This is a nonfiction recollection of events as experienced by me; used with permission.
I have been dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues since I was very young. Because of that, I have met a lot of therapists. Most of my experiences have been good but I recently remembered a visit that made me a lot more anxious about online dating.
At the time of this experience, I was working on getting my love life back in order after a messy relationship that I took a while to recover from. My therapist was an older woman and I felt like she had some good advice to share on how to approach dating again with my anxiety issues. Most of what she told me was very helpful but like anyone else she wasn't right on every time.
During this particular session, we were going over how I was about to go on a date with someone from a dating website that I had been talking to. She considered what I was saying and then she asked if I was worried that I might meet a serial killer and not be safe even if I met up with her in public. She added that there are a lot of news stories I could read about how people get killed by strangers they met online all the time.
I told her that was crazy and that I would just make sure to meet up with her where there were people around and that I was pretty sure it would be okay. However, she looked at me and said that I was going to get myself killed and I could tell she was serious. Next, she wanted to talk about what could happen if I wasn't careful.
She started talking about how I could be grabbed out of the coffee place before I even went in to see if she was there. Then the therapist asked if I knew how to deal with being in the trunk of a car. I was really getting anxious at this point and I said that I would reconsider going on the date because it wasn't worth it if I was just going to get hurt or killed.
After we talked about a bunch of different bad things that could happen that I don't remember a lot of I asked her how I should meet women if this wasn't going to work. Now that I look back on it, I think maybe she just was afraid of the internet because she was older and probably didn't understand what my options were since a lot of what she recommended I do to meet women involved going to places that didn't exist or that weren't that popular any longer.
When I was writing a message to the girl I was meeting up to have some coffee with, I was going to back out of it but I felt like I was being mean to her since she was obviously excited to meet me and I wanted to finally start dating again anyways. My anxiety about backing out of the date won and so I decided that if I was going to die, I would go out and die while at least trying to go on a date.
I went to the coffee place in my car but I sat there for quite some time making sure there were no men that looked like they were going to jump me on my way in. When I went in and everything seemed normal, I found the girl and she looked just as nervous as me. The whole time I remember thinking that this could be a trap and she kept asking if I was okay.
Everything went as well as it could for me being a nervous wreck and I remember that I didn't drink much of the coffee because I knew it would make my anxiety worse. After that date the woman never talked to me again and I think it had a lot to do with how weird I was acting. My therapist heard about this and said it was good nothing went wrong except that.
After that I told the therapist that I didn't want to talk about online dating and whether I was going to do it or not. Once I talked to and met a few women I knew that I was pretty much safe as long as I first met them in public and once I knew a bit more about them in general. For a bit though, I would be so anxious that I feel like the earlier dates went really poorly but now that I look back it makes sense that it was due to me being way too anxious.
Eventually I had a new therapist that was a lot younger and when I would discuss online dating with her, she didn't think what I was doing was dangerous at all. I think that going to a lot of therapy has shown me just how different therapists can be based on what their ages, views, and life experiences.