So your friend has set you up with someone you’re likely to hit it off with, or you’ve met someone through the Internet, and you want to know how to prepare for a blind date. Either way, you’re heading out with a women you’ve never met face to face. How do you prepare for this, one of the most intimidating kinds of dating encounters?
- Do some background work. If your friend has set you up, ask him about your date. What line of work is she in? How does your friend know her? What’s her personality like? What is your friend’s favorite thing about her? Does your friend have any advice about her? If this is an online date, review her profile again, paying special attention to the things she has written herself (as opposed to just the multiple choice answers she has filled in).
- Make contact. To prepare for a blind date, establish a bit of a relationship with the person via email. Ask for her email address and drop her a short, polite note, just saying that you’re looking forward to meeting her. Tell her a bit about yourself, both basic details (where you live, what line of work you’re in) and one or two fun things (an interesting hobby, for example, or something you think you might have in common). Just be careful not to sound like you’re bragging; instead, you should sound like you’re sharing. Tell her you’d love to hear from her too and that you look forward to talking more in person.
- Choose a place: If your friend hasn’t set up a date location for you, ask for your date’s opinion, and together, choose someplace easy, public and non-threatening. For a first date, happy hour at a nearby bar or restaurant might be a great start; if you hit it off, you can go to dinner afterwards. Lunch is another popular blind date option, as is a weekend afternoon coffee date. Stay away from lengthy dates where you won’t get to know each other, such as a movie, concert or show.
- Come up with topics of conversation. If things go great, you may not need them, but it can’t hurt to prepare for a blind date by having a few topics of conversation in mind, just in case you need to fill an awkward silence. Stay away from controversial topics like religion and politics unless they come up. Instead, focus on more general things, such as local sports teams, movies you’ve both seen recently, or stories that have been in the news lately. If you’re stuck, you can always ask her about herself; people usually like to open up once they’re comfortable.
- Have an escape plan. Arrange for a friend to call your cell about an hour into the date. If the date’s going poorly, this will allow you a great opportunity to leave, with an apology about the friend you have to help out. If it’s going well, simply don’t answer the call!
Relax and have fun. Remember, the worst case scenario is that the date won’t go well and you’ll walk away with a funny story to tell. Best case scenario, you’ll meet someone with whom you have a wonderful connection. Most blind dates will fall somewhere in between, and at the very least, you’ll have the chance to make a new friend. So, after you prepare for a blind date, just be yourself and go into the evening with an open mind. Have fun!