dating

"I haven't been on a date in almost two years, and now I'm afraid to put myself out there."

I don’t know about you but I found dating intimidating before lockdown, and now we are out of lockdown I don’t even know where to start. 

I have always loved a good flirt, and I used to be great at flirting, but even before I spent almost two years alone I wasn’t really keen on the whole dating idea - and now, now I’d much prefer to stay home with my cat. 

But why? Am I some stereotypical crazy cat lady, or is there more to it?

Watch: The horoscopes, dating. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia.

Far from being basic, allow me to explain why there’s a lot more to it and hopefully, you can tell me that I’m not alone. 

I’ve never really been big on dating, especially dating strangers. Even though I spent most of my twenties in relationships, I’ve never been a person who meets people online or goes on blind dates. 

My M.O. has always been the same; find someone at a bar, have a flirt, have sex with them, if the flirt and the sex are good then maybe date them.

For me, the sex on the first night was always an audition - it didn’t have to be amazing, but there had to be chemistry. 

I know that sex isn’t everything but for me, if the sex is bad, I’m not wasting my time. I have spent many a brunch with friends telling me I’m crazy for not seeing someone just because the sex wasn’t great - but, for me, sex is important. 

Hence the audition before I commit to a date.

Prior to 2020 I had never really online dated. 

I have profiles on all of the apps but I usually delete them after a weekend and go back to living my happily single life. 2020 changed that. Terrified of spending 2020 alone, I dated two different people at two separate points. 

Both of these encounters were during lockdown and I learnt a lot. 

Both people were lovely and were everything they said they were on paper (it’s hard to catfish a lesbian who only dates masc presenting people). 

ADVERTISEMENT

Both times we spent hours texting and voice messaging, they were kind and understanding about my work at the hospital and the tenuous hold I had on my mental health. There was banter and flirting (as much as you could have via a dodgy internet connection) but once we met in person, once the clothes were off and people spent the night, things changed.

One person took my honesty about my lack of interest well, the other… not so much. She still avoids eye contact if she sees me out. 

So now we are at the tail end of 2021, and the past eighteen months I have been on an intense journey. A solo journey. 

I have had to learn to be ok with my own company, to learn to soothe myself and to get very good at self-pleasure because there was no one else around to help fill my physical touch needs or my orgasm quota.

In the time that my friends have met and gotten engaged and others have planned, conceived and given birth to babies, I have sat with myself and become so independent that some might say that I am too independent. ...And now I am afraid of dating. 

Why?

First of all, my body has changed. I preach body positivity and believe in what I teach people but even I have negative body days.

My body has changed - most of our bodies have - and while I am comfortable with myself, the idea of being rejected because of the size/shape of my body is nerve-wracking. That’s a really hard thing to admit.

ADVERTISEMENT

Second, I might be a little too comfortable with myself. I know my body from every angle. I eat what I want, when I want. I am very comfortable with all of the bodily fluids that I secrete. I am very used to not having to take other people into consideration. I really love the way my life looks.

Oh, and I hate online dating. 

I am a millennial and I love technology but there is something about catching someone’s eye from across the room and the chemistry that can be built in a look, that you just can’t get from online dating. 

All I look at on dating profiles are people's height and their star sign. So, can we please go back to the bars?

But what if we go back into the bars and I have forgotten how to flirt? How to have sex? I have one friend who flirts with me shamelessly and I love it but even then, knowing that there is no sexual attraction between us, I still get flustered and don’t know what to say. 

I am so nervous about when this happens in public! I’m probably going to freeze up and run away.

Listen Mamamia's podcast for gen Z, The Undone. Post continues below.


And finally, if we are being honest… I am terrified of being hurt. 

My twenties were full of relationships, mistakes and heartache (as they should be) but now I’m in my thirties things have changed, I have changed. I’m not sure I’m willing to put myself out there the way I have in the past because there were big swings and big misses.

The mistakes I made in my twenties made me who I am today but they consumed so much of my life and I’m not sure that I want to go through that again.

“But Lacey, if you’re so afraid of dating then why would you bother?”

Because life’s too short to be in your own bubble all of the time. My love language is physical touch and a hug from a friend just doesn’t cut it, and I love solo adventures but I would also love to adventure with someone else from time to time.

Maybe dating in your thirties is different? I don’t know. 

But I won’t be finding out online because I already spend too much time on social media and there’s never a spark. 

So if you’re tall, butch and you see me out in Melbourne, come and say hi because I can assure you that while I don't have the nerve to do it myself, I’m worth taking a leap for. 

Feature Image: Instagram / @laceyjadechristie

Want to have your voice heard? Plus have the chance to win $100? Take our survey now.