Welcome to Seattle Dating Scene, features readers’ thoughts and stories about what it’s like to date in Seattle.

For our next feature, follow this promptHave an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.

By Thursday, Jan. 28, please email your submissions to: dating@seattletimes.com, or submit them via Instagram direct message to @dating_in_seattle, and they may be printed in a future edition of The Mix.

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Ask Marina

Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t! 

Dear Marina,

How do you go about establishing COVID boundaries during the first couple of dates? The first date was good, starting/ending in hugs. How can you respect boundaries without ruining momentum?

Sincerely, Masked Moves

Dear Masked Moves,

Boundaries are always important while dating. And now, amid the pandemic, they’re even more important. Being transparent is the best way to go about it. Get things out in the open and start the conversation early, so there’s no beating around the bush. It’s much easier to set your boundaries before meeting up in person, so make sure to mention what you are comfortable with — and be specific! Ultimately, this is your health and your decision.

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If you want your date to be masked and outside then say that outright. And don’t forget to mention if you prefer to stay 6 feet apart for the first date, or if you are OK with getting closer.

These are challenging times, and it can feel awkward to mention things before you’re in the moment. But remember that you can always change your mind. If you are feeling uncomfortable on the date and you decide you would actually prefer to stay 6 feet apart, then let them know. Be confident with your decisions and know boundaries are not negotiations. You make the call and stick with your decision.

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Dear Marina,

At what point or age do I give up dating and have a family solo?

Sincerely, Finding My Future Family

Dear Finding My Future Family,

I would first like to commend you for wanting to have a child on your own. It takes indefinite commitment to raise a child, and doing it solo is extremely admirable. The question on when you “give up” is entirely up to you, based on your wants and needs. Weighing the pros and cons of starting a family on your own, now or not, is ultimately your choice, and only yours. However, just because you make the choice to pursue having a child on your own doesn’t mean you need to stop dating. Your partner may be just down the road. In fact, it may end up being easier, and take some of the pressure off dating once you make the call. Having a decision made can alleviate the feeling of needing to rush things with a potential partner because you hear the biological clock ticking in the back of your head.

Recognize that relationships are not solely about procreating, but about having a partnership with someone who shares your values, makes you feel safe, loves and respects you.

If you are looking to start a family on your own, here are some resources for future single parents: CreatingFamilies.com, ChoiceMoms.org, MenHavingBabies.org, SingleMothersByChoice.org

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Dear Marina,

What’s the deal with the entire “Seattle Freeze” thing? COVID aside, it seems like people in Seattle are known for not being friendly. How do you beat it and find friends?

Sincerely, Frostbite in Seattle

Dear Frostbite in Seattle,

My opinion on the Seattle Freeze is controversial, because I believe it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. People say that natives to Seattle are unfriendly and unwelcoming, while others think that the transplants and influx of tech workers make it a cold and unsocial place.

I think that the more we talk about the Seattle Freeze, the more it appears to be true. The amount of people in this city — the organizations, clubs, schools and companies based here — make it hard for me to believe this is a real dilemma. I truly don’t think there’s a type of person to blame for the city feeling like it’s giving you the cold shoulder as a newcomer. My personal experience in Seattle is that you get out what you put in: If you consistently search for friends, relationships and community, you will find yours, just like in any other city.

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Here’s the monthly “Seattle Dating Scene” lineup:

  • First week: “Dating Question of the Month” — Readers respond to a dating-related question we’ve posed.
  • Second week: “Happy Anniversary, Tell Us Your Story” — Have an anniversary coming up this month? In under 500 words, tell us how you met your significant other, and send in your story and a photo.
  • Third week: “Best Date/Worst Date” — In under 250 words, tell us an anecdote from the best or worst date you’ve been on.
  • Fourth week: “Ask Marina” — Marina Resto, who runs the lively @Dating_in_Seattle Instagram account, answers reader questions about dating — or finds a special guest to answer the ones she can’t!
Seattle Dating Scene

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