I’m not someone who enjoyed dating. I didn’t like those moments before a first date filled with nervous anticipation and the “what ifs” that worried my mind. It went something like, what if we have nothing to talk about? What if he finds me boring? What if I find him boring? What if in the light of day (after having exchanged numbers while drunk at a bar), he finds me unattractive? What if the first date goes well and he doesn’t call?!
So what could be worse than a first date? A blind date! And somehow my friend Jessica convinced me to go on seven blind dates — that meant no photos, no background information and in some instances, not even a name! But the experience was invaluable. What started as a fun summer project with a friend — her finding potential dates and us blogging about these setups — became a serious eye-opener for me. Here are some things I learned:
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1. Give a different guy a chance
I had an idea of the type of guy I thought would make my best match and that was bad for two reasons. One, my pool of men was quite limited and two, I was missing out on some incredible conversations — topics that wouldn’t normally be brought up in my circle of similar-minded people. What I learned: different can equal interesting.
2. Let your mom/friend/aunt set you up
Your aunt wants to set you up with her next door neighbour? Say yes! Too often we dismiss potential dates because we don’t trust other people’s judgments about what's right for us. But what do you have to lose? Instead, trust that they have your best interest at heart, accept their help and give them — and him — a chance.
3. Practice makes perfect
Each date became easier and easier to go on. Gradually, I stopped getting nervous and by the seventh date, I was an old pro. I stopped worrying whether we would have nothing to talk about or that it would be boring. Practice means becoming a better conversationalist.
4. But set a time limit
There’s bound to be one dud for every seven dudes you meet. My dud spent three hours ranting about his ex. You’re bound to have some not-so-great dates. The solution? Set a time limit for a one drink maximum. Get in and get out, unless of course you’re enjoying yourself.
5. Don’t be a Debbie downer
On the topic of bad dates, I learned there is one thing you should never do on a first date. Never, ever complain. Don’t complain about your ex, your bad day at work, your noisy neighbours, your living situation, your bad hair or the lack of drink options on the menu. Check the negativity at the door! No one wants to feel like a therapist, unless they are actually being paid to be one.
6. Are you ready for a relationship? Is he?
At the beginning of our blog project, I was just dating for fun and thought I didn't want anything too serious. But it turned out I was wrong. A relationship was what I ended up wanting. Unfortunately for me, however, the guy I was seeing was not ready for one — lesson learned. Find out early on what you’re both after.
7. Be patient
Probably the most important thing I learned throughout this whole experience was to be patient. Someone said to me, “You have to invest in to a relationship”, meaning that developing a relationship takes time. It's like making a new friend — you can't expect to be BFFs right away and that applies to romantic relationships too. Be patient, get to know the person bit by bit and let yourself sing Que Sera Sera.
For more on my blind dates, visit The Summer Setup. And for more dating entertainment, check out The Bachelor Canada, Wednesdays on Citytv.
Have you ever been on a blind date? Share your experience below!
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