How Blind Dates Work

Men's Dating

How Blind Dates Work: Characteristics, Tips & Challenges

Anggi Pradhini

Written by: Anggi Pradhini

Anggi Pradhini

Anggi Pradhini is a professional copywriter who creates unique, engaging, and up-to-date content for DatingAdvice.com. As a former stockbroker turned professional writer, she loves to challenge herself to broaden her horizons and improve her skills, one article at a time. After learning from the breakups of three long-term relationships, she dedicated her life to providing informative and relatable content about relationships and dating for those who need it.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

Reviewed by: Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks

Amber Brooks is a dating and relationship expert who has penned over 1,800 lifestyle articles in the last decade, and she still never tires of interviewing dating professionals and featuring actionable advice for singles. She has been quoted by the Washington Times, Cosmopolitan, The New York Post, and AskMen.

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“Don’t talk to strangers.” This may be good advice to keep children safe, but it’s not the best advice for your love life. To find love, sometimes you must talk to strangers.

My cousin met her husband on the train when she was out of town. In a reasonable setting, talking to a stranger can make a big difference in your life.

That’s the logic you must use when someone sets you up on a blind date. Be open-minded and adventurous. Trust your matchmaker to introduce you to someone decent.

This person may not be the love of your life, but you can have a good conversation for an hour or two and maybe even become friends.

This article explores what a blind date entails, the excitement it brings, and the potential for unexpected connections. We hope this dating advice will prepare you for your next blind date.

Characteristics | Tips | Challenges

Characteristics of Blind Dates

A blind date is a romantic encounter between two individuals who have not met each other previously. It’s a unique experience that can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.

But if you understand how to handle the situation, blind dates can give you a new social experience that spices up your romantic life. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect from a typical blind date.

Arranged by a Matchmaker

While many people tend to date within their social circles or among mutual friends, blind dates offer a different dynamic. 

A blind date means you and your potential match have limited information about each other. Your date is orchestrated by friends, family members, or matchmaking services.

blind dates

The matchmaker will give you some information beforehand. Usually you’ll know their first name, age, occupation, education, interests, and marital status. You may also get a brief description of their personality and what they are looking for in a partner.

This information may sound very basic, but every online dater knows how tiring it can be to dig those details out of your matches in an online dating app. Your matchmaker will expedite this process.

An Element of Mystery

Finding love is a life adventure that is worth going outside your comfort zone to find.

blind dates

If you have already tried online dating but have still not met your person, it may be time to try a blind date.

A blind date is different from online dating because it’s more personal. You literally sit across from a stranger and try to have a conversation.

You don’t know what to expect, and everything remains a mystery until you plunge in with both feet.

3 Tips for Breaking the Ice

First impressions can set the tone for a new relationship. In a few precious moments, you must impress and intrigue your date so they want to know more about you.

Once the conversation runs smoothly, you can establish rapport and create a comfortable atmosphere.

Here are some tips for breaking the ice:

1. Ask Good Questions

You don’t need to be a word wizard to have a successful blind date. Let your date do the talking.

But how? By asking open-ended questions. These kinds of questions will encourage your date to share more about themselves. Then, you can navigate the conversation more easily based on their answers.  

For example, instead of asking, “Do you like reading books?” ask, “What’s your favorite book?” You can always follow up and ask, “Why?” or say, “Tell me more about that.”

ask good questions

Before showing up on your blind date, take some time to prepare good questions to ask. After two or three questions, you should get a glimpse of each other’s personalities, and your curiosity will run the conversation.

Note: Pay attention to your tone and responsiveness when asking questions. Don’t pepper your date with one question after another. Take a moment to respond to what they’re saying before gearing up with another question.

And pause to give your date a chance to ask you questions. If you’re the one who keeps asking questions, your encounter will turn into an interview, and your partner may not enjoy it.

2. Discover Commonalities

Imagine you go to a Taylor Swift concert, sing at the top of your lungs, and find a new friend in the draft next to yours. Why is it so easy to make new friends in a moment like that? Because both of you are Swifties.

Finding something in common creates an instant connection between strangers. Hobbies, life goals, a sense of humor, values, and beliefs are core factors that make relationships last.

You don’t need to be twins with your partner, but if you understand their preferences, they will feel seen and validated.

find commonalities

I know someone who loves to travel with his wife. They’re never home on the weekend; they’re always on the go and posting amazing scenery on their Instagram stories.

But if my partner acted that way, I don’t think my relationship would last long because I’m a homebody.

Don’t spend too much time talking about bland topics like the weather on a blind date, but you should also avoid discussing childhood trauma when you are first meeting someone.

