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Host Anna Sale and the logos for Death, Sex & Money and WNYC Studios, all on a beige background.

Our episode this week is all about dating during this hard, strange time, and how the pandemic messes with the rituals and rhythms of getting to know someone.

Now, I haven’t been on the romantic market myself, but I have been on a hunt of sorts for new friends, particularly as I've really struggled with loneliness in late-stage pandemic time. That’s how I got to know the writer Kelly Corrigan, who like me, is based in the Bay Area. It started with a cold email from me, saying “I like your work!” That led to a masked walk-and-talk. And then another. We talked about podcasting—she launched her show Kelly Corrigan Wonders last fall—and we talked about writing and publishing, which I definitely needed to talk about after a long, isolating slog of working on a book. (It’s finally done! It’s called Let’s Talk About Hard Things and comes out in May.)

Our walks reminded me how nice it is to have someone to talk about work and family with who’s been through it, but is now at a slightly different vantage point. Kelly told me about how when her first book The Middle Place was coming out, the writer Anna Quindlen had been her mentor and guide.

And then, Kelly had the idea that the three of us could have some three-way dates, over Zoom. We did, and it turned into a five-episode podcast series on the Kelly Corrigan Wonders podcast. We each shared excerpts from our writing—including some from my new book, which I’m reading publicly for the first time—and talked about where we are in family life right now: me, with little kids, Kelly with a teenager and a college student, and Anna Quindlen with grown children and grandkids my kids' age. The episodes are organized around a big theme—the first one, new this week, is Misunderstandings—but what I most remember about our conversations is how I felt after: hungover from laughing and a little crying, and rejuvenated by the perspective I got from comparing notes with them.

The episodes will be released every Tuesday this month. Next time you have a date by yourself, take us along with you.

—Anna and the Death, Sex & Money team
This Week on Death, Sex & Money
Two masked women share a kiss. The woman on the left has reddish hair, a pink mask, and a pink short sleeve top on. Her nails are red and her hands are on the other woman's back. The other woman holds her neck, has short, dark brown hair, and is wearing a cheetah print mask and a blue and yellow color blocked long sleeve shirt. They are standing in front a pink, orange, and black grate.
Recently, I asked those of you who are single and looking for a relationship to tell us how dating has been going for you during COVID. You told us about messed up momentum, lots of new rules, wrenches thrown into your plans, and a lot of frustration and longing. "I feel a sense of cautious desperation," one listener told us, while another added, "There's no spontaneous kissing. There's none of that sparks flying situation." So today, we're airing your grievances about dating right now—and following it up with a pep talk.

I called up Logan Ury, director of relationship science for the app Hinge, and author of the new book, How To Not Die Alone, who actually thinks now is a great time to date. "Love is this natural thing, but dating is not, and dating is a skill," she said. "Like anything else, dating is something that you can actually learn about, get better at, and improve." Hear more in your podcast feeds now.
Your Stories: An Update from Miracle
As we put together this week's episode, we thought back to our Hot Dates series. Back in the summer of 2018, we followed the dating exploits of six singles looking for love, including Miracle, who was living in Alabama. Instead of using dating apps, she was mostly meeting people at her church. We checked in, and here's how things are going for her now:
"It has been quite the year. I changed careers, I have been providing a home to my elderly parents since February of last year, and I have been drowning in the demands of graduate school. My dating life... probably on an equal playing field to the atrocity that was 2020 (hahaI think). I was dating a guy I met off Bumble for a little over a year and the first six months were blissful. Shortly after that it devolved into a Lifetime Original. If you are doing a series on red flags, I could be your poster child."
Craving more dating stories? If you missed it, our Hot Dates series is worth going back and digging up. Hear more from Miracle and the rest of our daters here.

Listen to This: Audio We Love

You might not think a story about potholes would be very interesting. But in Puerto Rico, potholes are part of “la brega"—one of many big, unsolved problems that people have taken to dealing with in various inventive ways. Potholes (called “hoyos” in Puerto Rico) are at the center of the first episode of a new podcast from WNYC and Futuro Studios called, yes, La Bregaa seven-part series of stories about the challenges of life in Puerto Rico, told by Puerto Ricans themselves. Each episode is available in English and Spanish.

Our friends at The Experiment, a new podcast from WNYC and The Atlantic, put out a beautiful episode about skilled nurses who are on the frontlines of frontline workers. Many of these nurses emigrated from the Philippines, and they are now dying from COVID-19 at disproportionately high rates. Reporters Tracie Hunte and Gabrielle Berbey give us a vivid tale of how so many Filipina healthcare workers came to the United States to begin with, and ask why so many of these nurses are dying in the pandemic.
"I first discovered DSM while living in Anchorage, Alaska, working as a palliative care specialist. My patients were all facing a life-limiting illness. I love the real and honest stories/discussions. Thanks."
—Lindsay, Washington

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