Debra Messing Just Went On Her First Date Since 19, And It Was 'Traumatizing'

04/16/2015 05:35 pm ET | Updated Apr 16, 2015

From 1998 to 2006, we saw Debra Messing on "Will & Grace" court countless suitors, played by the likes of Woody Harrelson, Ed Burns and Harry Connick Jr. But the actress, who divorced in 2012, has far less dating experience offscreen, and she only recently went on her first date in more than two decades, she revealed in a conversation with HuffPost Live on Thursday.

"I've begun to mingle, and I am ready to mingle," she told host Nancy Redd. "But it's a very odd thing because I really haven't dated since I was like 19 years old."

The "Mysteries of Laura" star met her former husband Daniel Zelman while attending graduate school at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, where class served as a substitute for proper dates.

"We were just classmates and then we became friends, so we never said, 'Hi, nice to meet you, want to go out on a date?' 'Sure, let's get to know each other over dinner.' That never happened," the 46-year-old explained.

While she's still getting comfortable easing her way back into the dating grind, it sounds like Messing is well on her way to finding a new love interest.

"I just went on my first date recently ... [and] I went out to dinner with this lovely man," she said. "It was a little traumatizing, and I told him. I told him it was a little traumatizing, and he thought that was funny -- because I didn't know what to do."

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