Hello. I got out of a really bad on and off relationship and dealing with physical/psychological abuse from fights to extortion and I have been in counseling and have taken "all the right steps" and I have went from a place of darkness to being able to actually end it and live again... but I am having a hard time putting myself out there or meeting new people or even entertaining the thought of trying to find love. I feel like I am ready but with this current state of the world..everything being closed...Is it even possible to meet somebody in person? Do I pretty much have to wait for the pandemic to be over?
I am wondering if anybody has any suggestions on building relationships in this current state of the world without using dating websites? I'm not out.. or maybe even at least ways to meet new people while following basic lockdown rules! (6 feet and masks)
Thanks for your post and welcome to the OutLife forums!
Being single during the pandemic has been so tough for people. I'm not in the exact same position as I'm out, but as a single gay man, I know how hard it is to meet people, especially given the current restrictions. So many of the ways LGBTQ+ people connect have been cut off due to the lockdowns, and dates in winter with a 2m distancing rule aren't exactly what most of us have in mind for a first encounter!
That said, the lockdowns don't rule out building relationships during the pandemic. Dating websites aren't the only way to connect with other LGBTQ+ people, there are also a lot of online social events happening, and some of the closed ones can provide more privacy for someone who isn't out. It's worth looking around on Meetup and such websites to see what might suit you. Lots of the LGBTQ+ charities in the UK are also running online socials (London Friend and Birmingham LGBT to name a couple). We'll have a fact sheet about this coming out tomorrow that I'll post here. I know they're not dating specific, but they might allow you to dip your toe in the LGBTQ+ scene a little.
Given the current state of the pandemic in the UK, and government guidelines around meeting other people (only 2 people, strictly outdoors for exercise), I think it's also worth thinking about how you can focus on self care over the coming couple of months. Keeping ourselves mentally healthy is vital as we begin this next stretch of lockdown, and hopefully, with vaccines being distributed, we can look forward to an easing of restrictions in March / April. It sounds like you've had a really positive step forward with counselling and your mental health, and it could be great to capitalise on those gains during this quiet time when we can focus on ourselves. Only you know what might work best for you.
I hope that you find some of the above helpful. I know it's probably not exactly the answer you wanted, but I hope that it brings you comfort that you're not alone in this, and if you need support, places like the forums are here for you to talk and tell us how you're feeling. Please do let us know how you're getting along!