marriage and family therapist Omar Ruiz, LMFT, tells Well + Good. "The idea of connecting with others ... through the use of an online platform existed prior to the metaverse."

And it's true. You can meet people from anywhere and everywhere, have a metaverse date or two, and then have a whole relationship — that is, if you're cool with not having the physical intimacy that comes with dating in person. Some people can do this, while others can't. In fact, for some, no physical touch or cuddles sounds perfect.

Why you might consider metaverse dating

Our world is built very much on how we perceive people from the outside, but dating in the metaverse offers an alternative to that. You personalize your avatar to be whoever you want to be. Because of this, you and the person you're dating in the metaverse get to know each other in a way that you can't in real life. 


"The main [goal] of the metaverse [dating] platforms is to create a practical environment where all users feel safe and at ease," experts from Dovey Dates, a VR dating platform, tell PureWow. "In the near future, dating apps will compete to create wholesome experiences [that go beyond] the usual 'look, rate, and swipe' approach of present online dating."

Although you can still have a bad date, all you have to do to end it is just take the VR goggles off, then go on with your day. But for those who take metaverse dating very seriously, they let enough time pass and then try again — just like anyone else would do in the real world. For these people, there's hope that whatever chemistry they find with someone in cyberspace will exist IRL should they ever meet up. For others, there's the belief that "one day virtual reality will be so immersive that more and more relationships will flourish online," Nevermet's CEO Cam Mullen tells The New York Times.


Of course, metaverse dating isn't for everyone, but for a long time, neither was dating via dating apps. There's no telling what technology will bring our way, and maybe, just maybe, falling in love in a virtual existence far, far away is what the future holds for us all.