The Blind Date Problem: What Would You Do?


woman thinking
Should you tell a blind date about a physical flaw before you meet?

As a single woman in these modern times, of course I've done online dating. Lots of it. I'm really good at it and have had lots of fun as a result. It's an opportunity to meet the widest range of men imaginable, go out with men I might not ever have met, try out some I might never have considered in ordinary circumstances, and a way to make sure I could have a date whenever I wanted. I once went out with 15 men in one month—a date every other day—just to see what it was like. Actually it was kind of stupid. There are not 15 men in that short period of time that I'm really that interested in…but it did make for great stories. Although not part of that particular experiment, here's a story that really stuck with me.

Nowadays, everybody who's dating online posts a picture of him/herself. All the matchmaking sites tell you that you get 10 times more "bites" if you post a picture. But in the early days, we didn't. We more or less described ourselves in our profile and took it from there. Internet dating was too new and it felt kind of creepy to post a picture for the whole world to see. One evening, I was contacted by what seemed like a very nice man. We chatted online for a couple of weeks, eventually "talking" just about every day; there was some real interest there and it seemed like there might be some potential for something interesting to happen. I wasn't sure he was my type; he was a little quiet, but liked a lot of things about New York that I liked and he said he was really interested in finding the right girl. Maybe I was her.

We made plans to get together one Friday evening. It was the hottest day of the year. We decided to meet for dinner at a restaurant in my neighborhood. (As I became better at internet dating, I learned that you never plan dinner with a stranger. Drinks or coffee. If you like each other, plan on dinner the next time. If you don't, you haven't wasted much time). As we talked about how we would recognize each other, we realized that we were wearing fairly non-descript, typical New Yorker outfits. We both were wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. Rather than change clothes, we tried to think of what we could do to make ourselves recognizable to a stranger in a crowded restaurant. He suggested I put a flower in my hair. My hair was really short, then, so that wouldn't work. I had the brilliant idea to tie a bright Pink sweater around my neck. It was a pretty sweater but I felt a little foolish in 100 degree heat with a sweater. Whatever; he needed to be able to identify me.

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