Dating and Relationship Advice

You’ve heard of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but get ready for 2021’s newest trend, FOMU: Fear Of Meeting Up! Thanks to the pandemic, FOMU is going to be the hottest thing to hit the dating scene since DMs.

But in all seriousness, FOMU is a real phenomenon. Singles have spent more than a year social distancing to keep themselves and their loved ones safe from disease. And it was hard. The constant fear and worry don’t just go away overnight—even though the world is starting to open back up and in-person dates are back on the table.

Whether you’re socially anxious about interacting IRL or are still concerned about Covid, just know you’re not alone! These tips are here to help you get through your FOMU:

1) Be Honest About How You’re Feeling

Just because you can go out on dates doesn’t mean you have to. Be honest with yourself and your date about how you’re feeling, and then move at your own pace. If you’re not ready to meet up in person, then don’t. Frankly, it’s been such a hard year that they might even feel the same way and will like you more for your honesty.

2) FaceTime is Your New BFF

FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom are still available even now that things are getting back to normal. Opt for a digital date until you’re ready to meet face to face.

3) Prepare for the Date

Taking to new people in person is going to feel strange for a while, and that’s okay. Ease your anxiety and soothe the strangeness by preparing for the date. You can think up a few conversation starters like: “What lockdown hobbies did you start?”, “What’s your favorite lockdown binge?” or “What’s the first trip you want to take when we can travel again?”

4) Choose an Activity

Just sitting on a bench or over a Starbucks table for a chat might be too overwhelming right now. Take some of the IRL pressure off the date by incorporating an activity like going for a walk, playing a game, or riding bikes.

5) List Some Positives

It’s so easy to stay in that negative space right now. Believe me, I get it. But there are a few good things to come out of Covid, at least when it comes to the dating scene. For example, not being able to meet up in person right away has caused online dating users to spend more time getting to know one another before things get physical, which leads to deeper connections. Not too shabby, right?

6) Keep Yourself Safe

Just because things are getting better doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods! So, keep yourself and your date safe by holding onto the tenants of Covid safety like washing your hands, wearing a mask, meeting outdoors or in well-ventilated areas, and getting tested.

7) Keep Checking In

How you’re feeling about meeting up in person might change from day to day, and so might your date’s. Keep checking in with one another throughout the process to make sure things are progressing at a rate that everyone is comfortable with. And just like sexual consent, you have the right to withdraw consent for meeting in person at any time. Take care of yourself!

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