How Do You Even Start Dating Right Now?


Hi! I’m Zahra, SELF magazine’s executive editor and the host of our wellness advice podcast, Checking In. In this week’s episode, we’re talking about something very close to my heart as a former love-and-relationships writer: How exactly do you go about dating at this precise point in the pandemic?

Our listener question this week comes from Loree, who says this time of massive isolation has only emphasized how much she’d like to take her dating beyond just being digital. She’s also feeling like getting back to dating in person is finally a bit safer due to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. But she’s also understandably feeling pretty anxious about the newfound level of trust that’s involved in dating these days. Loree describes herself as very cautious when it comes to COVID-19 safety precautions. Beyond wondering how to navigate dating in general right now, she’s also questioning how to trust that potential partners are being careful enough for her comfort levels.

To give Loree some guidance, I first chat with Patia Braithwaite, SELF’s senior health editor. Patia covers a wide range of dating topics, along with really important personal growth themes like how to set boundaries and learn to trust yourself. Patia also calls herself a “professional single person at this point” and has some really excellent tips from that perspective (including one dating tip I thought was particularly genius, but you’ll have to listen to learn what it is!).

Then I chat with Traci Medeiros-Bagan, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California. Traci works to help clients feel like their “most whole” selves when it comes to, well, everything, but especially their relationships. Traci offers Loree some stellar tips on exploring the roots of her anxieties so she can push herself to get back out there without pushing too much. Traci also explains how to handle the fear of rejection that can be extremely real and persistent when you’re communicating about your boundaries to someone you might really like.



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