UPTOWN — With the Chicago dating scene coming back to life, a new Facebook community is trying to help women stay safe on first and second dates.
All the Single Ladies (Northside Chicago) is a place for women to talk about dating and share safety advice as they go out with new people, said Lora Duschene, the group’s creator and an Uptown resident.
The group is a spinoff of the Lakeview Uncensored Facebook community group, which had a singles page. That page went dark during the pandemic, as the dating scene mostly shut down during the crisis and the page lost its administrator.
But now that more people are venturing out, Duschene said she wanted to create a space for people getting back into dating and trying to stay safe. Duschene started Single in Chicago (Northside Edition) for people looking for other singles and All the Single Ladies for women who want community-centered dating advice.
The group allows women to discuss the trials and tribulations of dating, get feedback on unusual dating situations and use the “buddy system” to make sure group members are unharmed while going out with new dates.
“I’m all about dating safety,” Duschene said. “It’s smart to have a little community of people who know who you are and who are looking out for you.”
One big feature of the group is women posting when and where they are going on a date and when the date ends. Others know to check in on the person if they do not post they have returned safely. That’s already a common practice among women who are dating, but sometimes you don’t want to use friends or family in that manner, Duschene said.
“It can’t hurt to have people know where you are,” she said. “But sometimes you don’t want to tell your friends and family about every date you go on. You don’t want to have to answer their followup questions afterward.”
About three weeks after launch, more than 100 women have joined the group. The group caters to women living in or dating in the North Side lake-adjacent neighborhoods of Uptown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Uptown, Andersonville and Edgewater.
Not only are they keeping each other safe; group members also help each other navigate a post-pandemic dating scene that is not exactly like it was before.
For example, people wanting to date might feel differently about what they are comfortable doing or where they’re comfortable interacting since the pandemic has not subsided, Duschene said.
“As a single female in Chicago, I was searching for a place where I can get feedback and talk about the ups and downs of dating,” she said. “There’s a lot going on. It’s nice to have people that are going through the same thing.”
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