Time and again, single people hear “You should meet so-and-so” from friends and family. This type of date can be extremely nerve-wracking and uncomfortable, because you’re both walking into a meeting, well, blind.
The reality though is that blind dates can be very successful ways to meet someone who is compatible. I’ve studied married couples and their relationship patterns for many years. When married people are asked how they met, the most common answer is, “We were fixed up.” In one recent study, 46 percent of people in a committed partnership or marriage met through mutual friends or family.
Here are simple tips for making these blind dates successful:
- Don’t get defensive. When friends and family want to fix you up, typically their true motivation is to see you happy.
- Feel free to say no. Don’t let others push you into something you don’t want to do. You're not obligated to say yes just because your mother's boss wants to fix you up with her son.
- Be involved in the planning. Don't let others set the time and place for you. Minimize unknown elements of the date as much as possible. Create a time, place, and situation that will make you feel comfortable.
- Choose a situation that allows for conversation. A movie is not a good first date choice, nor is a loud rock concert. A short hike or canoeing followed by a picnic, a restaurant date, or even something silly like miniature golf can be good. The idea is for you and your date to converse, observe, and interact.
- Keep it short. Whatever activity you choose, keep it under two hours. A meal is a good choice for a blind date because it has a beginning, middle, and end. When the check comes, your date is over. If it seems too brief, or you really like him or her, make another date.
- Chat up the friend who introduced you. This is a simple conversation starter that gives you both a chance to talk about something other than yourself right away. Absolutely avoid gossiping about the matchmaker, however--such talk will come back to bite you.
- Arrive with open mind. Show up with the attitude that this date is an opportunity to meet someone you might not have otherwise met. Even if you don't have romantic chemistry, you may find a friend. Also, you and your date have a certain amount in common, which means his or her friends make a potential pool of new acquaintances or love interests too. Many times, I've heard people say that they went out on a blind date to a party or with another couple, and ended up hitting it off with someone else--not their blind date!