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

I removed myself from the dating scene two years ago, mainly because of a disastrous previous relationship and also to concentrate solely on myself. But now that I'm prepared to jump back in after taking care of my personal matters, I'm filled with dread.

1. Is dating even the same?

Although it's only been two years, the world moves quickly, and I'm unsure if the dating scene now resembles the one I left. What if it's completely different? I'm at a loss for what to do.

2. STDs are real and they are scary

Dating almost always leads to sex eventually, and while I enjoy it, I'm mindful of the risks and responsibilities that come with it. Apart from my fear of getting pregnant, I also have a significant and rational fear of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. While I understand that condoms can prevent their spread, I value my vaginal health and recognize that no method of protection is entirely foolproof.

3. It takes me a really long time to open up to someone

A guy won't learn much about me on a first date. Although I'll attempt to reveal as much as I can, I've been hurt in the past, and as a result, I'm not very open with people. It would require at least five dates for someone to see my authentic self, and I'm not certain if my guarded demeanor will even last that long with someone who can't understand me.

4. Does Netflix and chill even count as a date?

While I enjoy binge-watching popular TV shows and spending time with others, I'm uncertain if those activities qualify as dates. I'm concerned that guys may use these activities as an excuse to invite me over to their place with the intention of sleeping with me, without really being interested in getting to know me as a person. If I knew the answer to this question, I might be more willing to consider casual dating.

5. Getting to know someone new is terrifying

Listening to someone's stories for the first time can be thrilling, but it can also be painfully dull depending on how the date goes. The prospect of sitting through a conversation with a stranger who talks endlessly about their financial job is enough to keep me at home, alone, for the foreseeable future.

6. Online dating is so not me but it's how people date nowadays

I might have missed the memo about online dating becoming the most popular way to meet people, but I'm hesitant about joining all the apps and websites. While it's true that you can connect with many people simultaneously, I prefer a quality-over-quantity approach.

7. What if my Tinder match is actually Norman Bates?

If I do decide to sign up for a dating site, the attractive man I match with could potentially be a serial killer. It's not a high probability, but it's not impossible either. One can never be too sure, and the last thing I want is to become a cautionary tale for women who use dating apps.

8. My ability to fake interest is terrible

No matter how hard I try, I can't pretend to be interested in someone's life if I'm not genuinely engaged. My authentic nature is hard to conceal, so if I'm not enjoying myself on a date, the other person will pick up on it. While I value politeness, my desire for authenticity always takes precedence.

9. I'm terrible at lying

If I choose to make an excuse to leave the date early, he'll probably realize I'm lying, which can be insulting. There's no getting around it.

10. Not remembering how to date could make it a real challenge

I feel clueless about dating. I know it shouldn't be complicated, but after two years without any dating experience, I'm afraid I've forgotten everything. Should he pick me up or should we meet at the venue? Does it make a difference? Are there any topics that are off-limits? I need help.

11. I don't like wasting time

I've already spent too much time in unsatisfying relationships and on disappointing dates, and I don't want to waste anymore. My time is valuable.

12. Dating leads to relationships, and that's a whole other level of fear

I've reached a point in my life where if I start dating and it goes well, it will likely lead to a relationship that could end in either heartbreak or marriage. There's no middle ground, and both possibilities terrify me.