The blind date: equal parts awkward and awesome with a side of nausea.
I had two blind dates this past weekend and I came away completely exhausted and relieved. And while I could talk at length about each gentleman, both of whom are God's precious children and loved by their mamas, I will instead focus on my performance.
Over the last few years, I think I have had nearly 30 blind dates. (How can this be my life!?) And in those nearly 30 awkward/awesome/nauseous encounters, I have learned a few things on how to prepare for the best possible outcome, if that even exists:
1. Shoot for having zero expectations. And when I say "zero," what I am really saying is try to have negative expectations. Sometimes, all I hope for is that he is breathing and buys my coffee. And even that can totally backfire. I have found that the less Facebook stalking I do, the better. Facebook can totally skew your hopes, desires and dreams for your first date experience.
2. Wear what makes you feel amazing. Let's face it, you are already at a deficit when you head into a blind date. They may or may not know what you look like, therefore they may or may not be expecting Amanda Kerr to walk through the door. And while I can strut with the best of them, I like to eat. So, to counter-balance this, we have to feel amazing in who we are and that can be greatly highlighted by loving what we have on. Wear your best jeans, your favorite shirt, all of the things that make you feel good. And as tempting as it may be to show up in either a.) your prom dress or b.) your sweatpants, don't. Just don't.
3. Don't talk about tigers unless you train them or have been mauled by them. Then, BY ALL MEANS, talk away because you have earned it.
4. Have an "out." I say this not to be rude but to protect your sanity. There comes a time in every date when you are not sure if you should keep going or call it a day. Even if it is an amazing date, there needs to be an end time just to give you time to process every single word and facial expression so you can then call 10 of your best friends to analyze it together. I always have something planned approximately 1.5-2 hours after the date starts. This keeps things short and sweet but still with enough time to determine if you would like to see him again...or never, ever again. Whichever.
5. Always carry cash with you. Even though your deepest desire is that he will graciously buy whatever it is you are ordering, this sometimes doesn't happen. And there is nothing more exhilarating than to show some random idiot with bad manners that you are fully capable of buying your own cup of coffee, thank you very much.
6. If you are having a meal, do not order the following: spaghetti, BBQ, big hamburgers or anything else that falls apart easily. It is really hard to be sexy with sauce all over your face.
7. Somehow, find a way to talk normally. I consistenly amaze myself at how awkward I sound and I communicate for a living! Sometimes I even give myself a pep-talk before hand: "It's just talking, Sarah. You've been doing it your whole life. Don't fixate on the weather. Don't get all twangy. And please don't ever let the words 'I sleep with a breathing machine' ever come out of your mouth." It's tough love, but very necessary.
8. Don't take it personally if he does not call you back. Sure, it does reflect the lack of chemistry/attraction to each other but it doesn't change you who are as a person. It just means that there is one less guy in the world that you have to consider in your life plan. It is a weeding-out process. It has taken me a while to learn this but it can make or break your future dating experiences.
9. Try not to say no to a blind date, especially if one of your friends is setting you up. They love you and they want you to be happy. The only reason you can say no is if you have already gone on a blind date with the guy or if you are bleeding. You never know just how great the next date can be.
10. Dating is a freaking freak show. How two people ever meet and fall in love is a TOTAL MIRACLE FROM HEAVEN ABOVE, FOREVER AND AMEN.
Best of luck to you.