After a year of either not dating, or exclusively virtual dating, a lot of singles are not exactly excited to get back out there and date in real life again, and now there’s a new term for that.
According to recent reports, more and more singles are experiencing what’s being called FODA – fear of dating again. In fact, according to dating site Hinge, 44% of singles have a phobia when it comes to getting back out there. The report notes, “This is the biggest (new) trend we’ve seen among daters.”
And other dating apps seem to agree, with a Match survey finding that 38% of singles are “nervous about their social skills when it comes to dating again in real life.” “The wheels are rusty,” Rachel DeAlto, chief dating expert for Match, tells the "New York Post." “Anytime that you don’t feel like you are in practice of something, there is anxiousness around it. I think there’s a lot of people expressing that concern of ‘I forget how to do this.'”
And the fact that the pandemic isn’t completely over plays a role in dating fears as well. “There’s definitely a safety of not having to put yourself out there,” says DeAlto.
So, what should folks do if they have FODA? DeAlto suggests taking “baby steps,” like doing short activities for first dates, like a walk outdoors. "It’s going to feel very natural again,” DeAlto said. “Once you’re back out there, very quickly, any feeling of ‘This is how we connect, this is how we build relationships’ will come back.”