Think back to the height of the pandemic—pre-vaccines and peak Zoom happy hours (*shudder*). We can all agree that that time of our lives was overwhelmingly negative, but there were tiny silver linings. Take the inability to meet new people and go on—cue the groan—first dates. For single folks who abhor the idea of asking about whether or not someone has siblings while sipping an overpriced cocktail in a packed bar, being forced to put a hold on in-person dating (which, for many people, meant dating in general) was a welcome side effect of stay-at-home orders.
Now, though, we’re somewhat out of the woods and in-person activities, including dating, have largely resumed. Why, then, are some of us still so timid when it comes to putting ourselves back out there? We could be guilty of hesidating, a trend first coined by the dating app Plenty of Fish in its fifth annual list of Dating Trends.
Hesidating, the good folks at POF explain, means, “Feeling indifferent about dating, unsure if you want to date seriously or casually because life in general is so uncertain right now. While some celebrity couples (hello, Bennifer) have recently hopped into new relationships quickly and with certainty, 70 percent of singles say hesidating is a very real thing.”
Basically, single people are mirroring the uncertainty of the world in general in their dating lives, leading to a reluctance to put themselves out there. It’s the polar opposite of so-called revenge dating or saying yes to every Tinder match that comes your way, and honestly, it makes sense: After nearly two years of almost indescribable chaos, many of us are clinging to the things that are most secure and safe in our lives. Wading back into the dating pool would introduce a level of disquiet that’s kind of scary, frankly.