Wright Foundation | November 20, 2015

How to Handle Blind Dates:
Honest Tips

How many of us have been set up? It used to be almost a cliché or a joke—the “blind date from hell” a friend or well-meaning family member coerced us into.


Nowadays, the face of dating has changed. We’re connecting through online dating sites and apps, and we’re meeting through coworkers and at networking events, so in general, almost every date becomes a “blind date” in some respect. Rarely do we know more about our date beforehand than a general idea of his or her looks and location.

The positive side to this new face of dating is it gives us a chance to engage and interact with many different people. We all lead busy lives, yet it’s important we make time to connect with others. How fascinating that we get to meet and get to know others while getting to know ourselves in such an objective manner? Dating is like a social experiment: we can test out our yearnings and different aspects of our personality while seeing how those traits fit with another person (or result in conflict).

On the flipside, what we see in someone’s profile or read online, doesn’t always translate to what we find in person.

“My Dates Always Go Wrong!”

Sometimes we hold back because we fear our dates won’t “go well” or things won’t happen in the way we expect them to. You know what? This is perfectly normal—and a wonderful opportunity to test things out and discover more about our reactions, expectations and desires!

No dating situation is perfect. Even if we plan out every detail or if we strictly adhere to our vision of the ideal date, things will go awry. You can’t control the behavior of other people and this conflict for control can be the very thing preventing us from “clicking”—or at minimum, it can cause little annoyances to pop up.

If your date does something you don’t like or you do something your date is unhappy with, it’s a wonderful chance to look at the deeper story behind it. If you cringe when he answers his cellphone at dinner or you absolutely hate it when she interrupts you in conversation, then it’s time to explore why. More importantly, did you say something when those feelings arose and was it addressed directly? Were you feeling ignored? Was your yearning to be noticed and be a priority overlooked?

Ask yourself how you reacted to these situations and frustrations, and examine how your date reacted as well. It might not be a perfect date, but it’s a perfect time to explore your interaction. Did you speak up, express your feelings, state your yearnings and engage? Did you withdraw, become passive-aggressive or feel hurt?

When It’s Just Not There…

Some people can have great online chemistry and it’s just a fizzle in real life. Even if you’ve had weeks of exciting banter and great conversation, the spark might not be there in person.

Not every date is going to be a love connection or even a like connection. It’s totally okay to let your date know things aren’t going as you’d hoped. If you continue the date as friends, you might still have a chance to make a connection and grow. If you end the date, you know you haven’t held back from being yourself. You’ve been honest—and that’s what’s important.

Sometimes a friend might set us up with someone who leaves us wondering, “WHOA, what was she thinking?!” Rather than being upset by the mismatch, you’ll find a great opportunity to examine your relationship with your friend and you’ll get a glimpse into the ways others might view your personality and your yearnings as you present them. You can see what sort of personality you’re projecting out to the world and to others in your social circle.

Using Dates to Grow

What it really comes down to is: are you being honest and up front with your dates? What are your expectations of the situation? There’s no formula or set of questions you can ask to predict the outcome of any date, blind date or otherwise. Searching for an answer is like asking for a crystal ball. It may even reveal we’re simply having a difficult time accepting the uncertainty of dating.

Unfortunately—and fortunately—the world is an unpredictable place. If we can allow ourselves to let go of the idea we need to be fully in control of the ride, or we need to have all the factors laid out in front of us, we can find ourselves enjoying the journey of dating and the lessons it has to offer.

If you find you’re easily angered on your dates or frustrated, it may be a frustration with the uncertainty and your own inability to express your desires and expectations. Much of our anger and frustrations can be exacerbated by an underlying fear.

Instead, reframe your view of dating as an adventure and an opportunity. Are you sharing meaningful things and are you affirming your feelings and the feelings of your date? Engage in the messiness of dating, jump in, tell the truth and get to know each other. Conflict is ok—when we get it out early we can avoid superficial and meaningless dates and relationships. Stop looking for things to be comfortable and familiar—shake things up and have some fun!

You just may find yourself enjoying blind dates more and more, and looking forward to your next dating adventure!

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can pre-order our new relationships book: The Heart of The Fight, coming out next February.


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Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user alville.