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How to get over Fomu (fear of meeting up)

For when the post-lockdown dating nerves get all too much

Written by Liv Grady

March 21, 2021

fomu fear of meeting up couples holding hands

After almost a year of no social interaction, we cannot wait to see our best friends again, plan nights out, think about holidays and more. However the thought of meeting somebody new after all this time can be pretty daunting. Although we may have seen a few of our nearest and dearests throughout different stages of lockdown, it’s rare that we will have met new people, so the FOMU (fear of meeting up) is real.

What is FOMU?

The term FOMU was coined by the dating app Badoo and relates to meeting an online match for the first time. They carried out a survey of 1,003 single adults aged 18-65 in the UK and found that 60% of people are feeling anxious about transitioning into real life dating after everything has been online for so long. Their worries ranged from spreading Covid to feeling shy about meeting people they’ve only spoken to online.

The transition from video dating and texting is quite a big one. Real life dates take preparation, travel and money, as well as being further out of your own comfort zone. Take a look at our easy tips below to help ease your FOMU stresses.

How to reduce the nerves before your first date after lockdown

Video call first

If you are nervous for meeting up with your date in real life, why not suggest a video call first? You can play games, chat or just have a few drinks. This will settle your nerves and put you at ease, knowing who you are going to be meeting.

Be honest with your date

If you are feeling uneasy about restrictions, tell your date. There is no harm in saying that you want to abide by restrictions, or suggesting a different date idea that puts you back in your comfort zone.

Think of some conversation starters

It’s probably a while since you met somebody new, so try and think of some conversation starters ahead of meeting up. This will reduce the fear of awkward silences and help you feel comfortable with your date. If you are stuck for ideas, take a look at our 50 questions to get to know someone.

Plan an activity

Planning an activity date can take the pressure off the conversation. On 12th April outdoor venues such as Zoos and Mini Golf start to reopen, this is a good way to bond with a new date, without FOMU looming over. You can also hire bikes in your city or plan a walk and picnic.

What to wear on a first date?

Are you going on a walking date for the first lockdown restrictions lifting? Or waiting for the freedom of June 21st? Either way, we’ve got your first date outfits covered. You can reduce the FOMU by ensuring you look and feel your best. There can be a lot of pressure on the first meet up, especially if you have been texting for a long time. Treat yourself to an outfit that makes you feel confident in yourself and ready to face anything.

Take a look at our top picks below or shop date night outfits at Missguided.