I’m A Date-Ochondriac. Here’s What That Means

I’m not just nervous on a first date — my mind thinks up the worst-case scenario and tortures me with it to the point that I can’t relax and enjoy myself like I should be able to. It’s a serious problem. Here’s what it’s like to be a date-ochondriac.

  1. What’s a date-ochondriac? It’s basically someone who worries that something will go wrong in my dating experiences and relationships. In the same way that a hypochondriac will notice the most subtle health symptoms and worry that they’ve got a serious illness, I’ll worry that my boyfriend is gonna dump me or first dates will be the biggest disasters.
  2. I exaggerate red flags. The problem with being so obsessed when dating is that it can make you see warning signs that just aren’t there. Here’s an example: I once went on a date with a guy who said he lived with his parents and I immediately panicked that he was an immature man-child. I never went out with him again, which is harsh, I know. It also leads to the next point.
  3. I miss out on opportunities. Jumping to conclusions because I’m so afraid of dating the wrong person also means that I can miss out on some awesome people, like the guy in the previous example. I only discovered later, through mutual friends of ours, that he was living with his parents because his mom was sick and he was taking care of her. What an awesome thing to do. See, I would’ve known that if I hadn’t jumped the gun.
  4. I don’t enjoy myself. You know how they always say you have to make dating fun? It’s true, but I totally miss out on that part of dating because of how much I stress and worry. So, instead of enjoying the butterflies before a first date, I’m a total wreck, expecting the guy to be a serial killer or something.
  5. I wait for the other shoe to drop. If I meet a guy and he exceeds all my expectations, instead of being happy, I’m nervous and waiting for him to reveal his true colors. I’m sort of like the hypochondriac who goes to the doctor, gets the all-clear on their health but then still thinks there’s something wrong with them.
  6. I’m skeptical of healthy relationships. Am I the only one? When my friends tell me of the amazing guys they’ve met and have started dating, I try to be supportive but I can’t help but think that they’ll end up with their hearts smashed on the bedroom floor. Jaded? Who, me? 
  7. I create my own misery. In the same way that a hypochondriac can believe that they’re sick, I believe that my relationships will catch fire and go up in smoke. What happens is a self-fulfilling prophecy where my fear actually makes it happen, not because the guys I was dating were assholes undercover, but because I pushed them away!
  8. Confession time. Okay, so you’re probably seeing a picture forming here. I’ve got trust issues when it comes to relationships and these come out to the max when I start dating someone new. They’re the reason why I’m so afraid to date. I’ve been hurt so many times that I worry it will happen again.
  9. I send out weird vibes. In the past when I’ve been so anxious about dating, not only have I not been able to enjoy the process but I’ve also sent out those anxious vibes to the person I was with. It was no surprise, then, that they’d be put off and leave me. I mean, who wants to date a walking rain cloud who keeps thinking they’re going to turn into jerks overnight?
  10. I get stressed about finding someone. So, after having been single for about four years, it kills me to think that I’ll be alone forever. This pressure to find someone can push away my trust issues and make me want to get out there and find my person… but then my trust issues hold me back, so I’m in a weird cycle.
  11. I need to work through my issues. I can’t go through life waiting for bad things to happen to me. It’s a crappy way to live, so a dating sabbatical is in order to help me figure out where I’m at and pack away those trust issues for good. At the moment, I’m my own worst enemy!


Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.