What Not to Do on a Blind Date 

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

I went on a blind date, and I thought it was doomed to failure from the beginning. It was set up by a friend of my mother’s, which is an idea I’m just all-around opposed to. I don’t like the thought of being pressured into a dating-type scenario; I want the date to be my idea.

He texted me probably a week prior. We had some good text conversations and some meaningless, dull text conversations — at least from my point of view. After all, he was a CPA… and I had no idea what a CPA and a candidate for a Master’s degree in communications with an interest in community theatre would have in common. Since he went to church, as do I, my mother thought it was a logical fit. But even via text message, I need to feel as though the conversation has… meaning and depth, and I didn’t.

I showed up for our date, which was at a very touristy Italian restaurant in Manhattan, about an hour late thanks to unreliable New York transit. I was anxious at best and I donned a black sequined dress. There’s the first lesson: never wear a black sequined strapless dress to a blind date, or to any first date! When my date realized who I was and gave my dress the once-over, I’m reasonably sure his eyes came out of his head. And not in a good way. More like in a “deer in the headlights” way.

The rest of the evening was filled with more of my eccentric behavior and overt feminism. I talked about my theatre company, my general distaste for all things mathematical (to a CPA, because that makes sense) and, as I don’t believe in the convention of the man automatically picking up the tab on any date, I’m reasonably sure I embarrassed him when I fought with him over the bill. Yes, I took it so far that he partially consented and I took care of the tip.

Where did I go wrong here? Well, it could be asked, where didn’t I go wrong, but we’ll break it down. The poor guy clearly had no interest in theatre, he only does math for a living and he was old-fashioned, so I’m sure he felt uncomfortable with my insistence on taking some of the bill.

To make matters worse, he had been dealing with a family emergency during the day and was nice enough to come anyway. I’d let him talk about the situation but couldn’t cope with awkward silences when he just didn’t feel like talking anymore. I don’t remember much of what I talked about, but the conversation was pretty one-sided.

Now I don’t know if it would have worked out had the date taken a different turn (i.e. if we were actually compatible). Regardless, let’s recap what not to do should you find yourself on a blind date.

  • Don’t wear something that looks overly ostentatious or is trying to make a statement, especially when you don’t know what that statement is.
  • Don’t show up an hour late. If this situation looks like it could be a possibility, try to plan ahead to avoid it.
  • Don’t make awkward conversation that’s only about you and your life.
  • At the same time, don’t try too hard to appear overly invested in the other person’s interests – only to follow-up with how much said interests bore you.
  • Don’t get overly political.
  • Don’t embarrass your date when your date wants to do something nice for you.
  • Don’t try to overcompensate for awkward silences.

Blind dates are uncomfortable to begin with. Hopefully with these tips, you’ll have some better luck than I did.

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