So you were feeling adventurous or perhaps a little drunk when you agreed to a blind date. Whether you set yourself up or you let a friend do it for you, meeting someone for the first time is nerve-wracking let alone when there are “expectations” involved. Here’s how to survive and thrive on a blind date.
- Approach it with a sense of adventure. This may not turn out to be the love of your life but it could be a very good friend (perhaps even the good friend who introduces you to “the one”).
- For once I’m going to tell you to take the bull by the horns and plan the date. You want an activity where you can alternately talk and be entertained (in case there’s a lull). So movies, concerts, plays are out because they don’t leave time to get to know each other. Coffee, dinner, long walks on the beach are out because there’s too much talking, not enough entertainment. Try miniature golf, shooting pool, ice skating, making ceramic figurines – this will give a decent balance between conversation and activity.
- If he prefers to plan the date, at least offer some suggestions during the initial contact. You don’t want to find yourself on a roadtrip to Las Vegas when you should be attending your AA meeting. If he’s planning it, ask what you’ll be doing (now mentally give yourself a time frame for the date – details to follow). Dress accordingly.
- Manage your expectations and keep an open mind. There was a reason why someone (you?) thought this person was a good match – try to find it.
- Keep the conversation lively. Create fall-back topics before the date. Don’t be too negative (he might think you’re on drugs) or too positive (he might think you’re on drugs). Don’t talk too much about work. Don’t talk too much at all – ask questions (nothing embarrassingly personal) and listen. The point of the date is to get to know him but not interrogate him.
- PAY ATTENTION TO RED FLAGS!
- Have an exit strategy. Remember that mental timeframe? Create a reminder on your phone to buzz you at the appropriate time. If you feel the date is over at that point, politely excuse yourself and leave. If you’re having a good time, feel free to stay.
- Call your mutual friend with an update. If you plan to see the other person again, thank your friend and tell them that you’ll take it from there. If you don’t plan to see the other person again, thank your friend for the opportunity and indicate that you’re incompatible – no details necessary.