The more often you go on dates, the more you can find the balance and choose topics that showcase your personality and reveal your date’s personality in conversation.

Talk to your blind date about love languages and see if yours aligns. If your blind date becomes the love of your life, you’ll already know how to treat them. Alternatively, if you remain friends, it will show that you’re a caring individual.

3. Stay Positive

Anything can happen on your blind date. It could be the best decision you’ve ever made – or your worst nightmare. Whatever happens, you must stay positive.

If you want a successful blind date, focus on the positive side from the get-go. Expect to have a good experience.

stay positive

If your date is late, assume the best (maybe they got stuck in traffic) and wait patiently.

If your date doesn’t say much, assume they’re shy or that something is on their mind.

When you meet your date for the first time, stand up, shake hands, say hello, and introduce yourself. Remember to smile and make eye contact. This gesture will set a positive tone for your date.

Lastly, don’t be a Debbie Downer by complaining on your first date. That’s the worst first impression you can give. Nobody wants to hang out with complainers.

People who complain end up dampening the mood, creating tension, and making everything worse.

Overcoming Challenges

Blind dates are not always a walk in the park. You may encounter awkward moments and mismatches. That’s a risk you must take if you want to be open to different ways to find love.

Be Realistic Yet Hopeful

The trick to overcoming challenges in blind dates is to manage your expectations. Keep your chin up even when things don’t go as planned.

Here are some ways in which your blind date can go wrong:

  • Awkward silences
  • Major differences in values or beliefs
  • Different expectations
  • Lack of attraction to your date
  • Rejection or disappointment, etc.

Note that none of these things are emergencies: nobody is getting hurt in any way. Your blind date may be a bad experience, but you’ll brush it off in a day or two. Remember, your blind date is just one part of your love story. If you don’t like this particular chapter, you can pursue another one.

Stay Away From Divisive Topics

Recently, a friend of mine set up a blind date for a mutual friend. The date was going well until the topic of alma maters came up. Each of them insisted their alma mater was the best in the country.

Soon, the date was over, and they never met again.

As silly as it sounds, divisive topics can be a poison pill on your blind date.

One topic you should not mention is your ex. It’s similar to a job interview: You shouldn’t bad-mouth your previous employer because this will create the impression that you’re a gossip, even if what you’re saying is true.

Other sensitive topics you should save for another date are:

  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Controversial social issues (e.g., abortion, gun control)
  • Personal finances or income

Sometimes we don’t know which topics are sensitive to others. If you feel you pushed the wrong button, apologize and change the subject. The goal of a blind date is to get to know each other and have a good time. Save the complicated issues for another day.

Don’t Wait to Follow Up

In grad school, I played matchmaker and set up a simple lunch date for my friend. Everything went well until I met my friend in class and asked, “Did you get his phone number?”

My friend said, “No,” and my jaw dropped.

You may be nervous, but please don’t forget to ask for your date’s number or social media information. You must be able to contact them after the blind date, at least to say “thank you for your time.”

Unless your date went totally wrong, you should always follow up. It doesn’t have to be very deep. You can just say something like, “I enjoyed our conversation. Thank you for your time. We should meet again soon.”

What if you don’t feel the spark on your first date?

"How to Not Die Alone" book cover
“How to Not Die Alone” delves into research-backed strategies for finding love.

In her book “How to Not Die Alone,” Logan Ury says a second date is a must. Most people feel so nervous on a first date that they don’t present themselves in the best way.

On the second date, both of you will be more relaxed, and you will get a better understanding of how compatible you truly are.

If you fall in love at first sight, be cautious. Some people have charisma and know how to use it to their advantage. Stay calm, slow the pace, and let time reveal the truth. If your date is destined to be your partner, they won’t go anywhere.

What if you literally forget to ask for contact information when your date ends?

Reach out to your matchmaker for help. You should be able to navigate the situation and connect with your date again.

Last but not least, what if you no longer want to see this person?

The main rule is: Don’t ghost people. Tell them upfront that you’re not interested.

You don’t need to explain why; just write a simple message such as, “Thanks for meeting me, but I don’t think we’re a match. Best of luck in your search!”

Embrace the Unexpected

Singles who aren’t having much luck on the apps should consider trying blind

dates. Whether your date is a disaster or you find the love of your life, spending an hour talking to a stranger might form the basis of an exhilarating “Before I met your mom/dad” story to tell your kids one day.

This stranger isn’t a bad person, at least according to your matchmaker, so your safety won’t be compromised. Maybe you spend most Friday nights in your pajamas watching “The Bachelor,” so what have you really sacrificed?

So, the next time a friend wants to set you up on a blind date, go for it. Take a chance and see what happens. It could be love!