“Blind Date” — the Two Scariest Words in the English Language
I’m single. I’m well over 30. And as much as I want to meet Mr. Right, I still fear the thought of a blind date. Like most single people, I think a blind date means sitting across a table, staring uncomfortably at a stranger, cursing and texting the friend who sent you there, and desperately trying to make conversation.
Blind dates are scary for one simple reason. We know that the chances are slim that someone actually thought a lot about what sort of person would get along well with this other person. It seems more often than not that most blind dates happen with no more thought put into it than, “He’s single, she’s single, they should meet!” (I think my favorite one was, “He doesn’t have any friends, so I thought you might try.” By the end of the date, I knew why he didn’t have any friends!)
Blind dates, especially for singles who just don’t get to meet people outside of their usual circles very often, can be a fun way to meet new people. But only if they are done right!
Valentine’s Day is coming, and that pretty much guarantees that married friends are about to have conversations with single friends about why the single friend doesn’t have a date. And for a few potentially-fortunate single people, that means the married friend is going to think about setting the single friend up on a blind date. Before you going digging through your little black book, or asking your husband about single guys at his office, I’d like to offer a few ground rules for setting up friends on blind dates.
Rules for Potential Matchmakers
First and foremost, you must know at least three things about both parties beyond the three things that you do already know. Because we all know that those three things you do know are the person’s name, his/her marital status, and his/her occupation. You need to know a lot more than that, but we’ll settle for a minimum of three things. I’d like to suggest that you pick those three things from the following ideas:
1. Physical Activity level. Do not set up a video gamer with a marathon runner.
2. Politics. Although this is not a deal-breaker for some, it is a huge deal-breaker for many.
3. Personality style. Setting up two shy people may backfire, just like setting up two Type-A personalities. Don’t just know their personality types, ask each party if they enjoy the other’s type.
4. Physical appearance. Yes, we get it. You’re married, you don’t notice if another person is attractive anymore. (Actually, we don’t believe that. We just pretend to believe it for your sake.) And go ahead and argue that “leagues” don’t matter. But the truth is, everyone somewhere has been set up on a blind date that was so unattractive as to be offensive. Try to be known as the person who set up the blind date with Brad Pitt, not Brad Isthepitts.
5. Hobbies. Do they have anything in common besides knowing you?
6. Church activity level. It can be tempting to set up your non-religious brother-in-law with that sweet girl from church. But really, what do you expect to happen?
Let’s use me as an example. If you were going to set me up on a blind date, there are a few things I’d like you to take into consideration. First, I spend all day being the boss. But when the workday is done, I’d rather somebody else make the decisions for me. So even though I’m a Type A personality, I tend to prefer men with Type A personalities, that allow me to trust them, and take the lead over for me.
The trick? You have to find me a man that is smarter, tougher, and stronger than I am, but likes me for the fact that I have those same qualities. There is nothing I dislike more than a laid-back, too easy-going guy who thinks I am going to “wear the pants” in the relationship. I don’t, and I won’t.
If someone were to take a very simple glance at the men I have dated they would notice three simple things about them/me. I like redheads. Most of my ex-boyfriends had blue eyes and dimples (not a coincidence either). And they were all very smart, outgoing, leadership quality guys that could have second careers in stand-up comedy. (Or in one case, he actually did have a career in comedy.) So chances are I’m not going to be interested in your brother who “doesn’t get out much,” prefers gaming over people, is quite content with his underachieving job, and only tells potty humor jokes.
But that’s just me. My dear friend, who I would describe as just like me in a million ways, is madly in love with her computer programming husband that I have never met because he’s so socially adverse. She can dance circles around her husband, whereas I prefer for the man to lead. Everyone is different in what works for them. So before you play matchmaker, ask what works!
Hearing from the Singles
The truth is that no two people will have the same opinion on how to be set up on a blind date. I can only speak with authority for myself. So let’s see what other singles had to say on the subject.
“What would you like others to take into consideration when setting you up on a blind date?”
Leah: That they know if he is 1) ready & willing to be in a relationship, 2) emotionally healthy, and has the 3) same profession and/or similar hobbies.
Ian: I would like them to ask themselves the following question, "Would I go out on a date with this person?" If the answer is no, why do they think I would?
I’m not trying to talk anyone out of blind dates. In fact, I hope maybe a few people will think it through and do some great matchmaking out there. And I hope any singles reading this will be kind, thoughtful, and the best date that they can be, regardless of what they think of the stranger across the table.
So think about it and go for it. Thoughtfully set your friends up.
And if you happen to know a smart, funny, redhead, with blue eyes and dimples, you know where to find me.
Erin Ann McBride is a writer, dreamer, and single woman. By day she works in marketing, and by night she hunts unicorns and writes romantic novels, "You Heard It Here First” and the sequel “This Just In!"
She accepts new friends daily at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorErinAnnMcBride
And if you really want to keep on her social life, you can always find her at the Story of a Nice Mormon Girl.