Ah, the blind date. Perhaps the most loathed of first dates.
Maybe you have a friend who knows a friend and would bet her very soul that you’re a match made in heaven.
Or, perhaps you met someone online and agreed to a date without seeing his picture (that’s a risky little game!)
Or, perhaps like some of us, you got blackout drunk on St. Patrick’s Day and agreed to a coffee date with this Andrew guy you can’t quite put a face on. Hey, you gave him your number, after all, instead of casually throwing out 10 random digits off the top of your head (“It’s 555-555-5555. Yeah, it’s a new area code…”)
Well, before you take a hard look at yourself in the mirror and exclaim, “I trust your gin-soaked judgement!”, a little prep work goes a long way into making these things go smoothly.
Get the Deets
Time for a little Nancy Drew action. If a friend set you up, interrogate that friend until you know as much as you possibly can about that person. Pore over their online dating profile. Stalk them on Facebook and LinkedIn (incognito mode!)
Remember, knowledge is power. And, for example, if you find out they’re passionate about animal rights, you may want to leave your mink coat and leather pants at home.
Keep It Simple
Long walks on the beach. Romantic picnics. Ice skating and all the wonderful things of the world. This is not the time for any of these things.
You’re essentially meeting a perfect stranger, and if things go south quickly, do you really want to be stuck with them for the next five hours on a frozen pond?
Keep things easy and grab a drink or a bite to eat. Then, if the stars align, you can consider extending your magical little evening.
Prepare Your Escape Hatch
Normally, I can get through a clear mismatch of a first date while still maintaining amicable and light conversation. But sometimes, I want to get out of there faster than a rampaging gorilla.
You can do this easily and politely by establishing that you have plans afterwards from the get-go (i.e. “Oh, I’m just meeting up with a friend after this.” “Oh, I have a bit of work to do tonight.” “Oh, I’m a reverse vampire and need to be home before sundown.”) And, hey, if it all goes well, fake plans are easy to cancel.
If you must, you can set up a fake phone call in the middle of the date. But you’re not fooling anyone with that whole “Oh no, gotta run. Generic emergency!” routine.
Be Open Minded
Remember, the other person is probably just as nervous as you are. Give it time and treat it the way you should treat all first dates – as an opportunity to get to know someone better, nothing more and nothing less. So, stay positive and enjoy yourself!
Hungry for topics of conversation? Read up on what to talk (and what not to talk) about on a first date.