Meeting a significant other can be a challenge.
On the one hand, the abundant possibilities of connections through the internet have made it easier to ‘meet’ people you would otherwise never run into. On the other, this increases the number of times that one has to take on faith the success of a blind date. Online dating is its own beast, but the rules of first dates are relatively comparable to meeting a friend of a friend for the first time. Minus the friend vouching for them that is.
In any case, online dating starts with conversations (online chats, and possibly eventually conversations over the phone), but, pending the interest on both sides, people will eventually want to meet. While many have exciting notions about meeting ‘the one’ when they go on a blind date, many end up having something that they particularly did not like about their date or their behavior. Many people qualify their disappointment with “too bad, he seemed nice” or “it was fun, until…”
A date should be fun and relaxed, but we do need to pay attention to a lot of things. How do we come across to the other person? What do we think of them? Are they meeting our expectations and are we meeting theirs? Some positive combination of the above is more likely to lead to a positive date experience. For that reason, it is important to do your part in enhancing the date experience by avoiding certain common blind data mistakes.
A good way to start things for a date on a sour note is to start leaving a negative impression before the date has a chance to begin. First impressions are significant, and if your first one is that you are a person who cannot make it to a date on time, you are immediately casting off a poor self-image about how seriously you take planning and event commitments. The flip side is that you should not only be on time, you should aim to be a little bit early. Arriving before your date does will give you a chance to scope out the environment, especially knowing where your ‘escape’ routes are if the date goes poorly and you need to bail.
2. Lack Of Attention
We usually know if we are attracted to a person in the first minute of meeting them, but attraction is a funny thing. Physically, the initial instincts are fairly quick. But getting to know the person could reveal them to be your ideal partner, an aspect many blind daters very often overlook. It is always good to engage in conversation, and while it may be awkward, having a loose assortment of topics to talk about in mind is a good way to keep the conversation moving along and lively instead of fumbling around for topics. But paying real attention to your date and asking questions is what keeps the interaction interesting. Plus, if you are not asking your date any questions, their impression will likely be that you don’t really care to get to know them.
3. Checking Your Phone
Always checking your phone is another method that will turn your date off. You have both taken the time to meet to find out more about the other, but looking at your phone means that you have other things you want to do, or are checking the time for how long until the date is over. Even if that isn’t your intent, the impression you cast by doing so will be tough to shake.
First dates make many people nervous, especially the blind ones. But the apprehension can be assisted with a drink or two. These can help us loosen up and have fun, but going overboard is a big detriment. Getting inebriated on a first date is a good way to set a bad first impression. Even if the other person is doing so as well, such a first date is not an ideal starting point for any relationship.
5. Talking About Yourself Too Much
Think of the core idea behind a date. While the other party wants to get to know you, you want to get to know them. If you spend a lot of time talking about yourself, you aren’t really giving yourself a chance to get to know the other person, a fact that will be very evident to them. By asking questions (of the non-intrusive) variety, you can get to know more about them. The more you find out, the more tangential questions and topics of conversation there will be. Plus, you will find out what you have in common. Of course, if you overfocus on your own history or attributes, the other person will quickly sense that getting information out about yourself is somehow more important to you.
Bragging is a big turn off, whether it’s done covertly or overtly. Discussing financial matters, how good you are at something, name dropping, or talking about many lavish vacations and travel accommodations does not impress your date as much as it makes you look like a braggart. Even if you are on a date with the kind of person that is a sucker for those with notoriety, wealth, or social status, are those the qualities you really want them to find out about you before getting to know the kind of person you are?
7. Pointing Out Your Flaws
Sense of humor is a very appealing quality, and can often override many less attractive ones, Being overly self-effacing, however, is not ideal. Modesty is the best policy, as they say. Much like you would not want to aggrandize yourself as some sort of superhuman, you do not want to paint yourself like a joke or a failure. One or two jokes throughout the date are ok, but an array of self-deprecation is too much. This is especially true when joking about how bad you are at first dates. You immediately dispel any positive expectations the other person may have had.
8. Being Rude
This one should be an obvious no-no, but treat the other person with respect and don’t be rude to your date. Even if you know this will be the only date you will have because you do not feel this is a good match, the person still took the time out of their lives to meet you and they deserve respect for their efforts. Remember, they may not be the one for you, but there is no need to demoralize them or make them feel unappealing. And while you’re at it, be nice to your restaurant waiters. They are there to help enhance your experience and work much too hard for someone to fail to try to impress their date by sheer rudeness.
Blind dates are a challenge mostly if you let them be. Simply remembering that your intent, as well as the other person’s, is to get to know each other, and have fun doing so will help you both have a good time. Even if this is going to be your only date, there is no reason to at least make this a positive experience for both parties.