Embrace blind dates — and expect the unexpected

Sunday , February 18, 2018 - 12:00 AM

TX. Correspondent

The phrase “blind date” immediately draws attention. Why wouldn’t it? Just imagine the dreamy stares, the romantic evening, two people falling in love — not feeling it?

Neither am I.

Blind dating is interesting, to say the least. The door opens and either a gorgeous, funny person is standing on the other side, or it is a fake Australian who wrestles alligators for a living (true story, believe me). Not that either is entirely good or entirely bad; both are just, well, unexpected.

Having been on two blind dates in recent weeks, I consider myself a bit of an expert on the matter. My advice: A blind date will never turn out how you expect. 

But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. All in all, blind dating gives you a chance to meet people you probably would have never met otherwise and to have a great time, if you make the effort.

• Stay positive

The first part of a blind date is to know what to expect. What should you expect? Nothing and everything. (You know the saying, “Expect the unexpected?” It applies nicely here.)

Being prepared for anything and accepting whatever happens with a positive attitude will help your blind date be a success. This means even if your date gets lost and ends up two hours away in a direction opposite your house, you still can be kind because it most likely was just a friendly mistake that you can laugh about later (another true story).

It is also important to stay safe. Make sure that whoever recommended the date to you is a reliable person you trust, and make sure your date understands your personal values. It is totally OK to politely decline if you have a good, solid reason to believe that you may be in danger. Trust and respect are important factors in any relationship, even if it is just a casual date between strangers. (Social media stalking may be an appropriate tactic as well. Just saying.)

On the date, be understanding. Remember that both you and your date have never met each other before. Don’t be too mad if your date forgets your name once or twice, but here is a good tip: When both of you introduce yourselves, say your date’s name out loud by replying with something like, “Nice to meet you, ______.” This will help you remember the name better and avoid unnecessary confusion later. (I don’t know about you, but being called by the wrong name the entire night doesn’t sound very appealing.)

Also, saying the person’s name as much as un-awkwardly possible will make it easier to recall his/her name later on.

•  Be authentic

Another tip is to talk to your date. This seems kind of obvious, but you’d be surprised how often people don’t do this, especially if it is a group where you know some of the other people. It definitely seems easier to stay within your comfort zone and be on your phone or talk to your friends on a blind date, but being respectful and actually talking to your date goes a long way.

And whatever you do, don’t be on your phone all night! Both of you have taken the time to go on a date, not stare at your phone screen for a few hours.

Most important, be yourself. This may sound totally cliché, but maybe it’s an overused piece of advice because it’s true. On a blind date, this is especially true. Though you may think that being yourself is not important because you will never see your date again, honesty is pretty much always important.

Remember that Australian I mentioned earlier? Once he lost the fake accent, the night became way more fun. It wasn’t about impressing people, but getting to genuinely know someone.

So there you have it: an expert’s guide for blind dating. Maybe it’s weird, interesting and completely unexpected (and maybe I’m not actually an expert), but in my experience, blind dating is way more fun when you talk to your date, be yourself and, of course, expect the unexpected.

Haley Bess is a senior at Morgan High School. She enjoys writing, singing and acting. Contact her at haleyebess@gmail.com.

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