And so again I’m staring into the abyss—and by that I mean my man-friend’s pixelated face buffering in the v-chat window.

For the past four years, my fella and I have been cohabiting happily with great romantic smooshiness and surprisingly little bickering. Unfortunately my work situation is drawing me to face-to-face meetings in North America, while my main squeeze has to stick around Africa for several months longer. My real life bliss is going to be reduced to two dimensions on a computer screen as we’re back to the purgatory of a long distance relationship (LDR) once again.

See, in the early days of our romance, my boyfriend and I were similarly parted. Skype was still a novelty back then and so we struggled with refining our webcam angles (beware the up-tilt double chin), ambient lighting (candles, anyone?), and close-up lens focus (which somehow seemed to improve by use in conjunction with glasses of wine). We, and the rest of the world, were still figuring it out.

At first, Skype made the LDR more bearable. But soon it made me want to thrust my rage-shaking hand through the damn computer monitor, shattering the screen and, with it, the taunting, delayed and digitized simulacrum of my boyfriend. Because I could see his face, even that inferior interpretation of his face, Skype almost made me miss him MORE than if I didn’t see him at all.

Then, thank Blog, we moved to the same city again. All was well with the world and I no longer had to contemplate the torture that was video chat.

But now, here I am again. Oh, Skype.

The good news is that in the few years since I left it, video dating has significantly evolved. Enough time and creativity and romantic attempts have gone through its magical virtual internet tubes to result in date ideas that aren’t just playing hide and seek with the webcam when one of you goes to take a pee or snorffle a bag of chips.

Maybe these new methods will be able to channel just enough of the spark of our chemistry that I won’t want to weep openly every time I sign in to my computer. Maybe?

I’ll admit it, I’m skeptical. Can any of these modern video chat approaches even remotely begin to fill the GAPING HOLE of my loneliness? There’s only one way to find out. And so, with a furrowed brow and a hopeful heart I hereby pass judgment on the new reality of web romance—Skype Dating 2.0.

You can reach this post’s author, Brianna Goldberg, on her website or on twitter