Are you suffering from FODA, the relatable new dating trend?

It's time to banish your fears for good...

Woman lies on sofa swiping and liking profiles on relationship site or application. Single woman using smartphone to find love, partner and girlfriend.
(Image credit: Getty/ rclassenlayouts)

Life may feel like a never-ending hamster wheel, but at some point, the world will open up again, and we'll be back doing the things we love. 

For anyone who's single, that may even mean rebooting your best dating apps and returning to the world of dating. And after months isolated from the people we love, or barely leaving our homes, hardly any of us have had the chance to sharpen up on our dating skills. Cue FODA, the Fear Of Dating Again.

The term has been coined by dating app Hinge, who are (unsurprisingly) keen to give us all a push to get out there.

Dating has been hard enough during the pandemic so throwing yourself back out there might feel scarier than ever. So if FODA is stopping you in your tracks but we've got just the fix to get you ready to date again.

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How to cope with FODA?

Hinge's director of relationship and science Logan Ury offers some great tips on overcoming the dating hurdle. Speaking during yet another tough time for the pandemic around the world (with lockdowns in parts of the US and other countries in the world), Logan acknowledges that singletons are "all feeling a bit like a fish out of water in the dating landscape", but recommends continuing to date using video calls instead and using these tips to ease FODA.

  1. Don't be worried about being worried or nervous during the date - you'll be surprised at how much more relaxed you feel after.
  2. Remember the date isn't all about you. As much as you want to impress the other person, you're also there to see if you like them. So if you feel yourself getting flustered, shift your attention to them—like picking three things you like about them.
  3. Don't worry about not having the initial spark with someone on a first date. Sometimes the best connections come from a slow burn. There’s no set amount of time it takes to connect with someone so make sure you don’t get caught up in comparing others around you. 

Logan's tips on video dating...

• Make an effort, just as you would if you were going on a date IRL. If you feel good about yourself, you're likely to come across confident. So get ready as if it was a real date. 

• Try something new! If you're on your second or third video date, why not mix it up a bit. You could make the same meal for yourselves, going through the recipe together, listen to a playlist or play a game.

• This piece of advice is the same for virtual dates as it would be for in-person dates—skip the small talk! If your dates feel like job interviews, you’re doing something wrong. Use this moment as an opportunity to really get to know someone, not to trade bullet points from your resumes. What are they excited about right now? What’s keeping them up at night? What are they most looking forward to doing with their friends when it’s safe to meet up?

So what are you waiting for? Get back online and banish FODA for good!

Kudzai Chibaduki

Since December 2020, Kudzai has worked as a trainee journalist at FUTURE, writing about fashion, entertainment and beauty content for My Imperfect Life.

Kudzai previously worked as a freelance fashion wardrobe stylist, directing magazine photoshoots and coordinating the fashion direction of recording artists.

A fully qualified Journalism and Media graduate from De Mont Fort University, Kudzai graduated in the summer of 2020.