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Dating during a pandemic sucks. Dating was the furthest thing from my mind, but now that it appears as though things aren’t going to change, I’ve turned my thoughts to finding Mr. Right again. Is that even possible? How can someone date safely during the COVID age?
Let Me Know,
Desperately Seeking Someone (Anyone!)
The recipe for dating can be confusing and aggravating as is. Mix in COVID-related stress, and many Cream City singles aren’t sure what to feel or where to begin. In other words, you’re not alone, sugar!
Start by taking a serious look at your desire to date. In this era of social distancing, is meeting up with a stranger really what you want? Consider your emotional state right now. If you’re feeling lonely or depressed, dating isn’t necessarily the cure. Seek out connections with your current social group or contact a therapist.
If you’re still ready to meet someone new, create a dating strategy for yourself. Think about what sort of date you’d be comfortable with. For instance, decide that you’ll only visit restaurants with outdoor options. Determining what your dates “look like” will help you single out people who feel the same about dating in today’s environment.
Ready, Set, Date
When you’re ready to start swiping left and right again, get to know your new paramour via a series of phone calls and FaceTiming. Not only will this keep everyone healthy, but regularly scheduled “phone dates” help ensure that the person on the other end of the line is one you feel comfortable meeting in person.
When you both decide you’re ready for face-to-face time, stick to the dating strategy you created early on (only meeting in large, open-air areas, for instance). Stick to your comfort level. This is not a time to compromise. You should also keep dates between the two of you. There’ll be plenty of time to meet one another’s friends and family later.
Speaking of focusing on one another, let’s talk about physical contact. As attraction builds, it’s going to be hard to keep your hands off each other. If and when things heat up, have an honest discussion with your new partner about holding hands, hugging and kissing. I don’t have to tell you that these signs of affection carry additional COVID risks, so talk about them openly with one another.
This is not the time for a one-nighter with a stranger! It’s impossible to social distance when you’re bumping nasties in a waterbed. (Not that I’m speaking from experience, mind you.) Sex in the age of COVID is a magazine article all its own, but I suggest avoiding the sheets until you feel you know and trust this person. When you’re both ready to take things to the next level, discuss how you feel about sex in the age of COVID. In the meantime, stay safe, take care and make good decisions!
Ruthie’s Social Calendar
October 9—Big Night Out Virtual Gala and Auction (hosted by Milwaukee LGBT Community Center): This annual event has gone digital! Tune into the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center’s Facebook or YouTube Live event and celebrate National Coming Out Day like never before. I’m so excited to host this 6-9 p.m. evening that celebrates our history while raising money for the center. Enjoy local entertainers, speakers, auction items and so much more.
October 16—Milwaukee Ghost Walks: The Bloody Third Ward (at various locations): See the popular Third Ward area in a whole new light with a 90-minute outdoor walking tour. Discover the area’s haunted history, learn about its paranormal activity and understand the circumstances behind its macabre moniker, The Bloody Third Ward. Tours start at 7:30 p.m. and run throughout October. (Masks are required.) See americanghostwalks.com for more, including $25 tickets.
October 24—Organized Grime with Nina Flowers at LaCage Niteclub (801 S. Second St.): Get ready to party your ass off with this 9 p.m. bash. RuPaul darling Nina Flowers hosts the night of club-kid extravaganza with special appearances by “Drag Race” friends Dida Ritz and Monica Beverly Hillz. They’ll share the spotlight with porn stars, go-go boys, guest DJs and others. Nab your tickets at organizedpride.com.
October 29—Rocky Horror Trixie Show at This Is It! (418 E. Wells St.): Milwaukee’s longest running gay bar adds a few stars to the October skies with a visit from local girl gone big, Trixie Mattel! Join Trixie with a bevy of local beauties for a 10 p.m. show, costume contest, drink specials and more. The show is free but nab tickets for Trixie’s meet and greet via the This Is It! Facebook page.
October 30—‘Ruthie’s Halloween Hell House’ at Hamburger Mary’s (730 S. Fifth St.): Go to hell… with me! Let’s celebrate Halloween with my two Dining with the Divas shows (7 p.m. and 9 p.m.). I have a few spooky surprises up my sleeve, so grab your ghoul friends and let’s usher in the bewitching hour. Just be sure to save your table via www.hamburgermarys.com/mke. Let’s eat, drink and be scary!
Have a question for Ruthie? Want to share an event with her? Contact Ruthie at DearRuthie@ShepEx.com.
To read more Dear Ruthie columns, click here.
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