Meeting people can be difficult, and many individuals turn to blind dates as an alternative to aimlessly cruising singles' clubs or dating websites in the hope of finding someone suitable. Whether you are setting up a friend or preparing for such a date yourself, there are several techniques to help guarantee a successful meeting.
Blind Dates Aren't Truly Blind
Despite the misnomer, a blind date isn't truly taken without prior knowledge. Both parties should have at least a vague idea about one another, including basic preferences for food, entertainment, and activities that may be a part of the date. Successful relationships are typically based on mutual interests, and without such interests, the setup will be no more enjoyable than if a random name were chosen from a phone book.
Finding basic information about another person prior to an arranged date isn't as difficult as it might seem. A casual conversation with your appointed match maker can lead to interesting tidbits about your potential date's career, favorite movies, hobbies, or unique talents. Such prior knowledge offers insight into the match and can lead to an enjoyable date.
Preparing for Your Blind Date
If you are the subject of an arranged date, basic preparation is essential. While you may initially know that your date shares one of your interests, a brief phone call to the person setting you up or even your actual date can broaden your knowledge. A phone call to your potential date can really take the chill off your initial face-to-face introduction. Perhaps that literature-loving individual also enjoys jazz. In this case suggesting that you visit a jazz club, or honing your knowledge of jazz musicians, may smooth the date. On the other hand, you may learn about passionate dislikes, allergies, or phobias that could influence the course of your date or even whether you want to meet at all. A phone call or e-mail can help establish basic personalities guidelines prior to your first meeting.
What to Wear
What you wear should be tied not only to your preferences but also to those of your date and any planned activities. Naturally you want to be comfortable, but if you learn that your date is very conservative, you may want to swap the electric blue skirt for a more subtle ensemble. Of course, it is important to find a balance between being yourself and making the right impression -- you don't want to subjugate your preferences to those of your date and give a misleading impression of your style and personality. Of course, your clothing should be appropriate to the proposed activities (Dancing? Ice skating? A movie?) as well.
What to Do
The activities you choose for your blind date should be a blend of both of your preferences and are typically based on your mutual interests. For a couple who met via a reading group, a visit to a local coffee house on an open poetry night might be an appropriate venue. If the couple shares an interest in baseball or basketball, tickets to a game are a better choice. Another way to share the evening and get to know one another is to plan two activities, with each individual choosing one as a way to introduce more of themselves to their partner.
Setting Up a Friend
Many people enjoy playing matchmaker and attempting to set up unattached friends on blind dates. The key to doing so successfully is to not thrust them together with just anyone and everyone, but to find the person with whom they may actually have a genuine connection.
Finding a Date
If you are deliberately looking for someone to set up with a friend, determine if they are interested in your efforts. Blind dating is not universally acceptable, and some friends may be offended or embarrassed by your intrusion into their lives. If they are willing, the next step is to ask what qualities they are most interested in: someone with a solid career, a spiritual side, athletic ability, academic prowess? Knowing what basic characteristics they are looking for helps you narrow the field of potential suitors and avoid awkward mismatches.
Depending on your social connections, it is acceptable to ask around to find someone who may spark your friend's interest. Perhaps your co-worker's sister is a member of a local reading group, and your friend is interested in meeting someone who likes Shakespeare. Such far-reaching connections may lead to the perfect date.
Making the Introductions
Once you have found a suitable match, basic introductions must be made. A blind date's most awkward moments are when the couple discovers their match-made roots. At this point, the occasion may seem terribly contrived. However, if the involved match making parties are available, the tension can be eased considerably. Double or group dates are popular methods, such that the setup couple does not need to feel uncomfortable with a relative stranger. Alternatively, the couple can be introduced and then left alone after they understand how they have come together, and they can focus on each other instead of unraveling the trail.
Following up on blind dates may be the most difficult step. If the arranged date was enjoyable, a second date is the logical result. If, however, the evening was unsuccessful, one of the participants will need to take the step of breaking off future contact in an inoffensive, nonjudgmental manner. After all, it was a blind date, and even the match makers who set up the event cannot know the participants as well as they know themselves.
The Relevance of Blind Dates
As our society becomes more hectic, many people do not have time to find individuals to share their lives with, and they rely on blind dates from friends, family, and co-workers to meet new people. With proper preparation and an open mind about the date itself, the evening can be a resounding success, leading to a satisfying and enjoyable relationship.