I’ve been feeling very lost lately. I don’t really know how to date, or I’ve been feeling that way ever since the last almost-relationship I had fell through. I don’t know why but I feel I need to be friends with a person before I want to date them, maybe it has something to do with a level of comfort before I take any further steps. I get very nervous when I meet a person and they’re talking to me with the intention of dating or any form of that like hooking up–like at a bar, or how I was most recently set up. I don’t know why but I feel all this pressure in how I’m supposed to feel and act in that situation and almost immediately I don’t feel what I think I’m supposed to, and everything feels forced. And I don’t like what I perceive to be expectations of our interaction to be sort of looming over the conversation. I know I am projecting all of that onto the situation and there’s no way I can truly know what the other person expects from me it just feels that way and I don’t know why. It feels in some ways inorganic and like they’re just waiting for a move to happen and I get turned off very quickly when I feel that. I guess I just like so much more to have been friends with someone first and then the feelings just kind of happen. That just also makes me feel like I already know how to talk to the person and wouldn’t feel as though silences would be awkward. But that’s just a very specific situation and standard that I set for myself that really doesn’t happen all the time and I don’t want to limit myself that way, but I feel like it’s the only way I’m comfortable. I tried being set up, but I ended up questioning my every move to make sure it was heading in the direction of a relationship because I knew that’s what the other person wanted and I wanted it too but I felt like I wasn’t moving along as quickly as should or that how I was showing my interest was enough for him and then I ended up giving myself so much anxiety because of it because intense feelings don’t happen for me so quickly.