I Haven’t Been On A Date In 2 Years & Now I’m Scared AF To Go On One

I took myself off the dating scene quite some time ago — two years to be exact. The decision was partly due to an epically bad prior relationship and partly because I wanted to focus on myself and only myself. Now that I’m actually ready to get back into the saddle after handling my business, I’m terrified.

  1. Is dating even the same? I know it’s only been two years, but things change fast in this world of ours. I’m not sure if the kind of dates I went on before I took a break are anything like the kind of dates happening now. What if it’s not? What the hell will I do?
  2. STDs are real and they are scary. Dating will lead to sex eventually— that’s pretty much inevitable. I love sex, but I’m also aware of how much risk and responsibility comes with having it. Aside from my fear of getting knocked up is also my huge, rational fear of STDs. I know condoms stop the spread, but I also know that no method of protection is 100% safe and I like my healthy vagina.
  3. It takes me a really long time to open up to someone. A first date won’t tell a guy anything about me. I’ll be trying to share as much as possible, but after being hurt so much, I don’t let people in very easily. It’d take at least five dates for a guy to see the real me and I’m not sure the guarded me will even make it that far with a guy who’s unable to read me.
  4. Does Netflix and chill even count as a date? Don’t get me wrong, I love binging hit shows and hanging out. I would love to count that as a date, but does he, or is that just a way guys get you to their house to try and sleep with you when they’re not really interested in you as a person? If that question were answered for me, I may be more open to some casual dating.
  5. Getting to know someone new is terrifying. Hearing someone’s stories for the first time can be really exciting, but it can also be the most boring experience in the world. It’s all about how it goes on that date. The risk of having to sit there and listen to some guy I don’t know talk about his work in stocks is enough to have me staying in alone for the foreseeable future.
  6. Online dating is so not me but it’s how people date nowadays. I must have missed the point when online dating became the best way to meet people, but I’m not quite sure I can get on board with all the apps and sites. Sure, you can meet a lot of people all at once, but I’m more of a quality over quantity kind of girl.
  7. What if my Tinder match is actually Norman Bates? If I do take the plunge and sign up for a dating site, the hot guy I matched with could very well be a serial killer. It’s not likely, but it’s not entirely off the table. You never know, and I really don’t want to wind up some real life warning for women who frequent dating apps.
  8. My ability to fake interest is terrible. I cannot fake interest in someone’s life no matter how hard I try. My genuine nature is so hard to shake, so if I’m not having a good time on that date, he’s going to know it. My need for being polite is always overruled by my need to be authentic.
  9. I’m terrible at lying. If I do decide to emergency call my ass out of there, he’s going to know I’m lying. There’s no doubt about it, and that’s just seriously insulting.
  10. Not remembering how to date could make it a real challenge. I haven’t the faintest idea on how to date. It shouldn’t be hard, I know that, but after going two years without dating at all, I’m afraid I’ve forgotten. Does he pick me up or do we meet there? Does it matter? Are any conversation topics off limits? Help!
  11. I don’t like wasting time. I’ve wasted a lot of time in bad relationships and on crappy dates, and I really just don’t want to waste any more. My time is precious.
  12. Dating leads to relationships, and that’s a whole other level of fear. I’m at a certain point in my life where if I do date and it goes well it will lead to a relationship, which will then lead to either a breakup and a broken heart or a ring and a marriage. There really is no in between, and both options scare the hell out of me.
Angelica Bottaro is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist based out of Toronto. She is an avid reader and music lover and enjoys getting lost in the written word and meaningful melodies.