Dos and Don'ts of Blind Dating
There are two things that you need to take into account when going on a blind date; safety and dating technique.
Before the Date
There was a time when all blind dates were set up by a mutual friend or colleague claiming that “you guys are made for each other” or “s/he’s just your type”.
If you’ve been set up by a friend, dig for information before the date. Get a description of the looks and personality of your prospective date, and try to work out your friend’s motives in setting you up. If you’re unsure, ask around: other friends may know more about the person in question.
It’s often a good idea to speak to your prospective date before meeting up. Even though it might spoil some of the mystery, it could save you a wasted evening. Treat the phone call as part of your date and be on your best behaviour.
Nowadays blind dates are just as likely to come from internet dating sites. If so, you’re on your own. Make sure you have exchanged enough emails, text messages and phone calls to know that you really want to meet this person. Don’t give in to pressure to meet quickly – and don’t put yourself in any situations where you don’t feel comfortable.
Treat your blind date as the fun, exciting and possibly life-changing event that it is. It should be enjoyable and entertaining, but above all it should be safe.
Make sure someone knows exactly where you are and who you’re with – perhaps the friend who introduced you. For an internet date, leave your date’s phone number, email address and even a picture with a friend as well as details of where you're going.
Your date should be in a public place, one that both of you can get to and more particularly get away from. Is there public transport nearby – or a taxi rank? It makes sense if the venue is a place the woman is comfortable with.
Many people arrange for a friend to phone them shortly after their date is due to start, with an excuse they can use to get away from a totally unsuitable date.
According to experts, your date could make up their mind about you in the first 15 seconds.
That isn’t to say that speed-dating is the only option, but it does mean that the successful blind-dater of either gender establishes strong, early eye contact, maintains a friendly, open smile and avoids making any social gaffes in the opening exchange: if one of you leans forward for a chaste kiss on the cheek, don’t try to turn it into a snog.
Make sure you choose a suitable location for your date. You may both be desperate to see the latest film or play, but that’s not going to give you any chance to talk. A meal is a good way to get to know each other and a lunch date means you can see what your date looks like in daylight, and gives you a good excuse to leave if you have to return to work.
Dinner, perhaps with a drink beforehand to break the ice, gives you both the chance to relax and unwind. Make sure that you don’t drink too much though, getting drunk on a first date is a sure-fire way to guarantee that it’s your last.
Some more tips
- Dress appropriately for the occasion; you'll feel uncomfortable if you turn up in evening wear and your date is wearing jeans.
- Presents and flowers are too much for a first date, though if things are going well, and you see a flower-seller, a single rose will confirm your interest – try not to be cheesy though.
- If you have to smoke, check with your date first. And if they don’t smoke, they probably won’t appreciate having smoke blown in their eyes.
- Being a good listener is attractive, so show interest in your partner. But remember, they want to know a bit about you as well. If you don’t say anything, they won’t know what to make of you.
- While you shouldn’t expect the earth to move on a first date, if there’s no chemistry, don’t push it. It just wasn’t meant to be.
- The date doesn’t finish when you say goodbye. Send a brief text message to say thanks for the evening, and perhaps a message to let your date know you’ve got home safely.
- Finally, try to enjoy yourself. Dates are meant to be fun, so don’t over think it.