Whether you are meeting someone in person for the first time after swiping right on Tinder or your friend sets you up with her boyfriend’s friend, these days we go into a lot of first dates blind.
Granted, our first dates are typically vetted in some way. It may be a profile picture, a chat online, or maybe we trust the person who is setting us up enough to know that this date won’t be a total miss.
But what about the traditional blind date? How do we feel about a friend setting us up with a man we have never met, maybe never even seen a picture of?
Most women I know would be totally up for that scenario. To them, a potentially awkward few hours over a coffee or meal is worth it—after all, it just takes one special guy for everything to fall into place.
But for men, there seems to be a bit more hesitancy.
It's not that guys aren’t up for an old-school blind date at all. In fact, I interviewed a group of ten guys, and all said they would consider a blind date, but they have a few more reservations.
Here is what they say.
Does the matchmaker make us sound desperate?
"I would say the biggest problem I see is that blind dates typically have a feeling of desperation attached," Isaac explains. "Like if somebody says to me, 'Can I set you up on a blind date?' I'm immediately suspicious. Let's be honest, it's typically because your friend feels sorry for her friend (or you), so your friend ends up setting you up with someone. Anyone."
Let's be honest, as frustrating as it may be to hear that men might assume you are "desperate" because you are willing to get coffee with a stranger, it's worthwhile to consider how the proposition is making you look. Whether you are a man or a woman coming across as someone who is happy to be with someone of the opposite sex so long as he or she is breathing just isn't very attractive.
Charlie admits that he doesn't like blind dates for just this reason. "I dislike blind dates," Charlie prefaces. "Whenever my friends discussed setting me up I always felt that it was just an exercise of 'Oh we know two poor single people. Let's just put them together because, you know, they have no one else.'"
"I know some blind dates work very well," Charlie acknowledges. "But I think as a guy, I always want to go out and win someone over."
But that doesn't mean you can't propose a blind date without making your friend sound desperate! Isaac suggests that a little bit of effort to make the potential blind date not seem like a charity case can go a long way. "If somebody said to me, 'You really should meet so-and-so. But hurry, she's not going to be on the market for long' (and it was true), that would be a totally different scenario."
Charlie suggests that there is a way to give the guy and girl more autonomy on the blind date that will help dissolve the air of desperation. "I think the best way to approach a blind date for someone like me is to approach things really casually and create a low-pressure environment, so the guy can get to know the girl and decide he wants to pursue."
I need to trust the matchmaker.
Unanimously, the men I spoke to agreed that they would go on a blind date, even one without seeing a picture beforehand, as long as they trusted the matchmaker.
Connor explained that before he started dating his now fiancée, he was definitely up for blind dates and had even been on one or two."I always thought they were exciting and even when it didn't work out I enjoyed them," Connor says. But he did stipulate that he needed to trust the matchmaker.
"As long as it was set up by someone I trust, I didn't ask too many questions," Connor says. " I tried at least one that wasn't set up by someone I knew well. Let's just say I had to talk way more about animal rights that night than I ever would care to again."
Justin also says that trust is an important part of his decision to accept a blind date. "Sometimes meeting new people can be tough, so given how busy I am, I am all for blind dates! But I won't go on them if just anyone suggests them," Justin explains. "It helps if I trust the person who is setting me up and if he or she knows the kind of personalities I get along with, types I am attracted to, etc."
I want to feel like the matchmaker has good reasons to set us up.
Closely akin to the stipulation of trusting the mutual friend who is suggesting the blind date, the men I spoke to want to know that they are going into the blind date on the premise of more than just a hunch.
Bill told me that he would definitely be up for being set up on a blind date, although he has never been asked before. That being said, he would expect a few preliminary questions from the matchmaker. "The person setting the date up should ask questions about what the other person is looking for, share pictures and make sure both parties have an interest meeting the other person," Bill explains.
Aside from trusting that the matchmaker has a clear understanding of what each person is looking for in a partner, Justin adds, "It also helps if the person setting us up can give some specific reasons as to why we would get along." Not only should the person be confident in the match, they should give a good argument as to why he should be excited about the date too.
So would your guy friends be up for a blind date for your totally awesome friend? Probably, but turns out there is a way to do matchmaking right!
Photo Credit: Cynthia Chung